Tag Archives: pool parties

Palm Springs Pool Party

9 Apr
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Palm Spring party pad

Palm Springs is probably the pool party capital of the world, and there are rental houses all over that town devoted to that. Last Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred was in the house making cocktails for the host’s 40th birthday party at the Palm Springs party pad. This particular home is a six bedroom place with a very nice pool and outdoor bar.

New ordinances in Palm Springs ban outdoor music, which is kind of a buzz kill. Also, after 9pm guests can not make noise in the pool area. The hard partying ways of the old Palm Springs are a thing of the past with these new ordinances. I saw the signs posted near the bar area and I thought, what a bummer – regulations that limit fun? However, as the day went on, I kind of liked it – we are exposed to so much noise pollution all the time, it was kind of nice to just listen to the wind rustling through the trees.

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My bar station

I set up the bar out by the pool, and made several specialty drinks for the guests. I served my Spicy Jalapeno Margaritas, Cucumber Mint Gin and Tonics, Moscow Mules, Pimm’s Cup, and Manhattans. I also served different non alcoholic drinks for some of the guests. It was pretty windy, but not too hot. A great day for a pool party. When I bartend pool parties, I don’t just stand behind the bar and wait for guests to come to me. I take drink orders poolside.

Palm Springs Pool Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Use only plastic cups
  • Get some interesting floaties
  • Clothing optional
  • Keep the music inside your head

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    Pool party in progess with balloon arch

Some of the guests surprised the birthday boy with a balloon vendor. Baloony Tunes of Cathedral City came and setup a balloon arch for photo ops. Like I said, it was fairly windy, so that presented a problem for the balloon display, but it lasted long enough for the guests to get some cool photos. As I was finishing up for the day a private chef, Sarena Nelson was preparing the big birthday dinner. She looks very talented and hopefully I will work with her again.

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Strict new rules for Palm Springs

This weekend I get to stay close to home and will be bartending a private event in Westwood. I have other events in the LA area later this month. Next month will be very busy with graduation parties, weddings, and birthday parties. Please follow us on Instagram.

 

Hollywood Screening Event

27 Jun

Last night Shaken Not Stirred did another week night event in Hollywood. I’ve been doing a weeknight corporate event almost every week for the past few weeks and I hope the trend continues – I love these gigs. Last night it was the premier of the second season of the Comedy Central series, Nathan For You. The event was held at the funky little theatre on Fairfax, Cinefamily

Beverage selection

Beverage selection

Terrance bar tending

Terrance bar tending

Industry mingling

Industry mingling

. The Theatre has a cool little outdoor space in the back for events like this with a bar.

I took a new bartender I have met with me, Terrance, who recently moved here from Rochester New York. We served around 180 people wine, beer, and sodas for about an hour before the screening, and then after the screening was over for a couple of hours. Stella Artois was the most popular beer of the night, followed by Ranger IPA. We served two highly rated wines for under $10 a bottle, Round Hill Chardonnay, and Gen 5 Cabernet.

I had made a shopping list for the event planner and he increased the beer order from what I had given him, which turned out to be a good thing – we went through almost all the beer. We served most of two cases of wine. Another successful event for Shaken Not Stirred. Another night in Hollywood where the television industry promotes its wares, and I hope to do many more events like this.

Tonight I am doing a cocktail party in Beverly Hills where we will be serving Manhattans, Whisky Sours, and Pomegranate martinis. I have twelve martini glasses I am bringing to the party, which makes it fun for everybody – including me. I love making martinis and pouring them into real martini glasses. I will do it again tomorrow night at a birthday party in San Clemente.

Shaken Not Stirred serves corporate events, screening, fundraisers, reunions, and openings. We also do birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, pool parties, barbecues, and holiday parties. I have booked a Fourth of July party in Newport Beach, which could be challenging, considering the traffic and parking situation. I will keep you posted.

