Tag Archives: Temecula

Temecula and Desert Hot Springs Events

21 Sep
Guests at Que Syrah rehearsal dinner

Guests at Que Syrah rehearsal dinner

Shaken Not Stirred mobile bartending service had another busy weekend and covered events in Temecula and Desert Hot Springs. Friday night I bartended a wedding rehearsal dinner in Temecula’s wine country, and then on Saturday, I drove out to Desert Hot Springs to bartend a wedding costume party. It was a very hot September weekend and I served a lot of drinks.

I thought I recognized the address to the event in Temecula, and as it turns out I had done an event at that location before. It is a very nice estate Que Syrah,  in Temecula’s wine country sitting on top a hill with nice views of the valley.  I was already familiar with the layout of the place that made it very easy for me. There were around 90 guests and I kept busy making blended Margaritas, Old Fashioneds, and various other drinks.

The couple who were getting married met me at another event I did and hired me, and I saw many of the same people from the first event. It is always nice to get jobs this way and I love referrals. I was pretty busy and didn’t have time to get many good pictures from the event.

Sunset in Temecula

Sunset in Temecula

Saturday, I traveled to Areola’s Spa and Resort in Desert Hot Springs to bartend a wedding party. This is a clothing optional resort, so I didn’t know what to expect. The wedding party had booked the whole resort for the weekend. The couple were actually married on Friday and were having their wedding/costume party on Saturday. This was a gay couple, and my second gay wedding event. I hope to do many more.

Nobody was nude at the party and there were many kids and family members there, so it wasn’t that kind of event. There were some pretty outrageous and colorful costumes however, and it was quite a party. I had another bartender helping me, Mia, and we do many events together. We served Cucumber margaritas, Mai Tais, Dirty Shirleys, and different variations thereof. El Portal of Cathedral City provided the catering and they had some excellent ceviche and appetizers, as well as great tacos.

Areola's Spa and Resort

Areola’s Spa and Resort

Next weekend I am staying close to home and have two events right here in the San Fernando Valley. Friday night I will be doing a birthday party in Sherman Oaks, and then on Saturday, I have another birthday party to do in Northridge. Summer is almost over and the Holiday season arrives in record speed. Book you holiday parties today.

Bartender, Rob

Bartender, Rob

Fellow bartender, Mia

Fellow bartender, Mia

Married couple in costume

Married couple in costume

Encinitas Pool Party

14 Sep
Bar setup in Encinitas

Bar setup in Encinitas

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Encinitas in San Diego County to bartend a pool party.  I don’t normally try to book much work in San Diego because it can be difficult getting in and out of there. Last week I had business in San Marcos, so it made sense to take this pool party in Encinitas. I’m glad I did – it was worth it to me and I hope the clients will call me again. They gave me another 5 star review on Thumbtack, so I guess they were happy as well.

Speaking of Thumbtack, I was chosen the #1 Bar Caterer in Los Angeles by the website, based on my reviews. I’m proud of this accomplishment, and I also realize there are probably more accomplished bartenders than me. I don’t call myself a mixologist, because I believe that bartending is not brain surgery. I make good drinks, and I think the key to good drinks is simplicity. I believe the biggest reason I have gotten all 5 star review is that I show up early every time. That way I have time to prepare properly, which is 90 percent of it. I cannot coast at this point and rest on my laurels – I have to work harder, because the competition in Los Angeles is tough. I think many other people suddenly got the idea that they would start their own bartending business also.

Certificate from Thumbtack

Certificate from Thumbtack

On Saturday, I was making simple drinks. I made blended margaritas and most of the people were drinking those. The client had a very nice blender, the Vita Mix, and it was very simple to use and made excellent blended drinks. I was responsible for bringing the ice and I brought 100 pounds and we used every bit of it. On hot summer days, probably better estimate 2 pounds of ice for each guest.

