Tag Archives: Simi Valley

Shaken Not Stirred Shows up Strong for 2017 Holiday Season

29 Dec
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Simi Valley Christmas Party

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SpaceX test over Moorpark

First Three Holiday Parties in December

6 Dec
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Vine Street in December

I have 25 holiday parties scheduled so far for December, and still have some open dates available. The Christmas decorations are up and Santa even made an appearance at a December 1, company party. So, far, so good for the first three and only 22 more to go and I’m sure I will pick up more. New Year’s eve is still available and I’m holding off trying to book that, and am waiting to see if one of my repeat customers wants to do a party that night.

Woodland Hills Company Party

An engineering firm in Warner Center had their company Christmas party on December first at their company office. They had an island in the center of the office that worked perfectly as a makeshift bar. I provided glassware rentals. I can get any kind of glassware rentals my clients want. One thing that I have found, is that the guests attending parties don’t really care and are perfectly fine drinking out of plastic cups. It is nice to have real wine glasses on occasion and especially real martini glasses.

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Santa sitting on my lap

I made cucumber mint Moscow mules, and cranberry Old Fashioneds for the guests at this party. They hired a taco caterer to come and make tacos, but one thing they didn’t think about is that you can’t make tacos for 40 people inside an enclosed office space. The smoke will set the sprinklers off. They quickly came to a solution and the taco man setup on the roof of the building and brought the finished product down to serve.

Simi Valley Christmas Party

The second of December found me in Simi Valley at the home of a repeat client. They really go all out for Christmas and put up extensive decorations. They have a very nice bar inside their home and it is a pleasure to work from. I served martinis and other holiday themed cocktails to approximately 80 guests. They had a DJ and the hosts and guests danced up a storm. They brought in food from Simi Valley restaurant, Viva La Pasta.

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Christmas decorations on Simi Valley home

The host told me they may have another party before the month if over. I still have the 22cnd of the 23rd available. I am booked on Christmas Eve. December is always my busiest month and it usually slows down considerably in January. All the bartending companies will be competing for morsels until the wedding season starts again in March.

Hollywood Holiday Party

Last night I traveled to Hollywood for the third annual company holiday party of a television production company. This company has a hit television series going on its fourth season, so they have much to celebrate. They usually have over two hundred guests so that keeps two bartenders very busy for four hours.

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Hollywood company party

Pink Taquiza catered the tacos. My son helped me and we served a Pomegranate Moscow Mule. I premixed a big batch to save time serving and that worked out well. The signature cocktail was a hit and we served out of it by the end of the night. Tomorrow I have a corporate holiday event in Culver City. Friday night I am sending multiple bartenders out to locations in Hermosa Beach, and Silverlake, while I bartend a party in San Clemente. One Saturday I return to the San Fernando Valley to bartend a holiday party, and then on Sunday I go to Manhattan Beach to bartend a party for the Christmas fireworks show. Please follow us on Instagram.

 

Shaken Not Stirred Gig Bartender Does Events Across SoCal

7 Aug
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Picturesque Simi Valley

Southern California’s traveling gig bartender, Shaken Not Stirred bartended several events in the past two weeks across the region. I have been very busy the past two weeks and have not had time to keep up with this blog. I have done events in Inglewood, Downtown LA, Pacific Palisades, Fullerton, Beverly Hills, and Simi Valley. All were successful, and I think my clients were happy with my service – I did pick up some more five star reviews and referrals.

I started off the string of events in Downtown LA at the La Kretz Innovation Campus. SheEO sponsored an fundraising event and I served wine and soft drinks to approximately 50 ladies. SheEO seems like a very worthwhile organization, and should appeal to any female entrepreneurs. I hope to do more events with them in the future.

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SheEo Event in Downtown LA

Next I bartended a party in Inglewood attended largely by a local contingent of Nigerian immigrants. They served traditional Nigerian food, like jerk goat, and mint pies. I served wine, beer, and cocktails. The host invited me to work there every Friday night. I was tempted by the offer of ongoing work, but turned it down. An ongoing weekly gig feels too much like a job to me. I would rather see where the universe takes me.

Types of Events for a Gig Bartender

  • Birthday parties
  • Weddings
  • Corporate Events
  • Fundraisers
  • Pool parties
  • Class Reuinions

The day after, I went to Pacific Palisades to bartend a summer/company party. A local law firm held the party for employees and friends. I set up my portable bar on the deck next to the pool. It was a hot summer night, and I got bitten several times by mosquitos, which is rare in California. The host had a very nice selection of liquor and mixers and I was able to make some craft cocktails.

