Tag Archives: Santa Barbara

South El Monte Birthday Fiesta

13 Apr

Last night I was the bartender at a large birthday fiesta in South El Monte. There were over 100 people in attendance and we ran completely out of booze at 11pm, which was when I was scheduled to leave – so I guess that worked out well. There was still Bud Light left, so those people wishing for one last beverage were not disappointed. We went through all the Corona, Sol, Tecate, and Dos Equis. I was pretty busy the whole night.  This was a Mexican birthday party and I have been doing many of these. As I have said before I am right at home doing these parties, and my Mexican name is Roberto.  One of the Mexican waiters at a restaurant I used to bartend at called me El Pinche Perro, but that is another story.

I made several different cocktails including Cadillac Margaritas, Mai Tais, Sex on the Beach, blended Pina Coladas, Capes Cods, Bay Breeze, Sea Breeze, Malibu and pineapple, and Cuba Libre. If you don’t know what all of those are – look them up. The important thing is that I know what they are. Pineapple juice is a key ingredient in many of those drinks.

I had a special request from a Peruvian lady in attendance. She wanted me to make a batch of a Peruvian native drink, the Pisco Sour. I had never made the drink before, but was familiar with it because my ex wife was from Santiago, Chile and that drink is popular in Chile as well.  Pisco

Reaching for the tools of the trade with a boss watch on!

Reaching for the tools of the trade with a boss watch on!

My workstation gets messy when serving 100 people!

My workstation gets messy when serving 100 people!

DJ lighting setup

DJ lighting setup

Freaky!

Freaky!

is a clear grape liquor that is deadly and will sneak up on you if you are not careful. The Pisco Sour is made with fresh lemons, Pisco, and egg whites in a blender. In Chile, they use powdered sugar as well, but this lady had me use something different. I think she was happy with the drink and I didn’t sample it because I no longer drink. Anyway, I think the Pisco Sour is a great drink to serve and impress your guests. Most people in North America have never had it and don’t know what it is.

I just booked a wedding in Santa Barbara in July. I have at least one wedding booked every month until November. My goal is to book one party or event every weekend and so far I am doing that every month. This month I am on track to do seven events, which I think is my record for one month since I have been in business. I am very grateful to be getting so many events. I just bought a portable bar, so I can now offer that service as well.

Please call me if you have any questions about cocktails, venues, or anything else related to bartending and events. I will be happy to help you, and I have many shopping lists I have done for other parties with prices on them, so you can get an idea what to budget. I can estimate pretty close how much you will need for the time length and number of people at your event. My goal is to get you in under budget and keep all of your guests happy. That way everyone is happy! Buenos Dias!

Los Angeles Birthday Party

23 Mar

Finally, after over two years in business in Los Angeles, I got to do a party in Los Angeles. I have done parties all over Southern California, from Palm Springs to Santa Barbara. I have been in Long Beach, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Burbank, and Pasadena. I have done many parties in the San Fernando Valley, the Inland Empire, and Orange County, but last night I bartended my first party in the city of Los Angeles. The competition among bartending companies

In the West Adams district  of Los Angeles

In the West Adams district of Los Angeles

 

Table bar set up

Table bar set up

 

Me preparing to make a Rob Roy

Me preparing to make a Rob Roy

 

Crowd dancing to "YMCA" (not really that song!)

Crowd dancing to “YMCA”
(not really that song!)

is fierce in LA, but Shaken Not Stirred is steadily making a foothold in Southern California.

Last night, I bartended a birthday party at a very cool Victorian home in the West Adams neighborhood, south of Koreatown. The host was throwing a party for his girlfriend and I heard her say it was her first birthday party since becoming an adult. They had caterers there set up outside and they served some very good tacos. I had a makeshift bar set up inside, which was a folding table with a table cloth. I have inserted a picture to show that this set up works just fine.

The host also hired a DJ who was one of his personal friends, and the guy really made the party. I have been looking for a DJ to highly recommend, and I think I have finally found him. The name of his company is “Ten foot Rabbit”. The DJ’s girlfriend assisted him, and she not only helped him set up his equipment, but she mingled and engaged with people in the crowd and got them dancing. As the night progressed, the dance floor was packed, which made for a successful party. Here is a link to the DJ’s Facebook page.

