Tag Archives: New Year’s Eve

Shaken Not Stirred Shows up Strong for 2017 Holiday Season

29 Dec
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Venice Corporate Event

Shaken Not Stirred had its best holiday season to date and so far in December we have completed 21 events, with two parties still to go. When I first started doing this blog, I would write one blog post for every event I did and that has gotten harder and harder to do as I do multiple events in one week. It has a been a hectic season, and I am a little relieved that it is over, but as far as I know, all of our clients were happy and there were no major problems.

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My son bartending in Hollywood

My goal this year for the month of December was that I would save as many dates as possible for repeat customers and referrals. For the most part I did that. I had great repeat customers book parties in Valley Village, Hollywood, Venice, San Clemente, Silver Lake, Van Nuys, Reseda, Santa Monica, and Simi Valley. I didn’t have to travel too far, with San Clemente being the furthest I went during the month of December. I picked up some great new clients in Simi Valley, Hermosa Beach, Santa Clarita, and Moorpark. I am probably forgetting someone, but will remember them later.

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Casino themed holiday party 

I had multiple bartenders, including, Tanner, Edie, Matt, Melanie, Thomas, and Will helping me. Some of the bartenders went out and completed gigs on their own and I got great feedback from all of my clients. We literally served thousands of cocktails over the course of the month. We went through gallons and gallons of vodka, whiskey, and tequila. We emptied cases and cases of wine and beer.

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Reseda Christmas party

Highlights included the big casino night in Venice, the annual Christmas party in Hollywood for the Better Call Saul production company, the Spacex launch, and numerous wonderful home parties, food, drink, and music. I sampled all kinds of fantastic food, from tacos, prime rib, pork belly, steaks, and many ethnic delicacies.

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Venice Christmas Party

This weekend marks the final chapter for Shaken Not Stirred in 2017. Saturday I will drive to Huntington Beach to bartend a 40th birthday party/whiskey tasting. On Sunday, I get to stay in the San Fernando Valley for New Year’s Eve – I will be doing a NYE party in Sherman Oaks. Looking forward to a great New Year and already have several dates booked in January, February, and March.

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Simi Valley Christmas Party

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SpaceX test over Moorpark

Los Angeles Bartender for Hire Services Three Parties During NYE Weekend

2 Jan

Los Angeles bartender for hire Shaken Not Stirred provided bar service at three big Los Angeles parties during the transition period into 2017. I served literally thousands of drinks over the three day period and met hundreds of new people.

Sherman Oaks Surprise Birthday Party

Friday I didn’t have to travel far to bartend a 50th surprise birthday party in Sherman Oaks. It was a potentially cold and rainy night and the rain threatened to ruin the backyard party, but luckily it only sprinkled a bit during the party. The birthday girl was genuinely surprised. I served margaritas and apple martinis to 50 or so guests. They had a taco cart on hand and I’m sorry I can’t find the guys card or I would have included him here, but he served great tacos.

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Taco cart in action at Sherman Oaks

The host commented that this was probably a boring party for me, because they weren’t really a hard drinking crowd. I didn’t mind at all because I knew I was going to work my ass off at the New Year’s Eve party the following night and that turned out to be true. The Sherman Oaks surprise birthday party was a perfect warm up for the whole weekend, and I was very happy to do it.

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Birthday Girl blows out candles

Downtown LA New Year’s Eve Party

The NYE bash that I bartended was held in a warehouse in a gritty section of downton Los Angeles close to Skid Row. I drove through Skid Row on my way to the location and it was raining. The conditions are beyond deplorable down there, and it is hard to believe places like that exist in the USA. I pulled up in front of the warehouse early and there was nobody around. I was curious as to what kind of setup there would be there. It just looked like a produce warehouse on the outside. Finally someone showed up and opened the big doors and I could see curtains hanging inside the warehouse and tables. A taco cart vendor, Tacos Estilo Michoacan, arrived about the same time and started setting up outside.