Hollywood Engagement Party and Stevenson Ranch Cocktail Party

6 Apr

April 5th was a busy day for Shaken Not Stirred. We had an engagement party in Hollywood, which was the second in a two part series, as we did the first one in Chatsworth awhile back. Two twins are going to be married and I was a glad to be a part of both of their engagement parties, and hopefully will be present at their weddings. Both of the girls, their finances, and their parents couldn’t be nicer people.

I brought two servers and a barback with me to the engagement party. The servers were there to just make sure plates and cups and bottles were kept cleaned up. They had a pizza truck come with a portable woodfired oven and make pizzas. I didn’t get the company’s name, but will try to get it and ad it later.  There were about 85 people at the party and it went on until 2:00 am. I served pink grapefruit martinis, cosmos, and margaritas. Coronas and St. Archer were the beers of choice.

Meanwhile, at Stevenson Ranch, I had another bartender, Jessica on the scene to do a cocktail party. I double booked that date but everything turned out great. I don’t know a lot of the details, but I guess there were a lot of kids at the party, and Jessica made a selection of virgin drinks for them. She is a very dependable and competent bartender. Dependability is 90 percent in this business. I have never cancelled or been late to an event, and in fact it is my policy to arrive ½ hour early to set up at no extra charge.

Next weekend I am doing a birthday party in El Monte, then another birthday party on Thursday in Woodland hills. I have a big wedding in Valencia later this month and am taking extra staff with me on that one. I have some dates booked in May and am doing a wedding in Fillmore, where I have never gone before. I have other dates booked in June, and as far out as September, but so far July is wide open and I hope to start filling that month up. I would like to do some reunions and pool parties and a Forth of July party

Back yard engagement party bar

Back yard engagement party bar

My crew in Hollywood

My crew in Hollywood

Hollywood engagement party heating up

Hollywood engagement party heating up

. It’s going to be a hot summer! You can now follow me on Twitter.

Pomona Birthday Party

2 Feb

I started February off with bang as I bartended a birthday party in Pomona. The party was set up by the pool in the backyard. They had a great setup for parties, and as it gets warmer, I can imagine they will have some fantastic pool parties – if the neighbors don’t get fed up with the noise. I would say 40 plus people were in attendance, and it appeared to me the party was a great success and it was still going strong when I left at eleven.

They had one of those portable plastic bars that I have used at banquet halls. I looked into buying one, and they cost over $3000 new, and I would need a van to transport it. They are always great to work with because they have a built in ice tub, and room for all the mixers, garnishes, etc. They also had a keg set up with the coil cooling system and C02. They had Heineken on tap and it poured like a dream.

Mai Tais seemed to be the drink of the night, followed by Jack and Coke. I poured many shots of Patron and I went through a 1.75 liter bottle, just doing that. They had their own tents, patio heaters, and a DJ set up, so once everybody ate, the dance floor heated up. In addition to the DJ, they had two live acts perform. I meant to get those people’s cards, but they left before I got a chance. If you look around my blog, I have added the links to many great performers, including DJ’s, acoustic guitar players, steel drums bands, and Mariachis.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday and I don’t have any Super Bowl parties booked. It seems that people are often looking for female bartenders for the football game. I do have some great female bartenders who often work for me, and I can send them out if I get some advance notice. I usually do last minute gigs myself, and if someone calls me today, I will probably go out.

I am booking many weddings for the Spring now. I have weddings booked now for every month up to October. I will be going to Valencia, Mira Loma, Palm Springs, Camp Pendleton, Temecula, and Fillmore for weddings. My business seems to be picking up considerably and I am looking forward to a great year. Book your party now, to avoid last minute panic.

Makeshift Beer Tap

Makeshift Beer Tap

Portable bar on rollers

Portable bar on rollers

Dance Floor

Dance Floor

La Quinta Costume Party and Eagle Rock Wedding

3 Nov

Friday night I worked a small costume party at a private residence in La Quinta. As I do more and more jobs I am starting to know neighborhoods – this place was just across the street from where I did another job. The house had a very nice granite bar, as most of the homes in La Quinta do. The bar was stocked with just about everything. There were probably thirty guests and most were dressed in costume. I dressed as Lloyd the bartender from “The Shining.” I don’t know if everybody from the party got that. I told one lady who I was supposed to be, and she recoiled immediately – “Get away from me! Not THAT creepy bartender!”

