Tag Archives: Orange County

Two Weddings and a Brazilian Themed Birthday Party

17 Oct
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San Clemente State Beach

 

Last week Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering for two big weddings and a Brazilian themed birthday party. Thursday I traveled to San Clemente to bartend a wedding at the Historic Cottage located at the San Clemente State Park. On Friday I bartended a birthday party with a Brazilian theme in the Venice Beach area, and then on Saturday drove to Palm Springs to provide bartending service at the Palm Springs air museum. It was a very successful week for Shaken Not Stirred.

The Historic Cottage

The Historic Cottage at the San Clemente State Park overlooks the ocean and is a fantastic venue for a wedding. This venue reminded me very much of The Pointe Vicente Interperative Center in Rancho Palos Verdes. The Historic Cottage only allows wine and beer service, and drink service stops at 10pm.

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Guests mingle during cocktail hour

For this wedding, the ceremony was held on the bluff overlooking the ocean, and then the guests came for the cocktail hour held in the front yard of the Historic Cottage. I had my portable bar setup there and a had a barback from Orange County helping me there. We served approximately 150 guests. After the cocktail hour, the guests moved to the backyard area of the cottage for dinner and dancing.

Brazilian Themed Birthday Party

A chef that I know, Ella Freyinger, referred me to bartend for one of her friend’s birthday party. The client and her husband were very British, but they wanted to do a Brazilian themed birthday party. I would be serving Caipirinhas, the Brazilian cocktails and they would be serving food popular in Brazil. Caipirinhas are made with Brazilian cane liquor, Cachaca, brown sugar, and lime. They are somewhat labor intensive drinks that require much muddling, so I kept busy making them for four hours for 30 guests.

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Cachaca and Brazilian soda

 

At first, I didn’t think the guests liked them, because they were drinking them slowly, but that changed quickly. Guests brought more bottles of different brands of Cachaca, and I was making drinks with at least four different brands, including Pitu, Cachaca 51, Novo Fogo, and Avua. The owner of the Avua brand was actually at the party, and provided a lot of insight about the various types. I must mention that Caipirinhas are deadly drinks that go down smooth, but can bite like a rattlesnake.

Palm Springs Air Museum

I have done weddings and parties at venues all over the Coachella Valley, but this was my first wedding at the Palm Springs Air Museum. It is a truly fantastic museum located in a hangar at the Palm Springs airport. It is full of vintage planes and displays, which I didn’t really have time to look out because I had to hustle and prepare for a 230 guest wedding party. I had another bartender and barback there to help me. Unlike many wedding parties I do the ceremony for this one was done somewhere else, so the guests trickled in, rather than arriving in a line all at once. It can be daunting to serve a line a 230 people.

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Myself, barback Teresa, and bartender Thomas

We served margaritas, and mojitos, and various other drinks. The highlight is when they opened the hangar door and we could see a dramatic sunset over the mountains of Palm Springs, as well as vintage planes outside the hangar and commercial jets taking off nearby. It was a great event and hope to return there soon.

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Shots!

 

Event Bartender Marathon Week: Seven Events, Three Counties

5 Sep

Event Bartender company, Shaken Not Stirred had a record week leading into Labor Day, completing seven big events in three Southern California Counties. I myself worked six of the events and I sent another bartender to do another one for a repeat customer.

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Max Joseph at Catfish going away party

Wednesday:

I drove to Burbank to do a very special event for a television production company. The show, “Catfish,” on MTV has had seven successful seasons, but one of the show’s top hosts is moving on to other endeavors, so it was a going away party for him. I made margaritas and served beer and wine, while the cast and crew watched the final episode with Max Joseph. I avoided a near disaster when I noticed my table with several bottles on it was about to collapse. I caught it just in time and a caterer walking by helped me. It would have been a major disaster if that table collapsed right during the screening. Needless to say, that table is being retired.

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Groom and groomsmen at Ruby Street

Thursday:

I drove to a funky little venue in Highland Park called 6408 Ruby Street to bartend a wedding. The Ruby Street venue is a former church and a historic building in Los Angeles. I had a trainee meet me there and she was a lot of help. We served two different specialty drinks, and beer and wine to the guests. We don’t get many weddings on Thursdays, but we welcome them. On the same night I sent another event bartender, Melanie, to do a corporate event in West Hollywood.