At the request of the birthday girl, I served Rob Roy’s and Manhattans. Those are both classic cocktails and definitely an acquired taste, but were a hit with this crowd. I also served Cadillac Margaritas, which are always popular. In case you didn’t know, you need Gran Marnier to make a Margarita “Cadillac” and it really makes a big difference in taste. Coming in third at the party for cocktails was the Cosmopolitan. I brought some real martini glasses, and they seem to make the drinks so much better. At least they look better.

Next weekend I still have open and am hoping to book a gig. I probably will before Saturday, as many people wait until the last moment. So far I have almost every weekend booked in April, and I have been working with people back and forth for weddings as far away as September. I have been creeping up in Google searches and the phone is starting to ring from that alone, which was the goal.

How to Hire a Bartender in Southern California

2 Jan

Upland New Year’s Eve Party

2 Jan

Tuesday night I had the pleasure of ringing out 2013 and ringing in 2014 bartending at a private residence in Upland. It was a very nice party with about 40 guests in attendance, many wearing black tie and evening gowns. The host had probably the best home bar I have ever seen. The bar itself was brought from England, and he had it fully stocked to cover nearly all bases.

Right before the big toast to 2014

Right before the big toast to 2014

Upland, California

Upland, California

Very nice home bar

Very nice home bar

The specialty cocktail menu we had for the party included Manhattans, Cosmopolitans, Midori Sours, and a champagne cocktail that was made with Cointreau,  brandy, and champagne. I was able to handle almost all requests, and made Long Island Ice Teas, Mai Tais, White Russians, Margaritas, Dirty Martinis, and others. The only thing I wasn’t able to make was a Campari and soda (no Campari).

There were several girls helping out, passing out appetizers and cleaning up, etc. They made my life easier and kept me in clean glassware. Entertainment was provided by classical guitarist, David Adele – he was very good and did one number that was from the soundtrack of “The Deer Hunter,” that was just fantastic. As the clock neared 12:00, we poured champagne for everybody to toast the New Year. The party was a great success.

So, Shaken Not Stirred is entering its second year in business. I would like to thank all of my past clients for their business, and hope I will see all of them again. I have not had one bad experience since I started working on my own. Every person I have worked for has been fantastic, and so have their guests. I am looking forward serving many new people in 2014 all over Southern California. Shaken Not Stirred covers the whole area, from Palm Springs to Santa Barbara, from Santa Clarita to Rancho Santa Fe, and everywhere in between.         

Santa Barbara Christmas Party

22 Dec

Santa Barbara, in my opinion is the crown jewel of Southern California. The area is so incredibly beautiful and the weather is so mild year round that there should be a gazillion people living there, but it still has a quaint small town feeling, and especially at Christmas. I had a Christmas party to bartend at in the hills of Santa Barbara last night, but I got to town early and just hung out. All I can say is that if you want to get into the Christmas spirit in Southern California, just visit downtown Santa Barbara around this time of the year and you will know what I’m talking about.

The Christmas party I worked was at a very nice home with an incredible view of the ocean and the lights of downtown Santa Barbara. The home had a very nice wet bar in the back yard, and it was decorated nicely for the occasion. We used all real glassware and the host had some very nice wine glasses. I rented and brought at the host’s request martini glasses, water goblets, and cider mugs.

We overdid it with the glass rentals, as I suspected we would, because I brought cider mugs for every person at the party, and only a few drank cider. The same thing with martini glasses, though we used more of them. It’s a hard call, because you want to have enough, but chances are, not everybody is going to drink everything. It was nice to be using real martini glasses for sure, and more people ordered martinis as a result. I can get glass rentals for around $1.00 to $1.50 a glass, depending on the glass.

I worked out a drink menu with the host and we decided on a red and green theme for Christmas. The Cosmopolitan represented the red, and we had red sugar for a sugar rim. An apple martini represented the green and we had green sugar for the sugar rim with a cherry garnish.

