Tag Archives: private bartender

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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San Clemente Company Christmas Party

12 Dec
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Guests sit around the fire at company Christmas party.

Friday night I drove all the way down to the bottom of Orange County to bartend a company Christmas party in San Clemente. This was the fourth time I have gone to Orange County in the past thirty days. I am finally getting to know my way around OC, and I used to always get lost down there behind the “Orange Curtain”.

San Clemente is a beautiful place indeed and it must be a pleasure to live there. This company Christmas party I did was a referral from another client I had in San Clemente, which is always nice. I worked with the host to come up with a drink menu and shopping list. The host wanted three holiday specialty cocktails and they chose a Gingerbread cocktail, a Candy Kane cocktail and a Pomegranate Margarita. All three drinks were a hit with the guests.

Taquizas Armeria Colima (714) 904-4949 of Orange County provided the catering and they served some great tacos. The host also served some really good homemade eggnog, of course spiked with Maker’s Mark. In the end I served various shots, including a gingerbread shot, and Kamikazes.

Company Christmas Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Secretly videotape and record everyone
  • Fire employees that don’t show up
  • Evaluate employees at party
  • Just kidding…

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    Shots!

The hosts were very happy with my service and said they would hire me again next year. The secret to being successful as a private bartender is showing up early, being prepared, and being of maximum service. Everything seems to fall into place if I consistently do those three things.  So far I have done over 300 events as Shaken Not Stirred and have yet to receive a bad review.

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Los Angeles Private Bartender Does 4 Events in 4 Days

10 Aug
Guests mingle at Hollywood event

Guests mingle at Hollywood event

The Los Angeles private bartender service, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending at four different events in LA last weekend. Thursday night there was a corporate event at a post production facility in Hollywood, then on Saturday, a 30th birthday party in Marina Dell Rey, and wrapping up the weekend was a surprise pool party in Culver City. This was a rare weekend when Shaken Not Stirred did not have to leave Los Angeles County.

I was hired by a party planner to do the corporate event in Hollywood.  They had some special requests and wanted me to make a Jicama Cucumber margarita mix, which I had never done before. They gave me the recipe and I got it done, and I think the drink was a hit at the party. If you have a special request for any kind of mixer like this, please ask me. I will try to accommodate you.

I have now done several special events for production companies, studio executives, and television productions her in the Los Angeles area. I am starting to run into some of the same people over and over again. Of course, this is good for me, because I now have many references within the film and television community. Of course, we all know, it is “who you know,” in that industry. In fact, I had to send one of my other bartenders out to bartend a screening party in Century City for one of my best clients that same night.

My daughter cocktailing

My daughter cocktailing

On Saturday, I traveled to Marina Del Rey to bartend a 30th birthday party. They had the party at the community room overlooking the pool at their apartment building. It was a excellent place to hold the party and the weather was perfect. I took my daughter to be may cocktail waitress/server and she did an excellent job. I was very proud of her and I think the hosts were very happy with her service. I hope to take her with me on many more events.

Shots!

Shots!

On Sunday, I was the Los Angeles private bartender hired to service a surprise birthday party in Culver City. The host held this party at the pool in her apartment complex. Once again, this worked out quite nicely, even though it was very windy while we were setting up. The host was throwing a party in honor of her girlfriend’s big success with her Youtube Channel. She reached over 200,000 subscribers.

Great location in Marina Del Rey

Great location in Marina Del Rey

Turning 30

Turning 30

The girlfriend was quite pleasantly surprised and it was a great little party with approximately 20 guests. I made Pisco Sours, and the Brazilian favorite, Caipirinha. It was my first time making both of those drinks and I think they were a hit with the limited number of guests.  Next weekend, so far I am only scheduled for Saturday night in the Inland Empire. I hope to pick up some corporate event, or perhaps a cocktail party on Friday night.

It's a tough job...

It’s a tough job…

Chillin' by the pool in Culver City

Chillin’ by the pool in Culver City

Private Bartender and Server in Beverly Hills

10 Sep

Last night I was the private bartender and server for a small dinner party at a Beverly Hills Estate. 12 people were in attendance. This was my third event for this particular client. I had done two cocktail parties previously where there were many more people in attendance and I had a bar set up in the backyard. This time, the host wanted me to set up my bar in the kitchen and to just ask guests what they wanted.

There were virtually no drinkers in the crowd, and I served several sparkling waters and a couple glasses of wine. I did make one of my special cucumber martinis for the host and she complimented me on it. I was starting to wonder why I was even there, so I switched into my fine dining server mode. I have worked for years as a server in fine dining restaurants, and I put that experience to use. You serve from the right hand side, pick up from the lefts, etc. You keep water and wine glasses refilled and anticipate the needs of the guests.

My point is that there is so much more to being a private bartender than just making drinks. I have had people ask me to hire them, and then it became clear talking to them, that they only wanted to make drinks a collect tips. That is such a short sighted attitude that many bartenders have. My philosophy is to be of maximum service and chances are I will be asked back time and time again.