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70th Birthday Party in Orange County

Friday:

I drove to Orange County, to Lake Forest to bartend a 70th birthday party. It was held at a very nice community clubhouse, and I set up my portable bar outside. The weather was perfect and there was a cool breeze blowing. They had a live band and friends and family members poured in. When it comes to a 70th birthday party, many of the people have been friends for decades. Everyone had a nice time. I stayed a hotel in Irvine because I had to be in Joshua Tree the next day for another wedding.

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Groom watching Bride dance with Father

Saturday:

I drove from Orange County to Joshua Tree to do a wedding at a cool little venue called the Mohave Sands Motel – it was my second time there. Another event bartender, actually named Joshua lives out there and he helped me. Once again, the weather was perfect and we served approximately 75 guests throughout the evening. I got up the next morning and had to drive back to North Hollywood to do a Quinceanera. There was a bad accident on the 10 Freeway, and the trip took me four hours.

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Quinceanera at Memories Banquet Hall

Sunday:

I met another bartender who works for me, Edie, at the Memories Banquet Hall in North Hollywood to bartend the Quinceanera. There were over 100 guests. We served Palomas and other classic drinks until midnight. Luckily, the venue was only minutes from my home. I had served hundreds of drinks by this point.

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Volunteer shot girl at pool party on Mulholland Drive

Monday, Labor Day:

My final event of the holiday weekend was held at a rental house on Mulholland Drive overlooking the San Fernando Valley.  An online company was having a Labor Day pool party for their influencers and investors. I set up my portable bar by the pool and served drinks throughout the afternoon and evening. Once again, the weather was perfect. This is my favorite time of the year. I finished at 9 pm and my event bartender marathon was a complete, and I think a total success. This coming weekend I have events in Indio, Hawthorne, and Venice Beach. Follow us on Instagram.

Bartending Service Kicks off Summer with Three June Events

5 Jun
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First Friday Event 

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles based bartending service started off June with three big events last weekend. Friday I was in Venice to bartend a first Friday networking event at a law office near Abbot Kinney.  On Saturday, I drove to Santa Clarita to bartend a 40th birthday party, and then finished off the weekend in Hidden Hills for another birthday party. A busy weekend, just like I like it.

Abbot Kinney Blvd. is a thriving area in Los Angeles and on the First Friday of every month dozens of exciting food trucks converge on the area to offer a dazzling array of cuisine. It is a happening event that brings in a lot of people from out of the area, and young professionals in the area. So, the law firm that hired me has a monthly cocktail hour in conjunction with the First Friday event. I served wine, beer, and soft drinks to approximately 50 young professionals. It was a fun event, and hopefully they will call me again. I did all the shopping and delivered the supplies, which is an extra service I provide.

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Backyard 40th Birthday Party Setup

On Saturday, I went to Santa Clarita to do bartending service for a 40th birthday party. The hosts had a very nice backyard where I set up my portable bar on the patio. The husband had set up a very nice birthday party for his wife’s 40th birthday party. He even bought a whole DJ equipment package and was the DJ for the evening. It was his first time as a DJ, but I must say he did better than some professional DJ’s I have seen. I think it was definitely a memorable milestone birthday party for the birthday girl.

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DJ and Dancing in Santa Clarita

Advantages of Hiring a Bartending Service

  • Bartender keeps bar area clean and organized
  • Can provide shopping and delivery of supplies
  • Bartender creates specialty drinks
  • Guests are impressed
  • Hosts can enjoy themselves

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    My Son Behind Portable Bar in Hidden Hills

On Sunday I did a second annual birthday party in Hidden Hills. I remember last year I did it and it was blazing hot. The ice melted quickly. This year it was one of the first hot days of summer, but wasn’t that bad. They had over 100 guests, so I took my son with me to help out. We served a lot of margaritas, including my special jalapeno margarita, that is always a hit. The hosts had an important announcement to make – they are having a baby girl. The announcement was met with huge applause from the guests. The host told me I will be coming back to bartend the baby shower. I am blessed to have such great clients.

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Host Makes Big Announcement

I must mention that the weekend started with a bit of sadness. On Friday I lost my cat, Batman, who has been with me for 21 years. I am glad I was busy, so my mind was not focused on that. I was kind of expecting it, but it is always a shock with you lose a pet. This weekend I will be providing bartending service for a wedding in Rancho Palos Verdes, then have a another wedding at the Reptacular Ranch in Sylmar, and have other SFV and Orange County events later this month. Follow us on Instagram.