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Downtown LA warehouse where party was held

I went in a started setting up. They had cases and cases of beer, several handles of vodka, tequila, Jameson, Jack Daniels, and cases and cases of mixers. Shortly, the other bartender, aubrey arrived and it was my first time working with her. We spent two hours setting up and it took us all of that to get ready for 150 guests to arrive.

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Bartender Aubrey waiting for action to start

People started filtering in and soon we were hit with waves and waves of people. We handled it well, and the only mishap of the evening was when a patron bumped into the bar and knocked over several full bottles of liquor. They shattered all over the floor and flooded the back of the bar with booze and broken glass. I scrambled to clean the mess up and was careful not to cut myself and the shards of broken bottles. We got through it, and continued pouring drinks until two in the morning. Santiago y su Groupo, a sixteen piece latin band provided live music and they were fantastic. The taco cart operated until 1am and I had a second helping of tacos around that time, which really hit the spot. We cleaned up the bar area and were out of there by 2:30 am in 2017.

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Happy New Year!

Bartender for Hire in Los Angeles

  • Provides portable bar if needed
  • Knows how to make a myriad of cocktails
  • Helps provide a drink menu and shopping list
  • Can provide multiple bartenders
  • Is ABC certified

Pre Rose Bowl/50th Birthday Party in Manhattan Beach

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Portable bar setup in Manhattan Beach

On Sunday, the Los angeles bartender for hire (me) went to Manhatten Beach to bartend a 50th birthday party/ Pre Rose Bowl party in Manhattan Beach. The birthday girl happened to be an alumni of Penn State, and Penn State happens to be playing against USC in the Rose Bowl this year. She had invited many Penn State alumni who have traveled here for the Rose Bowl. They were in town to party.

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Shots!

This party turned into a rager. DJ Logik provided the tunes, and people were break dancing and singing out loud at the top of their lungs. I was hustling, serving close to 100 people by myself. I served my spicy jalapeno margarita, which was once again, a hit. I heard one woman say, “These margaritas are so much better than the ones we had last night,” which made me feel good. Soho Taco served the food, and I have worked with them before at other events.
January looks pretty light so far for Shaken Not Stirred. I have events scheduled for Redondo Beach and San Marcos later this month, and I am sure I will pick up some more business before it is all over. January is generally a slow month as people are all partied out after the holiday season. There will likely be a few corporate events and birthday parties. Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

Private Bartender at La Canada Christmas Party

22 Dec
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Private bartender selfie

 

Last night, for the third year in a row I served as the private bartender for a company Christmas party at a very nice home in La Canada. The host is a very successful real estate agent in the area and has a fantastic home for entertaining. He has a very nice little bar inside the house, and he has a great one outside as well, where we hold parties in the summer.

About 90 guests were in attendance and I served drinks that had real estate terms for names like the “Pocket Listing,” “Multiple Offers,” and “Just Sold.” I made my spicy jalapeno margarita mix and that was a hit as it usually is. I also served a lot of Johnny Walker Black, and made a holiday cranberry Old Fashioned. As a private bartender I have manned the bar at over 400 events, so by now I am comfortable behind any bar.

I can make a variety of cocktails with a few simple mixers. It is always good to have cranberry juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, Coke, Diet Coke, Seven Up, and bitters. For garnishes it is good to have limes, lemons, cherries, and olives. Mint, oranges, cranberries, cucumbers, and other garnishes are usually for specialty drinks. As a private bartender, I consult with hosts about the drink menu and shopping list. I can do all the shopping also, but charge an extra fee for that.

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La Canada on a cloudy day

Advantages of Hiring a Private Bartender

  • The hosts can enjoy themselves at the party
  • Bartender makes consistently good drinks
  • Guests are impressed
  • Bartender can monitor guests intoxication level
  • Host saves money on shopping list

Unless I book something else next week, this was my last holiday party of the season until New Year’s Eve. I am booked for NYE at a warehouse party in Downtown LA that should be interesting. On New Year’s Day I will return to Manhattan Beach to provide bartending service for a pre Rose Bowl/birthday party. I think 2017 is going to be a record year for Shaken Not Stirred, and look forward to serving many of my repeat customers and gaining a bunch of new ones.