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Guests mingle in Pacific Palisades

On Sunday, I traveled to Orange County to the Fullerton Community Center to bartend a wedding. It was a my first time working the venue and it had a large ballroom big enough to seat at least two hundred people. Over 100 people attended this wedding and I kept pretty busy making drinks for all of those people. Luckily they were mostly wine drinkers, which makes to easier for me to serve 100 people by myself.

Mid week I bartended a corporate event in Beverly Hills for one of my best clients. They have hired me for at least a dozen events, and most of the events are one weekdays, which I really appreciate. I brought another bartender with me and we served cocktails to approximately 75 guests. It was deathly hot and humid that night in Los Angeles, with the humidity hovering at 60 percent.

I finished off the week in beautiful Simi Valley bartending a baby shower on Saturday Night. The humid weather subsided, and it was an extremely pleasant night for August in Simi Valley. It even got a bit chilly after the sun went down. I served cocktails to around 50 guests and finished at 11pm.

This coming weekend I have only one event scheduled for Saturday night, but that could change. I will be bartending a birthday party in Northridge. Later this month I have events in Tujunga, San Diego, Irvine, and Hawthorne. All of my Saturdays are booked through October. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred, the gig bartender on Instagram.

Wedding at McCormick Home Ranch

4 Apr
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Before the ceremony

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a storybook wedding at McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo. This was the first Spring wedding of the season, and the flowers were in full bloom at the ranch and the day was absolutely perfect. The sun was bright during the 4:30 ceremony, but a cool breeze blew in from the ocean. April is a beautiful month to have a wedding in Ventura County.

The bride and groom came all the way from Japan to get married. My initial consultation and interview with them was done via Facebook video chat. The bride grew up in Simi Valley, so she came back home to get married. The groom is from England, and many of his friends and family came from there to attend the wedding. There were guests from all over the country, and the four corners of the world at the McCormick Home Ranch wedding. This was my third time bartending at the ranch and it is one of my favorite venues.

McCormick Home Ranch Weddings

  • Historic estate
  • Beautiful gardens and front yard
  • Secluded location
  • Huge parking area
  • Multiple areas for ceremony

Catering was provided by Green Acres Farm Market and Catering of Simi Valley. They put up an excellent spread of appetizers during the cocktail hour, and then barbecue goodies for the dinner.  DJ services and photo booth were provided by Vox Dj’s of Manhattan Beach. One Sweet Day Events did the wedding planning, and they were great to work with. The groom said during his speech that everything had materialized just as they had hoped for and better. The bride and groom looked impeccable and they could have been placed upon top of a giant wedding cake to show everyone else how it’s done.

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Storybook wedding at McCormick Home Ranch

I made a specialty drink out of fresh grapefruit juice I had squeezed. We made Palomas with tequila, simple syrup, fresh grapefruit juice, and club soda. I also made Sangria, which was a hit. I have made Sangria in the past and there were few takers, but this time it seemed to be popular. My son, Willie, helped me and will soon be going out on jobs by himself. He has worked with me at several weddings and is ready.

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Hurry sundown!

I am currently doing corporate events at the LA Mart in downtown Los Angeles through tomorrow, and then I am out to La Quinta on Friday to bartend a wedding, and then another one on Saturday night. I love bartending weddings, and the wedding at McCormick Home Ranch was a good one to kick off the season with.

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Shots!

Simi Valley Going Away Party

28 Dec
Crowded bar area in Simi

Crowded bar area in Simi

Shaken Not Stirred traveled over the hill to Simi Valley last night to bartend a college student’s going away party. The guest of honor was accepted to graduate school at Brown University in Rhode Island, which is no small feat, so a party was in order. I set up my portable bar on the back patio and served  drinks to about 100 people in attendance.

There were a lot of scotch drinkers , which makes it easy for a bartender, because scotch drinkers tend to drink their scotch neat, or on the rocks, or with soda and water. We went through several handles of both Johnny Walker Black, and Chivas Regal. Scotch is definitely an acquired taste and several of these guests in Simi Valley had acquired it.

We didn’t discuss making Mojitos when I planned the shopping list with the host, but somebody brought some fresh mint leaves from their garden, so Mojitos were in order. I had may ginger syrup, and a bunch of fresh lemons from the host;s tree. This is the advantage of living in Southern California. Where else can you get fresh lemons off the tree and fresh mint in December. I made Mojitos with rum, vodka, and even gin. People liked the gin Mojitos and I was surprised.