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RIP Batman 1997-2018

Shaken Not Stirred Wraps up September with Two Events

2 Oct
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New bartender, Siaka behind double portable bars

The end of September ended with a bang for Shaken Not Stirred as we provided bartending service for two big events. Friday night we returned to Culver City to bartend an end of summer party for a successful tech company. It was the second event I have done there. Then on Saturday, I did a 20 year class reunion at a Burbank private high school. It was a great weekend for Shaken Not Stirred.

Culver City Company Party

The event was held in the parking lot of the company headquarters in Culver City. I arrived early and set up my portable bar in the parking lot. I had another new bartender join me. It was my first time working with him, and he did an excellent job. There were over 100 guests, so we kept pretty busy. We had premixed Margaritas, Pimm’s Cup, and sangria in beverage dispensers. That definitely sped the service up.

The employees at these tech companies tend to be younger, and single, so they are ready to party. We served out of margaritas, and went through a lot of beer and wine. At eleven pm somebody in the neighborhood complained about noise, so we had to pack up the bar and move indoors. The company also hired a band and DJ for the event, but I didn’t get their names.

Burbank 20 Year Class Reunion

I did much planning with one of the organizers of the class reunion, and I purchased all of the alcohol and supplies and delivered them to the event. It is a service I offer for a nominal fee to my clients. Unfortunately, I can only offer that service to my Los Angeles clients, because I don’t have a truck, and sometimes have to make two trips.

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20 year class reunion held at the actual school

For this party, I served margaritas, which I also premixed and served from a beverage dispenser. I served out of red wine quickly, and was embarrassed that recommended four bottles. Red wine is not popular at summer parties, but as soon as the weather starts cooling down, it becomes popular. One of the organizers ran out a bought more.

20 year class reunions are fun, because they often awkward at first, but as soon as the guests loosen up with drinks, everyone has a great time. This was a fairly small class with only 90 in their graduating class, and 60 guests showed up. They played songs from 1997, and it just doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was 20 years. I think everybody had a good time.

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Shots!

This coming weekend I will be traveling to Rosamond with another bartender to bartend a 150 guest wedding, and then on Sunday will drive to Orange County to do an event in Villa Park. Later this month I have events scheduled in San Marino, Yucca Valley, Newport Beach, and Highland. Follow us on Instagram if you haven’t done so already.

Two Days, Two Birthday Parties for Shaken Not Stirred

29 Aug
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Backyard bar in Mission Viejo

On Friday I traveled south to Mission Viejo to bartend a going away/birthday party, and then on Saturday traveled south again to bartend a 50th birthday party in Hawthorne. I had done a previous party for the hosts at Mission Viejo, and it was the only time I have ever been late to an event. There was an accident on the freeway and I ending up arriving thirty minutes late. Driving south into Orange County on a Friday can be brutal, so I leave hours in advance. I work out at LA Fitness if I have time to kill, and they have two really nice clubs in Mission Viejo.

The hosts at Mission Viejo are moving to Nashville, and I am sorry to see them go. I jokingly said for them to book me on a party in Nashville. The host who is British and very blunt said, “Ok, but you buy your own f#$%^g ticket!” I will buy my ticket, because I want to see Nashville and have never been there. They say that it is booming.

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Friends hang at the bar in Mission Viejo

The talk of the party was of the upcoming Mayweather/McGregor fight. The overwhelming opinion was that McGregor was going down. My British friend predicted a first round knock out. Someone else said it would go longer because people would be pissed otherwise, after paying to watch it. I agreed with that, but there have been a few of those pay-per-view fights that have ended in the first couple of rounds.

The next morning I finished the shopping for my clients in Hidden Hills – they were having a party for the fight night. I bought all of the supplies for them. It is an extra service I provide for a fee. I had to send another bartender to bartend the fight night party because I had previously booked the 50th birthday party in Hawthorne. So I dropped the supplies off and set up the bar, and then turned around and drove to Hawthorne to do the birthday party.  