The client in Encinitas also hired a life guard, which I thought was an excellent idea when there are young children swimming.  Rock star, Tommy Lee, had a child drown in his pool at a party a couple of years ago, and I’m sure that will haunt him forever. Taquizas El Unico of Chula Vista provided the catering and excellent tacos.

Guests mingle at Encinitas pool party

Guests mingle at Encinitas pool party

This weekend I will be bartending a rehearsal dinner in Temecula on Friday night, and then on Saturday I will be bartending a wedding at a clothing optional resort in Desert Hot Springs, which should be interesting.  I asked the host what she wanted me to wear and she said, “Wear anything you want.” Decisions, decisions….

Newport Beach 50th Birthday Party

23 Aug
Guests mingle in Newport Beach

Guests mingle in Newport Beach

Saturday night, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Newport Beach to bartend a 50th birthday party. This was my third party I have done in Newport Beach, and I am becoming familiar with the area. The birthday boy’s wife hired me and arranged the party.  She wanted real glassware and I supplied white and red wine glasses, and beer glasses. I can provide most glassware rentals for $1 a glass.

I have done several 50th birthday parties. It is obviously an important milestone. I have said this before, any man or woman who has family throw a birthday party for them is truly blessed. This particular gentleman was very blessed and had a large nice group of friends and family surrounding him, and he was fortunate enough to have a great Orange County home to throw the party at.

I arrived early and set up my portable bar and table in the backyard. The host was serving  Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Heineken, Blue moon, and Corona. They didn’t have much for soft drinks, and I was only serving iced tea and water. Many of the kids were upset that there was no soda. I understand that many people believe soda is a horrible thing, but I usually stress to people when I consult with them to have more non alcoholic drink choices. Some lemonade, cranberry juice, or something.  They had nine different choices of alcoholic drinks available, and only 2 choices for non alcoholic drinks.

Tables set up in Newport Beach backyard

Tables set up in Newport Beach backyard

It is nice working with real glassware, but there is always breakage. I dropped one wine glass, and then  had to stop service and clean that up. This is also why I don’t recommend anyone use real glassware in a pool area. If a glass breaks and broken glass gets into the pool it becomes a real problem. Especially now, while the drought is going on. People cannot drain their pools and refill them, even if they want to.  Also, when using real glassware, it is important to have some disposable cups on hand to use when we run out of real glasses.

I got this job at the last minute; otherwise I would have had no event this weekend. I have two bartending events next weekend – one in downtown Los Angeles, and one in West Hollywood. Then I have events coming up in Desert Hot Springs, Temecula, Northridge, Coachella, and close to home in Sherman Oaks.  I will be aggressively seeking to fill any open slots in the coming months. I had some very good news this week – I was notified by Thumbtack that I had been chosen as the #1 Bar Caterer in Los Angeles for 2015. I credit that to my habit of showing up early and trying to be of maximum service at all events I do. Also, I quickly respond to all correspondence from my clients. Being a good bar caterer is not brain surgery, but requires common sense.

50 candles put out a lot of heat

50 candles put out a lot of heat

Birthday boy blows out all 50 at once

Birthday boy blows out all 50 at once

Los Angeles Bartending Service Goes Mobile for Three Events

13 Oct

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles bartending service went mobile this weekend and did three fantastic events in Encino, Temecula, and San Diego.  This was the second weekend in a row where I have done three events, and I am truly grateful.  I am getting calls from Google searches, which is the reason I write this blog. My Yelp page is also very helpful.

My first event was a surprise 30th birthday party in Encino. The host called me on Wednesday and asked if I was available for Friday. He called from my Yelp profile. I love getting last minute calls and if I am available I will most likely do them. I brought my martini glasses for the party and people drank dirty vodka martinis, Cosmos, and Cucumber martinis. The guest of honor was truly surprised and seemed to be elated by the party her husband arranged. I have said this before, but it is kind of cool to be present at important milestones in people’s lives.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and didn’t get any good

Future brides at Temecula wedding

Future brides at Temecula wedding

Crowded dance floor in Temecula

Crowded dance floor in Temecula

Shots!