I recommended a third drink for something different and that was the Manhattan. The Manhattan is a classic cocktail, and when I was working in the restaurant, mostly old people would order it. It is bourbon, with sweet vermouth, a dash of bitters and a cherry. I told the host that maybe some of the younger people would want to try it. That was the case and I think I converted some new followers. It is a very strong drink however, and is an acquired taste. It’s definitely not for everyone. One of the guests at the party went on and on about how I made the best Manhattans that he had ever had, and he had several – fortunately he had a designated driver.

I have a New Year’s Eve party booked in Upland, and that will round out the holiday season for Shaken Not Stirred. I am still available next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. January is usually a slow month for parties, but you never know.

December Sunset in Santa Barbara

December Sunset in Santa Barbara

That's me manning the fort

That’s me manning the fort

sbparty2

What it looks like behind the bar

 

Christmas Party in the City of Orange

15 Dec

Last night I bar tended a Christmas party in the City of Orange – the hills of Orange actually, at a very nice residence in a gated community. As a mobile bartender I have gone all over Southern California and have worked at many nice homes and venues, and have met an interesting cross section of people. Some of my clients are very wealthy and have huge fully stocked marble bars and fire pits outside and restaurant style patio heaters, and fine glassware, and some are working class people who throw backyard parties with a folding table set up for a bar, tubs full of beer, and plastic cups. I like doing all kinds of parties, and meeting all kinds of people.

Last night’s event was a small party of around twenty people. The bar was stocked very well, and had a nice selection of fine vodkas, including Jean Marc XO vodka, which is a French hand-crafted vodka, which is very refined for straight sipping. The host had ice balls that fit right into a cocktail glass and were just right for straight sipping different liquors. That was the first time I had ever seen those. I learn something new each time.

The hostess came up with the specialty drink, which was a Peartini. It was made with Pear infused Grey Goose vodka, a dash of Disaronno, a dash of Sweet and Sour, and topped off with champagne with a pear slice garnish. The drink was a big hit. I came up with a Fireball Martini, which was vodka with a dash of Fireball Whiskey, and a dash of bitters. I don’t know about that one – a couple people said that they liked it, but they didn’t order a second one.   

Peartini

Peartini

Christmas party bar

Christmas party bar

Guests mingling

Guests mingling

Next weekend I am doing a holiday party in Santa Barbara, and am renting a bunch of glassware for the party. If you need glassware, I can get most of what you need and rentals range from .75 to $1 per glass. I have a New Years Eve party booked in Upland, and have started to book weddings in the spring. Book your event now – don’t wait until the last minute, but if it is the last minute, call me anyway, I may be able to help you. Shaken Not Stirred is a mobile bartending service that covers the entire Southern California region.        

Santa Barbara Wedding

7 Jul

Saturday, July 6th was the date of a wedding at the Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara. It was my first event in Santa Barbara and was a smashing success. I worked closely with the bride in the weeks preceding the event – planning the drink menu and shopping list. I guess we did a good job because we ran out of beer one half hour before last call and almost everything else fifteen minutes before the witching hour.

It was a Mexican themed wedding and we served Margaritas, Tequilla Sunrises, and a cocktail that the bride requested: La Paloma (tequila, Squirt, and fresh lime juice). We had nearly every brand of Mexican beer on hand including, Corona, Dos Equis, Sol, Tecate, and Pacifico. They had Mariachis, and a taco cart, a DJ, and a photo booth. Vasquez Entertainment (805) 889-2527, provided the DJ.

The bride requested that I bring a Spanish speaking bar back. I hired a girl I had never worked with before, Vanessa, and she was great! We got hit just after the ceremony ended and thirsty people flooded the bar. Vanessa kept me stocked with ice and must have opened 100 beers. I will certainly use her again when I can.

The Museum of Natural History

Blue Whale Skeleton

Blue Whale Skeleton

Vanessa in the spotlight

Vanessa in the spotlight

Mixing Mexican style

Mixing Mexican style

at Santa Barbara was a unique venue for a wedding. The Museum itself looks very interesting, though I didn’t have time to go through it. The wedding ceremony to place in a wonderful and tranquil park behind the museum. The reception was held in a large event room that is attached to the museum. We set up the bar outside on the entrance patio. I am a certified bartender, which the venue requires.

Shaken Not Stirred provides bartenders and servers all over Southern California including Santa Barbara, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County, the Inland Empire, and Palm Springs. Call today to plan your event.