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Shots!

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Hollywood Holiday Party

12 Dec
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Bartender Mia at Hollywood Holiday Party

Wednesday night I returned to Hollywood to provide bartending service for a holiday party of a very successful production company. I did the bar catering last year and was very happy to return. I brought another bartender with me and we served approximately 250 thirsty people. I set up two portable bars side by side and we went to town slinging drinks.

The hosts requested a specialty drink that required rosemary simple syrup. I volunteered to make the simple syrup, because I like the challenge of doing that. I can infuse almost any herb, fruit, or vegetable into simple syrup, and have done cucumber, peppercorn, ginger, and now rosemary. The drink they created was called the 1936 Cocktail and it consisted of Tito’s vodka, grapefruit juice, rosemary simple syrup, and dash of club soda. The drink was a big hit.

Papa Christo’s of Los Angeles provided the catering and they put out some excellent Greek food for the hungry partiers. We also served four different beers, red and white wines and various mixed drinks. I had helped the host with a shopping list and we went through most of it by the end.

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Crowd at Hollywood Holiday Party

Holiday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartending service
  • Choose a theme
  • Book it plenty early
  • Keep the music playing
  • Have a raffle

This holiday season I have had to hire more bartenders to help out with the demand. Every year in December there are always parties on Friday and Saturday nights, and more during the week, especially during the first three weeks of the month. Luckily, I have been able to accommodate all of me good customers. So far, I am still available for New Year’s Eve – the last holiday party of the year. Call me today!

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Orange County Christmas Party

5 Dec
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Christmas Bar Display in Villa Park

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Villa Park to bartend an Orange County Christmas party – the first of the season. I have been to this house several times before and they throw great parties. The host usually chooses a theme for the party and rents some great party props. When I pulled up to the house this time, I thought I was at the wrong place, because there wasn’t a full Santa and reindeer getup in the front yard. They had the back yard decorated very nicely however.

This house has the best backyard bar and pool setup I have seen at any property I have worked at. I was surprised that on the third of December that they had actually hired a lifeguard and all of the kids went swimming. The pool was at a balmy 90 degrees and the jacuzzi was set at 100. There are not many places in the continental USA where you can have a pool party in December, but Orange County is one of them.

They had several rented patio heaters for the party and my job was to light them. I used to have nightmares about patio heaters when I worked at a restaurant in Redondo Beach, because they are almost always a pain in the ass. The trick is to follow the direction precisely. It has taken me years to learn that, and maybe I can apply that wisdom to other areas of my life. Anyway, I felt quite proud of myself that I was able to light all 8 patio heaters.

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Orange County backyard bar

Orange County Christmas Season

  • Pool parties in December
  • Cruise of Lights in Huntington Harbor
  • Disney Holiday Lights
  • Christmas Boat Parade
  • Fiesta Navidad

The hosts in Villa Park not only have a fantastic bar, but a great selection of top shelf liquor. I was able to fulfill almost every request and made Lemon Drops, Moscow and Kentucky Mules, Dark and Stormy, Cuba Libres, and Old Fashioneds, among others. This Christmas party was for some parents and their kids that belong to an organization called.

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Orange County Barflies

The party was held for the parents of an Orange County organization where fathers can take their sons and daughters on camping trips and other activities. It sounds like a wonderful organization, and I’m sorry I can’t remember the name of it right now. There are separate organizations for boys and girls. It looks like the one for girls in Orange County is called the Orange Spirit Nation. It is designed for fathers that work a lot to bond with their sons and daughters during organized camping trips and activities. They also make great friends with the other parents. I wish I would have done more of that kind of thing when my kids were younger.