It was nice serving drinks in real glassware for a change. Most of the guests drank wine, but I made a few classic martinis and some mixed drinks. The guests had a short cocktail hour and then dined by the pool. It was a very nice and low key party, and I was happy to do it. I like going to the Palm Springs/Indian Wells/La Quinta area and the season is just gearing up out there.  Somebody called me Saturday morning and wanted me to do a last minute day time gig in Palm Springs, but I had to decline because I had to get to the wedding in Eagle Rock that was booked months in advance. Somebody else called me to do a gig in Orange County and I had to decline that one too.  

Saturday night I bartended the wedding in Eagle Rock. It was held at the 20th Century Women’s Club

"I've always been the bartender"

“I’ve always been the bartender”

The 20th Century Women's Club back yard

The 20th Century Women’s Club back yard

of Eagle Rock. This was the first time I had ever worked that venue. It is a very cool old building with a nice back yard where the ceremony was held. It seemed like a very nice place to hold a wedding and was a very relaxed atmosphere compared to some of the venues I have worked.

The specialty drinks of the night were the bride’s special, which was El Presidente brandy and Horchata, and the groom’s special which was strawberry lemonade and Tangueray gin. I served a lot of wine and beer also. This party was booked months in advance, which I suppose is the right way to do it. They hired four servers from another company and rented glassware. I can also provide servers and glassware –ask me for a quote. In the end, many of the guests helped break down and clean up the party, which I have never seen before. If you are thinking about having a holiday or birthday party or any other kind of event in November or December book it now!

Last Minute Party in Newport Beach and Palm Springs Wedding

6 Oct

I was a home on Sunday afternoon, contemplating going to the beach when the phone rang. Someone was a having a party and the bartender didn’t show up – no show, no call. “How fast can you get to Newport beach?”  the guy wanted a to know. “About an hour,” I said. So I put on my bartending clothes, grabbed my gear and drove to Orange County from the San Fernando Valley.

When I arrived the party was in full swing. It was a child’s birthday party but there were probably sixty adults there and were bartending for themselves.  Chaos at the bar! I hate to be thrown into the fire, so to speak, but I got behind the bar and everything settled down quickly.  I served margaritas, lots of wine and even a mojito or two.  In the end I was glad I came and I was planning to go to the beach, and I did get there. I can’t always do last minute gigs, but you might as well call, because I might be able to.

Yesterday I did a wedding in Palm Springs at the Henry Mancini Estate. This was something that was booked months ago and involved much planning. I brought three girls with me – one barback and two servers. It was a little stressful because one of the girls I had scheduled cancelled and I had to scramble to find somebody else hours before the event. I found someone locally in Palm Springs and she showed up and did a great job.

There were a little over 100 people in attendance and we had two bars set up – one for a cocktail hour by the pool, and one next to the dining/reception area. It all went pretty smoothly and I think a great success. The only problem was that the ice didn’t arrive until ten minutes before we were supposed to start serving. It took awhile for the beer to get cold, but much worse things could have happened. The favorite drink of the night: “ The Groomsman” – Crown Royal and Coke.

I’m looking forward to the holiday season. I have many events booked but still have many dates open in December. Shaken Not Served serves the entire Southern California region.

Cocktail Hour by the pool

Cocktail Hour by the pool

My crew with "El Padrino"

My crew with “El Padrino”

The bartender and "El Padrino"

The “Bar Manager” and “El Padrino”

June Birthday Parties

2 Jul

The last two weeks in June I bartended two birthday parties – a 40th birthday bash in Valley Glen, and a 90th Hawaiian themed birthday party in Newberry Park, Ventura County. Both were virtually last minute requests which I was happy to oblige. The host of the 40th birthday party called me the day of, and the party was literally three blocks from my house. The 90th birthday party was hosted by the celebrant’s daughter and she contacted me three days in advance. It does not take months to hire a bartender and host a successful party – if I am available I can help you make a shopping list and I show up, simple as that.

