Tag Archives: Palmdale

Shaken Not Stirred Provides Bar Catering for Two September Weddings

14 Sep
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Picturesque, but hot!

 

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering service for two fantastic weddings. Weddings like these take months of planning, and many different vendors are involved, including the wedding coordinator, the caterer, the bartending service, the DJ, insurance companies, the photographer, the florist, and the venue. I am happy to be part of that process, and spend much time writing emails back and forth, and on the phone with grooms, brides, and wedding planners. It is also always nice to see a wedding executed as planned.

When I arrived in Indio at the Desert Ridge Estate, I got out of my car and was surprised how blazing hot it was. I had done a wedding in Joshua Tree the weekend before and it was a pleasant 90F. I had not checked the weather report, and it was a sweltering 116F in Indio. The bar was set up outside in the direct sunlight. The DJ was rolling with sweat as he set up his equipment. I wondered how I was going to make it with several hours of sunlight left.

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The sun finally goes down

The guests and wedding party were just as shocked by the high temperatures. Almost all of the guests were from Canada and not used to such extreme hot weather. Well, we got through it somehow, and I have never been so happy to see the sun go down. I served one signature drink, a prohibition era cocktail called Bee’s Knees, and it is made with gin, lemon juice, and honey. The drink was a hit and I served completely out of it.

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Shots!

Bar Catering Tips

  • Hire a licensed bar caterer
  • Let the bar caterer make you a shopping list
  • Choose specialty drinks that can be served quickly
  • Hire more than one bartender for weddings over 100
  • Always make sure to buy plenty of ice

The next morning, I got up and prepared to drive from Indio to Palmdale for the second wedding of the weekend. The heat from the day before had taken a lot of out of me and I was dragging. I drove up the 15 and took the back road to Palmdale across the high desert. It is a scenic drive, and I was feeling much better by the time I arrived in Palmdale.

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Man and wife take their first walk together

The wedding was held at Hacienda Reyes, a very nice venue in the hills above Palmdale. I set up my portable bar in a small gazebo on the property. The weather was much nicer than the day before – a chilly 92F. I made simple drinks and served beer to approximately 75 guests. I think everyone was happy.

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Shots!

This weekend I will be returning to the Desert to the Cree Estate to do another wedding, then I have a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar in the morning at Rancho Palos Verdes, and then that afternoon I am doing bar catering for a wedding reception in Irvine. Please follow us on Instagram.

Palmdale Rehearsal Dinner

22 Jun
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Tent setup in driveway for Palmdale Rehearsal Dinner

Last Saturday I drove to Palmdale to bartend a wedding rehearsal dinner at a private home. It was one of the first hot days of the summer and the temp was 104 when I arrived. The host had tents setup in the yard and driveway. There was a tent for me, another for the DJ, and a big tent for the guests.

My mom was in town visiting, so I asked the host if I could bring her along, and she helped out. I served margaritas, beer, and wine to approximately 70 guests. I used my drink dispenser and premixed margaritas – that makes service faster when I am working large events by myself. My mom helped serve beer, and wine and she helped cut the cake.

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DJ Bryan K in Palmdale

The DJ Bryan K setup in his own tent and spun tunes throughout the night. He just moved here from Maryland and quizzed me on how to get jobs in the LA area. I was happy to help him and I am always happy to help other event professionals, including caterers and photographers get more jobs. I get jobs from caterers I have worked with in the past, and I want to return the favor. The idea is to get a whole network of event vendors working together and helping each other out.

Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

  • Do it in your backyard
  • Hire a bartender
  • Provide some form of entertainment
  • Invite people who can’t attend wedding
  • Serve great food

The host did the food herself for this rehearsal dinner. She got a fried chicken, potato salad and other fixins from the local grocery store. Everybody was just fine with that. A rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be fancy. The host told me that this party was mainly for the people who could not attend the actual wedding that will take place in a different location later this summer. Most of the people were family members and everybody seemed to get along well.

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My mom helps me bartend in Palmdale

This weekend I have three events. Tomorrow I will bartend a cocktail party in Pacific Palisades. Saturday I am doing a backyard wedding south of downtown LA. On Sunday I am driving out to Mentone, past Redlands to bartend a baby shower. I have many events already booked in July, including Fourth of July parties, a wedding in San Diego, and many other events throughout the month.

Rolling Hills Estates High School Graduation Party

13 Jun
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Scenic Rolling Hills Estates

Last Saturday I drove to the South Bay to bartend a high school graduation party in scenic Rolling Hills Estates. Of course, high school graduates are not yet of drinking age, but I served the graduates soft drinks, and mixed harder stuff for their parents and older siblings. The party took place at a very nice property, with a well stocked home bar.