Irvine Surprise Birthday Party

28 Nov
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First rainbow of the season over East LA

Saturday I drove to Irvine to providing bartending service for a surprise birthday party. It was raining pretty hard that morning and was one of the biggest rains of the season yet, so I left plenty early. I hate being late, and I think I have only been late once in over 300 events I have done, and I was 15 minutes late due to traffic. Going to Orange County from LA can be problematic, especially on the 5 freeway. On Saturday, I made it in plenty of time.

The occasion was a surprise 60th birthday party and it was held at the birthday girl’s home, unknown to her. I arrived an hour early to set up and family members were rushing around trying to get the house ready. They were nervous, because guests were trickling in slowly and they were afraid the birthday girl would arrive home before most of the guests arrived. They were able to stall her somehow, and nearly 100 guests arrived to genuinely surprise her.   

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Guests gather at surprise birthday party

I had my portable bar setup in a room off the kitchen. I served Moscow Mules and Margaritas. I told the host to buy enough alcohol for 100 people, but there weren’t a lot of drinkers. Many of the guests only wanted water. I usually make shopping list assuming that there will be alot of heavy drinkers, and often there are. The good thing about extra liquor is that it doesn’t expire or go bad.

Surprise Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Keep the secret
  • Serve great food

I told the host that anybody who gets a surprise birthday party is truly blessed – not everybody gets one. I have never had one thrown in my honor. At this Irvine surprise birthday party, the guest of honor was totally surprised and grateful. Her niece had done much of the planning and had created a cool video to congratulate her aunt and show her appreciation. Traditional Indian food was served.

This coming weekend I will be returning to Orange County to bartend a holiday party in Villa Park. Another bartender will be going to Valley Village to bartend another holiday party on behalf of Shaken Not Stirred. December is usually my busiest month and it is shaping up that way this year too. New Year’s Eve is still available, so it will be interesting to see where I will end up this year. 

Post Xmas Cocktail Party in Fontana

28 Dec
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Portable bar and table in Fontana

Saturday afternoon, I was sitting home with no bartending jobs scheduled until New Year’s Eve, when I got a call to bartend a cocktail party in Fontana, two days after Christmas. I live in the San Fernando Valley and Fontana (Inland Empire) is about 60 miles away, so I had to jump into action to get to the party on time. I was glad to get the job, because even though I have been very busy this holiday season, January is not looking so hot so far.

I made a quick shopping list for the host and emailed it to her. Most of the events I do involve way more planning than this, but last minute parties can still be successful. We didn’t really have time to plan any elaborate specialty drinks, but I have done enough parties to know what supplies are needed for a specific number of guests. I can guess pretty accurately how much ice, how many cups, how many bottles of wine, etc. will be needed. I have said many times, do not hesitate to call me last minute if you need a bartender.

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Hosts and guests enjoy Fontana cocktail party

I arrived in Fontana on time and set up my portable bar and table in the corner of the kitchen. The portable bar is three feet wide and the table is four feet long, so I roughly need a fifteen feet square foot area for my portable bar. I usually only charge $25 for the portable bar, because it is nothing fancy, but it serves its purpose, and I have used it on rooftops in Beverly Hills, and near the docks in Wilmington.

Cocktail Party Occasions

  • House Warming
    Celebrate a promotion
    Grand Openings
    Going away parties
    Client appreciation

The Fontana cocktail party was slow to get going, but had a big finish. Guests trickled in – after all it was the Saturday after Christmas, and most people in Southern California have at that point been going to various functions all month. The host had a beautiful grand player piano that certainly added a bit of class to the party, rather than the usual Pandora selections. It was if we had a concert pianist on hand for the party. I served wine, a few margaritas, and some vodka drinks. I think everybody had a great time, and it was a successful last minute cocktail party.

My next party scheduled for Shaken Not Stirred is on New Year’s Eve in Sherman Oaks, very close to home. I will be doing several prohibition era cocktails for that party. Last year I bartended a New Year’s Day party, which I got last minute, so maybe I will get another this year. January is pretty open, so please call me if you are planning a birthday party, wedding, or any kind of event in January.