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50th “White” birthday party

50th birthday parties tend to be kind of wild for some reason. I guess people suddenly realize that they are a half century old and they let loose, rebelling against the idea of middle age. This party was no different – I poured a lot of shots. Good Cop/ Bad Cop provided the live music and they were great. They had the fight on toward the end. Yes, McGregor would have gone down if the ref didn’t stop it, but it went ten rounds and people got their money’s worth.

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Cucumber/jalapeno margarita made with fresh vegetables from host’s garden

This weekend I get to stick close to home. I have one event in Winnetka, here in the SFV, and another near Hancock Park.  Later this month I have events in Fillmore, San Diego, Mission Viejo

Santa Monica 40th Birthday

30 May
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Guests arrive to Santa Monica 40th Birthday party

On Saturday I bartended a 40th birthday party in Santa Monica as I am still recovering from a fractured rib. I took a friend to help me, and am grateful to have the help, but feel like I am recovered enough to do jobs myself now. It is amazing how quickly this has gotten better, because just a week ago, I couldn’t even drive a car. I realize I am not 100 percent yet, and I am only doing the events I already have scheduled for the next few weeks.

The birthday party in Santa Monica took place on the courtyard of an apartment complex. Many apartment complexes around town have common areas or club houses where people can have parties. I set up my bar in one corner of the courtyard, and the caterer, Hampton’s Catering, set up his station right next to me.

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Barback Steve sits behind portable bar

I made Moscow Mules, Old Fashioneds, Dirty martinis, and Margaritas for about 50 guests. The way I like to make margaritas now is by using tequila, organic fresh lime juice, and a shot of agave nectar. I rim the glass with salt, and I had many fans of this simple margarita. The classic Old Fashioned was the second most popular drink of the night.

40th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Provide good music
  • Hire a caterer
  • Backyard or courtyard party

I think parties like this are so much nicer than meeting in a restaurant to celebrate. Even with caterer, bartender, and supplies, a person can put on a party like this for under $1000. What is $1000 when it comes to celebrating such an important milestone. Of course, you can go bigger and hire a DJ or even live entertainment.

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Hampton’s Catering sets up

This weekend I believe I will be bartendting another 40th birthday party right here in Van Nuys, and then the following week I will be doing events in Orange County, and in Rolling Hills Estates. Hopefully by next month I will be back at 100 percent and fully recovered.  

Two South Orange County Events

3 Apr

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for two South Orange County events in Dana Point and a few miles away in Laguna Niguel. It is a beautiful area and a great time of the year to visit and experience outdoor events there. On Friday night I bartended a rehearsal dinner and served approximately 80 guests, and then on Saturday I provided service at a birthday party at a fantastic home overlooking the coast in Laguna Niguel.

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Dana Point Harbor

When I arrived to the rehearsal dinner on Friday night there were already many guests self serving themselves at the bar and I immediately got the sinking feeling I had somehow got the time wrong and I was late. I am phobic about being late and am always on time and even way early. I was not late, the party just started early in this case. I scrambled to get prepared, but it was easy because the wedding planner had already prepped the bar for me.

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Friends share a drink at Dana Point Rehearsal Party

They held the event at a rental house from Air B&B that had a very nice back yard perfect for events. Many of the Air B&B rentals allow guests to have parties as long as they pay large deposits and adhere to all of the guidelines. Many of the people at this event traveled from different parts of the country.

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Shots!

South Orange County

  • Laguna Niguel
  • Dana Point
  • San Clemente
  • Mission Viejo
  • San Juan Capistrano
  • Laguna Beach

I made margaritas and other simple mixed drinks and served wine and beer. It was a good warm up for the wedding, which was being held at a hotel the following night. I had also helped the bride and groom make a shopping list for supplies for their wedding. I hope that worked out for them.

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Sunset Laguna Niguel

I stayed in the area and the next night I went to a fantastic home up on the hill in Laguna Niguel to bartend a birthday party. The view from the backyard was incredible. To the north you could see Laguna Beach, to the south, Dana Point, and then of course due west was the Pacific Ocean, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Catalina Island. The backyard bar was the perfect perch for all of that.

I brought my jalapeno margarita mix and also made Pisco Sours for the specialty drinks. About thirty guests were in attendance. Diverse DJ Events provided the music, and Taquero Juan Celio (714) 687-6825, provided the tacos. It was a great evening in a killer location. Next weekend I have potential job in Palm Desert on Friday, and then a birthday party in Sherman Oaks on Saturday. Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.