Tag Archives: Santa Barbara County

Beaumont Cocktail Party

6 Sep
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Goodfellas standing by in Beaumont with their brand new taco cart

Thursday Shaken Not Stirred was called out to Beaumont in Riverside County to provide bartending service for a mid-week cocktail party. I was hired through a catering company I have seen at many events, Goodfella’s Tacos, and I hope to return the favor and get them some business, though they are very busy already, and provide great service. The party was held out a new subdivision south of the 10 freeway called the Four Seasons, and it is a very nice development.

The host told me that the party was actually a celebration of her wedding anniversary. Her husband had unexpectedly died less than a year ago, just shortly after they moved into the new Beaumont house. She said that she wanted to have a party rather than sitting around feeling sad on that day. She believed that is what her husband would have wanted, and I’m sure she is right. At least 60 of her friends showed up, and anytime you are able to get 60 people to come out on a weeknight in Southern California, means that you have done something right.

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Cocktail party in Beaumont warming up

Cocktail Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Create specialty cocktails
  • Hire a caterer
  • Choose entertainment

I served blended Margaritas, and Margaritas on the rocks. I also served some Daiquiris and a lot of beers. It was an older crowd of mostly retirees and I felt that we had way too many supplies for this cocktail party, but we went through plenty. The host hired a Mariachi band to perform and that was fun for everybody. The Goodfellas served their great tacos, and there was another dessert person that provided the sweets. The host and several of her friends wrapped up the party playing a dice game.

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Mariachis perform at Beaumont cocktail party

That was the first event of a busy traveling weekend for Shaken Not Stirred. On Saturday I had to drive to New Cuyama in Santa Barbara County for a wedding, and then turn right around and drive to Acton for a Labor Day party. Needless to say, I was quite tired on Monday – actual Labor Day, and was kind of glad I didn’t have an event that day.  

 

Hollywood Hills Birthday Party

29 Aug
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The Taco Guy setting up taco bar

Friday night Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at a birthday party in the Hollywood Hills home. The event was held in the courtyard of a historic Hollywood home in the hills above the Hollywood Bowl. The weather was perfect for late August and it even cooled down to jacket temperature when the sun went down.

I setup my portable bar in the courtyard and served Cadillac Margaritas and spicy Jalapeno Margaritas to approximately 50 guests. The host works for a wine distributor, so she had some very nice white and red wine on hand. She planned the party for her husband’s birthday and she hired me for the bartending and a taco cart for the food. The Taco Guy Catering did the tacos.

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Late summer sunlight in the Hollywood Hills

Why Hire a Bartender?

  • Impress guests with consistent high quality cocktails
  • Prevent guests from over serving themselves
  • Continuous cleanup
  • Host can spend more time mingling
  • Help with shopping list

Many people I work for have never hired a bartender before, but they are almost always glad they did afterwards. Having a bartender frees up the host to mingle with the guests and also is much better than letting the guests mix their own drinks. That often becomes a free for all, and a disaster. Hiring a taco cart is also a good idea, and is usually quite reasonable in price. I see on the the taco guy website that they can do catering for 50 people for under $500. You can hardly beat that!

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Guests mingle after sundown

The Hollywood Hills birthday party seemed to be a quite a success and it was a great group of people. I always like doing Friday night parties, and especially when they are this close to home. This coming week I am bartending an event in Beaumont in Riverside County on Thursday night, a 300 person wedding in New Cayama in Santa Barbara County on Saturday, and then a pool party in Acton on Sunday. That’s what I call a mobile bartender.

Two Coachella Valley Events in One Day

24 May
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Boat drinks

On Saturday Shaken Not Stirred drove east of LA to provide bartending services at two Coachella Valley events on the same day. The first event started at noon and was a bachelorette/pool party in Rancho Mirage. The second event was a 40th birthday/dinner party at a beautiful condo in La Quinta.

I have done a few bachelorette parties in the Palm Springs area. I couldn’t help but thinking how differently females act at their bachelorette parties, than males do at bachelor parties. I have not bartended at any bachelor parties, but I have attended them. Of course, men tend to like raunchy, debaucherous activities at bachelor parties, while the females it seems, just enjoy hanging out and chatting, and enjoying a few drinks.

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The “Bride Tribe”

At this bachelorette party, I served many blended drinks, including the Miami Vice, Margaritas, and Pina Colladas. I also took advantage of the fruit trees in the back yard and made Margaritas with oranges from the tree, and Palomas from the grapefruits. The girls had fun beating the hell out of a pinata filled with candy and lottery tickets.

Coachella Valley Events

  • Coachella Music Festival
  • Stagecoach
  • Desert Trip
  • Palm Springs Pride
  • Dinah Shore Weekend
  • Various birthday parties, pool parties, etc…

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    La Quinta Condo

I had one hour to drive from Rancho Mirage to La Quinta to get to the second party. I worried about that all morning. I hate being late, and in my book if I am not fifteen minutes early, I am late. My GPS said it was a 37 minute drive, but it had me taking some hair brained route back to the 10 freeway, and thankfully I knew better. I drove my own route and it took me 25 minutes. Ravel’s Bolero was playing on the FM station and ended just as I drove up to the guard gate for the second party.

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Grande shots!

The house that second party was held at was on the golf course and was pretty stunning. The party was a celebration of a man’s 40th birthday with several of his closest friends. I made vodka martinis and manhattans using real glassware, which is always nice. Fabulous Food Alchemy of Palm Springs provided the catering and he made an excellent spread of appetizers for the cocktail hour. Afterwards, everyone sat at the fabulous dining table for a three course meal. I served wine to the guests during dinner, and I know how to do that because I have fine dining experience as a server.

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La Quinta Dinner Party

Both events went off without a hitch, and I had a large baptism party going in La Canada simultaneously that was manned by my son and one of my other bartenders, Kelly. I was worried that they were going to have problems and not be able to reach me, because I was getting no cell service in the La Quinta condo. Everything went fine, however, and the client said my other bartenders were “phenomenal”. I also have a Palm Springs Yelp page, that I have not yet received any reviews on, if anyone is so inclined. 

I just booked a September wedding in the remote location of New Cayuma in Santa Barbara County. I also just booked my first Christmas party of 2016 on December 10th. The year is just flying by.