Lemon tree in Socal

Lemon tree in Socal

The hosts were of Indian descent, and they served traditional Indian food, like chicken curry,  bharta, with Indian bread, and mint chutney.  The hosts kept asking me if I had eaten, and different people kept bringing me plates of food. It was all excellent. Overall, the party was a grand success. It was particularly cold in Simi Valley and I’m glad I brought my jacket.

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Fresh citrus

The holiday season is winding down and I am bartending a New Year’s Eve party in Newhall on Wednesday night, and then a New Year’s day open house party in Pacific Palisades on Thursday. It is already 2015. I am looking forward to another great year for Shaken Not Stirred. I have met many great people all over Southern California over the past year and have gained many new clients and friends. I wish all of my clients, associates, and friends a fantastic and prosperous New Year.

Simi Valley Holiday / Birthday Party

23 Nov
Classy home bar in Simi

Classy home bar in Simi

Shaken Not Stirred opened the 2014 holiday season last night by bartending a holiday/birthday party in Simi Valley. The house where the party was held was fully decorated and in fact would probably win awards on Candy Cane Lane. The interior was very nicely decorated and they had the classiest home bar I have ever seen. The hostess was a former bartender and she stocked the bar to cover all bases.

I kept busy the entire night and it reminded me of working a busy bar at a hopping restaurant on a Saturday night. I made Cucumber martinis, dirty martinis, Lemon drops, Kamakazi shots, Margaritas, Pear Martinis, Gin Cosmos, and Bay Breezes.  Firestone 805 was the beer of the night and that seems to be quite popular at many parties now.

Viva La Pasta catered the event and they supplied a nice assortment of pasta, salads, bruchetta, and Italian cold cuts. The hosts had cleared the living room out and turned it into a dance floor. They had a fantastic stereo system and people were dancing the entire night, fueled by the ten bottles of vodka I served. Overall, I think fun was had by all.

Fire!

Fire!

How to Hire a Bartender for a Holiday Party

I have a few dates booked in December, but still have many open. Here are a few things to consider if you are planning a holiday party and need a bartender:

  • Don’t wait until the last minute. Book your party now, because every bartender in town will be booked up soon.
  • If you have a party on a Friday or Sunday, it might be less expensive and easier to book a bartender because most of the events are on Saturday.
  • Consult with your bartender about a shopping list and drink menu.
  • Check out sales on alcohol and non alcoholic beverages and start stocking up, so you don’t have to rush around at the last minute.

Next weekend I am traveling to San Diego to bartend an engagement party, and then the following weekend I have events booked in Studio City and Yorba Linda. I’m sure I will book some company Christmas parties on weekdays during December. I will work seven days a week during December if necessary.

 

Dead soldiers

Dead soldiers

Cerritos Sweet 16 Party

16 Nov
Blackjack table at Sweet 16 party

Blackjack table at Sweet 16 party

The Sky Room

The Sky Room

Portable bar on the terrace

Portable bar on the terrace

Saturday night, Shaken Not Stirred was hired to provide bartending service for a Sweet 16 party in the city of Cerritos. This was my first purely non-alcoholic party. The theme, was the “Great Gatsby,” and the décor of the venue was reminiscent of the 1920’2, and many of the guests wore costumes from the era. If I had been thinking, I would have worn my Lloyd the bartender costume. It was a very nice party for a girl’s 16th birthday party and it made me wish I could have done something like that for my daughter.

I came up with a non-alcoholic drink menu for the party that included virgin Pina Colladas, Mai Tais, Shirly Temples, and a mint sparkling lemonade. The Pina Colladas are always popular and I like seeing the looks on the kids face when they taste one for the first time. The Pina Collada is one drink that tastes good without alcohol – the Mai Tai and other drinks, probably not so much.

This was the second party this week where I brought my portable bar and table. The portable bar has served me well and I charge customers only $25 to bring it. It isn’t much, but it works and it is easily portable and I can set it up and break it down quickly. In the future, I hope to have something better that I can transport in my car. The party was held at the Cerritos Library Sky Room and Terrace, which is a very nice venue on the fourth floor of the Cerritos Public Library.

The Sweet 16 party had a caterer, DJ, photo booth, photographer, and blackjack table with dealer as well. The blackjack table was very popular and I got the dealer’s card. I’m sure people would love that at almost any party. There was a group of people gathered around that table the entire night. Pulchini Entertainment provided the blackjack table and dealer and it looks like they do all kinds of other gambling games as well.

I just booked a birthday party in Simi Valley for next weekend and an engagement party in San Diego for the Black Friday weekend. I bartend parties in San Diego occasionally if it is worth my while. I am getting many inquiries for Christmas parties and office parties next month and I think it it is going to be very busy, but so far there are many open dates. New Year’s Eve is also still open, so book your party now.