Tag Archives: server

Woodland Hills 30th Birthday Party

25 Jul
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Sun poking through the smoky sky

On Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled across the smoky San Fernando Valley to bartend a 30th birthday party in Woodland Hills. The huge Sand Fire burning in Santa Clarita was pumping ash into the air and it was falling like snowflakes over the SFV. It was an ugly, hot day and seemed like we were approaching the apocalypse, but the party did go on.

The birthday girl hired me to bartend and she is a repeat customer. I bartended her wedding nearly a year ago in Malibu. I love repeat business and her and her husband couldn’t be nicer. They have a nice home on the hill just south of Ventura Boulevard with a great view of Warner Center. I set up my portable bar and table in the backyard – smoke be damned.

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Cooking steak sandwiches

As the sun went down, people forgot about the smoke, and jalapeno margaritas, Moscow Mules, and classic Old Fashioned help them do that. I brought a server with me to help out with the food. The birthday girl is from Argentina and she served empanadas, and churrasco steak sandwiches that were really good. Everyone helped out with the food.

30th Birthday Party Ideas

  • Hire a Bartender
  • Have a back yard party
  • Theme cocktails and decorations
  • Pool party

    camila2b

    Birthday girl and friends celebrating 30th birthday party

Many of the guests recognized me from the wedding. Everything was going quite well, but there was one mishap. One of the guests was moving quite rapidly through the living room and ran face first into the sliding glass door and cracked it. Fortunately, it didn’t shatter and fall into a million pieces. In the guy’s defense that ran into it, that door had been open for the entire party, and someone had just closed before he ran into it. The guy was embarrassed, but it could have been worse. We have all done stuff like that.

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Shots!

This coming weekend I am bartending an anniversary party in Beverly Hills for one of my best clients. I have bartended at least ten business related parties for them, and this will be my first time doing a more personal party, so it is a great honor. The summer is flying by and people are already booking December holiday parties. Book yours now to be safe.

 

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

40th Birthday Party in the City of Orange

1 Jun
Friends and family enjoy a toast

Friends and family enjoy a toast

Saturday night Shaken Not Stirred traveled to the City of Orange to bartend a 4oth birthday party. They requested a server and I took one of my best with me. We arrived on time, but no thanks to my GPS, which took me on some convoluted route that potentially cost us 30 minutes on the road. I hate being late, and always leave plenty early – I would rather arrive way early and hang out in the area, than be stressing in heavy traffic with only minutes to go. In Los Angeles, traffic on Saturdays is murder.

The drink special of the night was the Vodka Collins. I make the drink with vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. The drink seemed to be a hit because many people kept returning for another. I also made some Old Fashioneds, and we served Victoria beer, which seems to be the popular new Mexican beer on the scene. Moet Chandon was the champagne of choice, and we also served Nero D’Avola, the red wine from Sicily.

Makeshift dance floor

Makeshift dance floor

The party took place in a condo and we set up the portable bar in the kitchen. We used real glassware, which was always nice. They did not hire a caterer, but instead got empanadas and finger sandwiches. My server kept replenishing the food and helped me with glassware etc. We both kept pretty busy the entire party.

Shots!

Shots!

I was hired to do this party from another party I had bartended at in Orange County. I was booked to do another party in October, at this one. It is always nice when I don’t have work so hard to generate new business. I am constantly bidding on Thumbtack, Gig Salad, and leads that come from Yelp and this blog. My phone skills are much better than they were in the beginning, and if I can get new clients on the phone, I can usually close the deal.

Shaken Not Stirred has been in business for over two years and I have bartended at over 150 events.  This week I have three events scheduled, including a wedding at the McCormick Ranch Home in Camarillo, a Vegas themed cocktail party in Manhattan Beach, and a champagne tasting in Santa Monica on Sunday.

Fillmore Wedding and Palm Springs Bachelorette Party

26 May

This was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred. Saturday night I did a wedding in Fillmore in Ventura County, and then was off to Palm Springs the next morning to bartend a bachelorette party. I travel all over Southern California to do gigs, and I put a few miles on my car this weekend.

My son helped me with the wedding in Fillmore and did an incredible job. That was the second job he has helped me with and I am comfortable with him bartending or serving. I have extensive experience as a server and am not afraid to get my hands dirty. We had to clear the plates on all the tables at this wedding and help serve the cake. The wedding was set in an orange grove and it was a very nice location for it.

At this particular wedding the bar was set up quite away from the tables and dance floor and everyone was congregated at the bar after dinner, while the dance floor was empty. The bride asked us to move the bar closer to the dance floor and we quickly did it, kegs and all. It all worked out. They had two kegs at this wedding and the beer was popular, but I would say half of the beer was left over. I don’t recommend kegs unless it is a party over 200. They usually slow service way down – it takes about five seconds to open a bottle of beer and hand it to guest, whereas it may take a full minute to fill a draft beer, when there are twenty people in line.

I drove to Palm Springs bright and early for the bachelorette party. I must admit, my mind was racing, wondering exactly what goes on at a bachelorette party? Well, what it boiled down to was several close girlfriends celebrating their friend’s final month as a single person. They rented a house with a pool in Palm Springs for the occasion. I set up my portable bar by the pool and served them Moscow Mules, and wine. It is getting hot in the desert and I have two more events already booked for later this summer in Palm Springs.

Wednesday, I am playing mixologist at a cocktail party in Beverly Hills. I have a list of complex classic drinks the host wants, including a Singapore Sling. This will be a challenge, but I welcome it! Then, next weekend, we are doing an anniversary party in Santa Clarita.

 

Willie bartending in Fillmore

Willie bartending in Fillmore

Dance floor in Fillmore

Dance floor in Fillmore

Palm Springs Rental House

Palm Springs Rental House

What the hell?

What the hell?

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.