The 4oth birthday party in Valley Glen was a raucous affair and we went through 6 large bottles of Grey Goose, three bottle of Johnny Walker Black, and four bottles of tequila for a party of fifty, plus a whole lot of beer. I brought my blender and made blended margaritas. Chilled tequila and vodka shots were also popular. Heineken was the beer of choice. Catering was provided by Familia Perez, (213) 321-7229, and they put out an excellent spread of tacos, quesadillas, and burritos made to order. I arrived at 5 and was done by midnight.

I had never done a 90th birthday party before and didn’t know what to expect. The host was the birthday girl’s daughter and wanted to do something special for her mom. They had invited around thirty guests and the host didn’t want to to spend the entire time making drinks. She had never hired a bartender before and was reluctant. I made Mai Tais from a recipe she gave me and they were a hit at the Hawaiian themed party. Long Board beer was the beer of choice. The Poi Pounders (310) 534-1404 provided Hawaiian music, and really made it special for the birthday girl. I have never seen a ninety year old lady so happy. In the end, I think the host was very glad that she hired me, because she and her husband were able to relax and mingle with guests as I made the drinks.

I have three dates booked in July – two big weddings and another Hawaiian themed party. I am still open for the Forth of July. Remember, Shaken Not Stirred will also do Sunday pool parties, Friday night parties, and events on the weeknights. Don’t hesitate to call – if I can’t accommodate you, I can probably recommend somebody.

Set up for 90th party

Set up for 90th party

poipounders

To book them call (310) 534-1404

birthdaygirl

The Birthday girl holds court!

Shaken Not Stirred serves the entire Southern California area.            

Sherwood Forest 50th Birthday Party Mixologist

2 Jun

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Katie doing her thing

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Mixologist Rob mixing a concoction

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Got Patron?

June 2, was date of a 50th birthday party in the exclusive San Fernando Valley hamlet of Sherwood Forest (formerly, Northridge). My clients went all out and decorated the backyard pool area to create a memorable event for the birthday girl. I brought a server, Katie (who has worked with me several times)  to help with the food, while I manned the bar.

Our client rented a bar, tables and chairs from a party rental company. It’s always nice to have a real bar as opposed to a table set up, and makes me think I need to get one, but then I would need a truck to haul it in. In reality a table works fine and in the end the guests don’t really care where their excellent drinks come from.

I’ve never called myself a “mixologist”,  I’m old school and that word seems a little pretentious, but I was the hired mixologist of the night. I’ll take it. The host came up with an excellent drink menu. I served Margaritas, Cadillac Margaritas, Bay Breezes, Cosmos, and a couple of specialty drinks that were favorites of my clients. The most popular cocktail of the night was the Island Breeze: Malibu rum, Blue Curacao, and pineapple juice, garnished with pineapple and a cherry. Shock Top and Corona Light were the beers of the night. Arnold Palmers were the non-alcoholic drink of choice.

The guests dined on Mexican food from a local restaurant and deserts made by the host. Overall, the party seemed to be a smashing success. The forecast called for triple digit weather, but as the sun went down the weather was perfect for backyard partying. Plan your summer party today and let us help you. Shaken Not Stirred serves the San Fernando Valley, the LA Basin, and pretty much the whole Southern California area. We’ll go anywhere in the world if the price is right! Now that I’m a mixologist, I’m sure I can get gigs in Europe, South America, the Far East, and Down Under.

Seriously, Shaken Not Stirred is serious about summer birthday parties, weddings, pool parties, class reunions, openings, and all other events. Several dates in July are already booked, but I have many skilled bartenders available. Call or email for rates and availability. I had two last minute calls yesterday and couldn’t fill them on such short notice, but don’t hesitate to call, because sometimes I can.

La Quinta Executive Retreat

29 Apr

The last weekend in April I was hired to bar tend an executive retreat at a fantastic home located within the PGA West La Quinta Resort. It was a different kind of gig than I am used to doing, because we were only serving 11 people. They requested a server also and I contracted a local girl to help me. The house had a great set up for entertaining, including two marble bars, an incredible pool and Jacuzzi, fire pits and first class barbecue grill.

