bartender for hire, Uncategorized

Shaken Not Stirred Shows up Strong for 2017 Holiday Season

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Simi Valley Christmas Party
SpaceX test over Moorpark
Birthday Party Bartender, Uncategorized

Reseda 40th Birthday Party

Half keg at Reseda party

On Saturday Shaken Not Stirred was the bartending service present at a 40th birthday party in Reseda. It was a warn November night in the San Fernando Valley and the weather is still pleasant enough to have back yard parties in SoCal. I bartended for about thirty guests and it was a nice evening.

I do many 40th birthday parties, because it is an important milestone in a person’s life. I have said it time and again, that anybody who has an adult birthday party put on for them by friends and family members is truly blessed. I worked with the birthday girl’s two sisters to plan the party and develop a drink menu and shopping list.

The birthday girl’s favorite drink is the Mojito, and I make a good Mojito. I have made so many Mojitos in my bartending career that I can almost make them in my sleep. I remember the first time I ever made one I was petrified, and would shudder anytime someone ordered one. It is not hard at all once you have it down. I also made Pina Colladas, which are a cinch.

The birthday girl poses for a photo

The host bought a half keg of Modelo, and that served as the beer. I usually don’t recommend kegs because they are problematic. The biggest problem is that sometimes they are foamy for the first several gallons. They are also sometimes hard to keep cold, and they slow down service. The pump up taps can be problematic also. This particular keg worked pretty well, and didn’t cause any problems.

El Taco Llama (661) 255-7035, of Newhall provided the catering. They had the whole taco cart, but they also made burritos, which not all of them do. I had a killer burrito and everyone seemed to be happy with the food and drink.

Guests enjoy 40th birthday party

If you, or someone you know is planning a 40th birthday party, please call me for your bartending needs. I am bartending a cocktail party tonight in Westwood, but have no event scheduled this Thanksgiving weekend. I am not available the night of Thanksgiving, but am still available anywhere in Southern California on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then on December 3rd, I will travel to Rancho Mirage to bartend a company holiday party, and that kicks off the December season of holiday parties, which will be very busy.

Corporate Event, Special Event Bartenders

Venice Beach Corporate Event

Corporate event before the madness
Corporate event before the madness

Wednesday Shaken Not Stirred provided bartenders for a large corporate event in Venice Beach. This was the first of many holiday company parties Shaken Not Stirred has contracted to do in the next month and a half. The Venice event required two bartenders and two barbacks to provide service for approximately 300 guests.  ‘

I worked extensively with the company party planner developing a drink menu and shopping list. She wanted Thanksgiving themed cocktails and chose a Cranberry Old Fashioned, an Apple Cider Moscow Mule, and an Apple Pie sparkler as a mocktail. Now, how to serve these moderately complex drinks to 300 people in three hours.

Guests mingle in Venice Beach
Guests mingle in Venice Beach

I normally don’t recommend serving drinks that require any muddling, fresh fruit, or four different ingredients to large crowds. We worked it out. Otto, a veteran Hollywood nightclub bartender was working with me and he showed me how to muddle fruit, sugar, and bitters in masses, so all we had to do was add a spoonful to each Old Fashioned and mix the drink.

Corporate Event Bartenders

  • Company holiday parties
  • Client appreciation
  • Grand Openings
  • Screenings
  • Product launches
  • Conferences

I had my barback putting ice into glasses and booze and then I mixed the drink. I saw the line circulating three or four times throughout the night. Only one bottle of whiskey was left at the end and about a case of wine. My shopping list was pretty accurate for 300 people for three hours.

Off the hook in Venice
Off the hook in Venice

On Saturday I will stay in the San Fernando Valley and bartend a birthday party in Reseda. On Monday I will bartend a cocktail party in Westwood, and then on Thursday I will spend Thanksgiving with my family. I had requests for bartending gigs on Thanksgiving, but I am sorry – I worked too many holidays when I worked in the restaurant industry. This Thanksgiving I will be with family.

Shaken Not Stirred Crew
Shaken Not Stirred Crew


Birthday Party Bartender

Two Birthday Parties in One Day

The birthday girl and I
The birthday girl and I

On Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred was the official bartending service at two big birthday parties in Los Angeles. The first big event was an 80th birthday party in Venice that started at noon, and then the second event was a surprise birthday party in Glendale that went on until midnight. Needless to say, I mixed a bunch of drinks that day.

The 80th birthday party was put on by the birthday girl’s son on the rooftop deck of her Venice home. The lady had lived in the house for over forty years and just recently installed the rooftop deck. It was a perfect day for the party in Venice and sun was shining and an ocean breeze blew in from the Pacific just a few blocks away. They had also installed a simple wooden rooftop bar and it was perfect for my purposes.

Guests enjoying rooftop deck
Guests enjoying rooftop deck

In honor of the birthday girl, whose name was Fleur, the host requested a classic cocktail, the Fleur di Paradis.  The drink is made with Plymouth Gin, St. Germaine, fresh lemon juice, simple syup and champagne. The drink was such a hit, that we served out of it. I invented another cocktail on the spot and deemed it the Boccacio, in honor of the street the party was on.  The Boccacio is a simple drink but with a velvety taste:  Tito’s Vodka, coconut water, and a splash of orange juice.  It was also a hit. Let it be known that Shaken Not Stirred of Los Angeles invented that drink.

Jason Arimoto with special guest star
Jason Arimoto with special guest star

Entertainment was provided by a very talented ukulele artist and singer Jason Arimoto. He sang for at least three hours straight and then packed up to go and do another party. Slinging drinks for eight hours is tough, but imagine singing for six hours in one day.

I packed up from the first party and drove to Glendale to bartend a surprise birthday party at a beautiful Chevy Chase home.  I sat up my portable bar in the back yard, and served simple Cosmos, Black Lable on the rocks, and wine.  The caterers had a fabulous selection of finger foods and I regret not getting their card, because they really were fabulous.

Fantastic feast in Glendale
Fantastic feast in Glendale

The birthday girl was truly surprised when she walked in the door and was greeted by fifty of her family members and friends.  I kept busy pouring drinks and ran out of Grey Goose. Of course, there are liquor stores that deliver and we received a replacement batch. Two successful events in one day.

On Wednesday, I will return to Venice to bartend a large company party, with extra staff, and then on Saturday will be in the San Fernando Valley in Reseda to bartend another big birthday party.  I still have Saturday, 11/28 available if you need a bartender for that date.

Guests mingle in Glendale
Guests mingle in Glendale