I made Old Fashioneds, Dry Martinis, Margaritas, and Mojitos for approximately sixty guests. This was a much different party than the one I attended when I graduated high school. Ours was in a garage and we had a keg of beer and we all got really drunk. That was a different time and place over thirty years ago. These high school graduates are going off the universities like Tulane, and USC next year.

The host makes his own wine from grapes he grows himself on his property. I forget the name of the grape he uses, but I had never heard of it before. I decanted a couple of bottles and the guests loved it. He even has his own stylish labels on the bottles. He also makes Grappa, and limoncello.

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Home made wine from Rolling Hills

Graduation Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Serve great food
  • Invite the parents
  • Play great music

The party went on until midnight and they had a dance floor setup in the living room. It was a very nice graduation party, and I’m sure the graduates will always have fond memories of it. I met some good people who took my card and I hope they will call me for future jobs. I have a long history in the South Bay and I always enjoying back there.

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Home bar at Rolling Hills

Tomorrow I am doing a junior high graduation party in Encino. I will make virgin drinks for approximately 40 kids. I have done a few non alcoholic events. This coming Saturday I will drive out the Palmdale to bartend a wedding rehearsal party. I have other events later this month in Los Angeles and in Oxnard. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram if you haven’t done so already.

Palmdale 21st Birthday Party

11 Jun
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Summer clouds in Palmdale

I drove up to Palmdale last night to bartend a 21st Birthday party. It was actually a dual birthday party, because the host and his son had birthdays just days apart and it was a joint celebration. I have done several parties in the Palmdale/Lancaster area, and it usually a nice drive out there.

This was a party that booked the day before, so I didn’t spend a lot of time preparing and talking to the host about it. He texted me and said they would be having Mojitos, Margaritas, and another drink called a Flying Dragon. I just showed up and set up my portable bar, though we hadn’t discussed that. I always carry it with me, so if I need to use it, I can.

21st Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Invent theme cocktails
  • Take the car keys
  • Call Uber to take people home
  • Hire a band

The Flying Dragon consists of Dragonberry Bacardi rum. That is rum infused with strawberries and dragon fruit. You pour two parts rum, one part Sprite, and one part lemonade. People described it as tasting like a popsicle. It was definitely a hit with the younger crowd. Tacos were provided by Taquizas Diana (661) 878-0936. They also rent tables, chairs, jumpers, and linens. The host also got a jumper for the kids. I remember when I was a kid, the only time we got to use a jumper was at the annual carnival, and how excited we were.

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Jumpers keep the kids busy

The weather has been very weird here this month. Talk about June Gloom. I have a back yard retirement party tonight in Woodland Hills, and the weather is not nice at all. I have a baby shower in Woodland Hills tomorrow during the day that is also going to be outdoors and the forecast calls for drizzle. I am ready for some heat after this extended gloom. Next weekend I am driving to San Diego to bartend a wedding, and hopefully this gloom will have lifted. 

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Friends celebrate 21st birthday party

Palmdale Grand Opening Bartender

25 Oct
Rob bartending in Palmdale

Rob bartending in Palmdale

Palmdale Mayor, James Ledford Jr.

Palmdale Mayor, James Ledford Jr.

Rob getting an awesome chair massage

Rob getting an awesome chair massage

Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Palmdale again Friday to bartend the grand opening of a new business. This was strictly a non-alcoholic event and I served virgin Pina Colladas, and Cucumber Coolers, along with several other soft drinks. I have another non-alcoholic event scheduled next month, and I have several interesting drink recipes I am going to try on that one. I brought my portable bar to the Palmdale grand opening, and a server.

The mayor of Palmdale, James Ledford Jr. was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony. He must be doing something right because he has served 11 terms as mayor of that city. I have got to give it to him, he delivered a pretty articulate and smooth speech for the ribbon cutting ceremony. He certainly has the public speaking skills of a seasoned politician. It was the first grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony I have had the pleasure of working, and I hope to do many more.

They had two massage therapists on hand at the event, who were giving complimentary chair massages to promote their service. My server and I each had a five minute massage. The girl who was working on me discovered several knots in my back and she really worked them out quickly. I must say, my back feels 100 percent better after that and I highly recommend them, Allied Physical Medicine, in Palmdale.

The company that was having the grand opening is MY CARE Professionals, and they provide in home care for seniors in Los Angeles County. The directors of the company seemed like super people and I wish them the best with their new office. I have done many corporate events in the past year, and am bartending a non-profit event in Westlake village next week.

After I post this, I will start preparing for a wedding today in Cherry Valley at the Edward Dean Museum. This will be my first time working this venue. Next weekend I will be bartending in Palm Springs on Saturday, and it would be nice to get a Halloween party there on Friday night.