The temperature was over 90 and the executives stayed in the pool for the first couple of hours. I made a vodka punch with Kettle One, cranberry juice, and sliced oranges that went over well. The chef/caterer, Laz Jefferson, served appetizers which included some of the best grilled prawns I have ever tasted. A few of the guests moved inside to the bar and enjoyed Cuba Libres ala Captain Morgan, while one of the execs played background music on the piano.

Later, everyone dressed and we set the table for dinner. Laz Jefferson created an incredible meal which included tri-tip, halibut, grilled vegetables, a mixed green salad, and rice. The server I hired and I helped serve the meal while the guests discussed their business. I have found that “invisible service” is called for in situations like these. Sometimes guests want to be entertained by bartenders and servers, and this was not one of those times – business was at hand. I am capable of doing both kinds of service and know the difference. I decanted and served the wine, which was a fine Napa Valley Cabernet. The night ended with an incredible hand-crafted desert by Chef, Laz Jefferson, and after dinner drinks hand crafted by me.   laquinta

Shaken Not Stirred pulled off another successful in the desert. The pool party season has officially begun, and we are geared up for it. Shaken Not Stirred provides bartenders and servers all over Southern California for pool parties, executive retreats, weddings, birthday parties, and corporate functions. We serve Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties. Book your event today because dates are filling up for the summer season.

Bartending All Over Southern California

29 Aug

August is winding down and the summer parties and weddings will continue through the Labor Day weekend. Fall is coming and hopefully cooler weather as people have Indian Summer weddings, birthday parties, and other events before the holiday season kicks off. The past two weekends have kept me busy traveling to events in Camarillo (VenturaCounty), Los Alamitos (OrangeCounty), and Pasadena in Los Angeles County.

I did a housewarming party in Camarillo where the hosts invited fifty people to show off their new house and pool. My clients set up a bar for me in the kitchen, which worked perfectly fine, as the guests mingled on the patio and around the pool. A taco bar was set up outside provided by Frankie’s Catering of Oxnard,  (805) 512-1919.  Many kids where in attendance, and I made a bunch of Shirley Temples. As far as the adults were concerned – the Mai Tai was the drink of the night. I like making Mai Tais because they are a layered drink. I use white rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and a splash of grenadine, then top it off with a Myers Rum floater.

Last weekend, I worked a baby shower in Los Alamitos, and that was definitely a first for me. The host invited thirty ladies for the shower and they served sandwiches, salads, and Champagne. When the host originally hired me we came up with a drink menu, but at the last minute they decided on Champagne only. The host purchased Hibiscus flowers that are soaked in maraschino syrup. I put the flowers with a bit of syrup in the bottom of each champagne flute, and the effect is quite dramatic. It really makes the champagne look classy and it doesn’t affect the taste much. The hibiscus flowers are edible as well. You can purchase the hibiscus flowers in syrup here.

The baby shower was a success and wrapped up around four p.m. and I was on my way home from OrangeCounty when I received a text from another staffing company that I help out from time to time. They wanted to know if I could help them out with a wedding party in Pasadena at six p.m. I told them yes, thinking it would be another great bartending shift. Well, I was quite wrong about that. When I got there on time I was told that I would be doing “scullery” and the captain of the party led me straight to the dish rack where dirty dishes were already piling up.

I though about bailing out right then, but I didn’t because it was plain to see they were up the creek without a paddle. For the next several hours I probably washed 600 dishes. I certainly gave me an appreciation of what dishwashers do. I wasn’t too happy that I had been tricked into dish washing, but I survived. That staffing company does owe me one though. I won’t be so easily tricked the next time.  

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I am currently working on getting a couple of big weddings in October, but so far the schedule for September is pretty open. I usually get a couple of last minute calls and am glad to take them. I do also have a couple of great female bartenders and servers available. Shaken Not Stirred services the entire Southern California area, including, Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, and San BernardinoCounties.