Ella Freyinger was the private chef for this dinner party and she served up a great meal. She made an excellent mixed green salad and then served rosemary roasted chicken with cauliflower cous-cous with pomegranate and pine nuts, and then had pasta with kale pesto. An apple tart was the dessert, along with expresso. Ella said she has several private clients and also does catering for parties as big as 500 people. You can contact her at ebelle2385@gmail.com.

This weekend I will bartend a wedding in Westlake Village and am taking my son to help me. I have people contacting me every day to do parties and I am already booked two months in advance. I still have October 18th available and most Fridays and Sundays in October. I still have Friday October 31st available for a Halloween Party. I will dress up as Lloyd the Bartender again and still have the costume.

 

Wine bottles at Beverly  Hills dinner party

Wine bottles at Beverly
Hills dinner party

"I've always been the bartender"

“I’ve always been the bartender”

Beverly Hills Estate

Beverly Hills Estate

Private Bartender Attends El Monte Quinceanera

31 Aug

Last night, Shaken Not Stirred, the private bartender service was honored to bartend at his first Quinceanera in El Monte. For some reason I thought I was going to bartend a wedding, but when I got there I discovered it was a Quinceanera. I was scheduled to arrive at four and arrived at 3:45 and there were already probably 100 people there. I panicked and thought that I had mixed up the times, but was informed that I wasn’t. It was hotter than blazes in the San Gabriel Valley and I set up my portable bar under a tent.

I started bartending immediately after setting up and I served Coronas, Modelos, and a variety of mixed drinks. Margaritas were the most popular, and I brought some of my special mix. I made many margaritas with that and then used regular margarita mix after that. I went through several bottles of tequila and served a lot of Jack Daniels. It was hot and we ran out of ice half way through. Somebody ran and got more ice.

I booked another Quinceanera for September on the spot and was given a deposit. That was my one remaining Saturday in September that wasn’t booked, so that worked out well. There were many people at the party that spoke only Spanish, and I know enough Spanish to get by. There were some men there playing guitars and singing. I asked them to play my favorite Spanish song, Cucaruca tu, and they happily obliged. I remember once being in Acapulco at a bar and the guitar player was pissed off because the American kept requesting “La Bamba.” I asked him to sing Cucaruca Cu, and he was so happy – he sang his heart out.

Today I am private bartender to a backyard party in Redondo Beach, a community where I have a lot of history. I was bar manager at Frascati Ristorante on PCH before it closed, and have worked off and on for Le Rive Gauche in Palos Verdes Estates. I am leaving tomorrow for Montana for a week vacation, then have a cocktail party the first day back in Beverly Hills. Autumn is my favorite time of the year and am looking forward to bartending many nice events.

Shots!

Shots!

Pinata at El Monte Quincinera

Pinata at El Monte Quincinera

Eagle Rock Private Bartender

26 Jul

Friday night Shaken Not Stirred served as private bartender for two couples in Eagle Rock who were having a small dinner party to celebrate one of the guest’s 40th birthday. I arrived at 9:30 just after dinner to put on a demonstration of how to make four different drinks. The host and I chose the drinks – Lemon Drop Martini, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and one blended drink called the Georgia Peach.

I must admit that I was nervous, not knowing what to expect. I have taught many people how to bartend over the years and I decided I would take that approach. I filled a bottle up with water and put a pourer on it. The first thing I did was explained what a “count” was and how to do a proper 1.5 ounce pour. I demonstrated how to pour into a shot glass and then let all of the guests try it. It seemed to be fun for everybody.

I showed them how to cut twists and sugar a rim. We stated with the Lemon Drop which I made with fresh lemon juice, vodka, and simple syrup. That was a hit and we moved on to the Old Fashioned. I discovered after doing some research that I had been taught to do this drink wrong. I had always muddled a cherry and an orange slice along with bitters and sugar cube. Every recipe online said to only muddle the sugar cube with bitters and some water or club soda, and then put in the ice and pour the bourbon. I did it this way and the drinks just looked better. The guests thoroughly enjoyed them.

I was worried that four drinks would not fill up my allotted time. I forget that most people don’t gulp their drinks the way I used to. They sip them and enjoy. I made the Manhattan straight up. The Manhattan is kind of an acquired taste. It is a really strong drink. The guests were definitely feeling it after drinking this one.

The hosts had a really good blender and I made the Georgia Peach with fresh peach slices, raspberries, Peach Schnapps, ice, and Vodka.  It was the perfect drink to round out the night. Four drinks proved to be just the right amount for this demonstration. The people couldn’t have been nicer and it was great experience for me and I think for them. I hope to do more of these demonstrations. I will also say that Eagle Rock is one of the coolest towns in the Los Angeles area. It has a small town feel and so many interesting little shops and restaurants. Today, I am sticking close to home and doing a big party for a law firm’s 20th anniversary in Encino.

Foster's Freeze in Eagle Rock

Foster’s Freeze in Eagle Rock

An Old Fashioned and Manhattan

An Old Fashioned and Manhattan

Cool dining area in Eagle Rock home

Cool dining area in Eagle Rock home