 

 

Palmdale Engagement Party Bartender

19 Oct

Last night I was the party bartender at a Palmdale backyard engagement party. I have worked many backyard engagement parties, weddings, Christenings, and birthday parties that were very nice. The party rental companies come out and set up a tent and all of the tables. For last night’s party I used my portable bar and set up in one corner of the yard next to the photo booth. The DJ sets up in another area, and the caterer in another. I forgot to bring my camera and had to take pictures with my phone that didn’t come out so good, but you get the idea what it looks like.

As a party bartender, I tend to always be loaded for bear – meaning that I prepare for the busiest possible circumstances. The engagement party last night had 125 guests in attendance, and I was bartending by myself, so I had to make sure I had everything I needed at my disposal. Unlike many other parties I have bartended recently, the guests at this event were drinkers and I served out of all of the alcohol and most of the beer by the time I finished at eleven.

To give you an idea, that was three 1.75 bottles of vodka, five 750ml bottles of Ciroc vodka, eight cases of beer, and seven bottles of wine. So, I by myself served hundred of drinks. I had a steady flow of customers coming to the bar for five hours straight. I am not complaining, I like it that way. I enjoy bartending, and going to new places every weekend, and meeting a whole new group of people. One of my customers said it – “Everybody loves a party bartender.” It’s true, I have had mostly positive experiences on every job I have done.

This was the third event I have bartended in the Palmdale/Lancaster, Antelope

Mariachis at Palmdale engagement party

Mariachis at Palmdale engagement party

Portable bar set up

Portable bar set up

Backyard engagement party

Backyard engagement party

Mongols on the loose!

Mongols on the loose!

Valley area. I don’t mid driving out there, but the road at night can be a little dicey. For some reason, and this doesn’t happen often in California, but people like to drive the speed limit in the fast lane on Highway 14. It creates a dangerous situation as cars driving faster try to get around the slow moving cars. Last night I passed on the right hand side four members of the Mongol’s Motorcycle “club” driving in the fast lane. That was a little unnerving.

I had many calls to do Halloween parties next weekend, but I had to turn them down, because I am bartending a wedding in the Inland Empire. I am still available on Friday, October 31 for a Halloween party and will probably get one. Next month I have several birthday parties booked and a corporate event. I was thinking that November might be the lull before the Holiday season. The fact is that Los Angeles and Southern California is home to millions of people, and thousands of them are going to be hiring bartenders on any given month.

Los Angeles Bartending Service Goes Mobile for Three Events

13 Oct

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bartending service went mobile this weekend and did three fantastic events in Encino, Temecula, and San Diego.  This was the second weekend in a row where I have done three events, and I am truly grateful.  I am getting calls from Google searches, which is the reason I write this blog. My Yelp page is also very helpful.

My first event was a surprise 30th birthday party in Encino. The host called me on Wednesday and asked if I was available for Friday. He called from my Yelp profile. I love getting last minute calls and if I am available I will most likely do them. I brought my martini glasses for the party and people drank dirty vodka martinis, Cosmos, and Cucumber martinis. The guest of honor was truly surprised and seemed to be elated by the party her husband arranged. I have said this before, but it is kind of cool to be present at important milestones in people’s lives.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and didn’t get any good

Future brides at Temecula wedding

Future brides at Temecula wedding

Crowded dance floor in Temecula

Crowded dance floor in Temecula

Shots!

Shots!

pictures.

On Saturday I had to drive out to Temecula to do a wedding that I booked months ago. When I booked the job, I didn’t realize that getting to Temecula is quite a journey. I had to transition on about five different freeways. The traffic was very heavy and I arrived right on time. Mia helped me with this one, and as always did a fantastic job. The signature cocktail was the Ciaprioska, which is like the Caipriana, but uses vodka instead of rum. The recipe requires muddling brown sugar with limes and pouring over vodka and ice, and then adding a splash of soda. They provided regular granulated sugar which is not quite the same, but we made it work. We operated two separate bars, inside and outside the house. In the end, I think the bride and groom were very happy.

On Sunday I booked a last minute gig in San Diego. I normally don’t do events in San Diego, but since it is quite close to Temecula I decided to do it. The event was held in a sukkah, which is a traditional tent constructed for the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. I did a presentation and gin tasting for forty men in the sukkah. It was a great experience. I researched the four gins we served, Bombay Sapphire, Old Tom, Hendricks, and Plymouth Navy Strength, and gave a brief presentation on the history of gin.  Everybody seemed to have a great time.  So, this was a weekend where mobile was the key word in mobile Los Angeles bartending service.

Next weekend I go mobile again and am doing an engagement party in Palmdale. I have a wedding to do on the 25th in the Inland Empire, and then a birthday party to do in Palm Springs on November 1. I am still available to do a Halloween party on October 31. I have had calls to do Halloween parties on October 25, but was not available.