Shots!

pictures.

On Saturday I had to drive out to Temecula to do a wedding that I booked months ago. When I booked the job, I didn’t realize that getting to Temecula is quite a journey. I had to transition on about five different freeways. The traffic was very heavy and I arrived right on time. Mia helped me with this one, and as always did a fantastic job. The signature cocktail was the Ciaprioska, which is like the Caipriana, but uses vodka instead of rum. The recipe requires muddling brown sugar with limes and pouring over vodka and ice, and then adding a splash of soda. They provided regular granulated sugar which is not quite the same, but we made it work. We operated two separate bars, inside and outside the house. In the end, I think the bride and groom were very happy.

On Sunday I booked a last minute gig in San Diego. I normally don’t do events in San Diego, but since it is quite close to Temecula I decided to do it. The event was held in a sukkah, which is a traditional tent constructed for the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. I did a presentation and gin tasting for forty men in the sukkah. It was a great experience. I researched the four gins we served, Bombay Sapphire, Old Tom, Hendricks, and Plymouth Navy Strength, and gave a brief presentation on the history of gin.  Everybody seemed to have a great time.  So, this was a weekend where mobile was the key word in mobile Los Angeles bartending service.

Next weekend I go mobile again and am doing an engagement party in Palmdale. I have a wedding to do on the 25th in the Inland Empire, and then a birthday party to do in Palm Springs on November 1. I am still available to do a Halloween party on October 31. I have had calls to do Halloween parties on October 25, but was not available.

 

Malibu Canyon Pre-Wedding Cocktail Party

4 Oct

Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at a pre-wedding cocktail party in Malibu Canyon on Friday night. Malibu Canyon, also known as Las Virgenes Canyon is one the most beautiful areas in the Los Angeles area, and the party was hosted at a fantastic home south of Mulholland Highway. We served Margaritas, beer and wine to approximately 100 guests. It was a very successful event.

The host didn’t want to use store bought Margarita mix and so I agreed to make home made mix. I had never made Margarita mix before, but was up to the challenge. I have recently made cucumber syrup and mint syrup, so was eager to try Margarita mix. I used limes from the store, lemons from the tree in the backyard which are very juicy, and simple syrup. I made three gallons of the stuff. When I first tried it I felt it was very sour, but after it set in the refrigerator for two days it tasted just right.

The Margarita mix was a big hit at the party. We used all three gallons of the hom made margarita mix and had to break into the store bought mix they had on hand. We also served 805 Ale, which seems to becoming popular, Pacifico, Modelo, and Stella Artois. We served completely out of Pinot Grigio, and
Chardonnay. One nice surprise at the party was that I ran into a couple whom I bartended for at their wedding a few months ago. They were happy to see me and then the host of thise party remembered me from their wedding. The private bartending scene is getting smaller in Los Angeles.

I was a having trouble to get any of my regular helpers to help me on this Friday night job. A girl had sent me her resume out of the blue from my Yelp

Home made Margarita mix

Home made Margarita mix

Guests mingling in Malibu Canyon

Guests mingling in Malibu Canyon

Desiree, my new helper and I in Malibu Canyon

Desiree, my new helper and I in Malibu Canyon

ad. I was nervous using her because I didn’t spend a lot of time interviewing her, but she showed up on time and did a great job. I will definitely use her again. She said that she sent emails out to every Los Angeles bartending company on Yelp. That goes to show you that there are jobs (albeit temporary) for people who actually want them.

Tonight I am bartending by myself at a post-wedding party in Venice, and then tomorrow am bartending a Christening party in Porter Ranch. This is busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred and I hope one of many in the near future. Next weekend I am bartending a wedding at a winery in Temecula and it will be my first bartending job out there. So far I don’t have a Halloween party booked for October 31, and hope to get one.

Shaken Not Stirred Provided Bartending Service at Camarillo Wedding

30 Aug

Last night, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a wedding at the McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo. I brought along another bartender to serve wine and beer to around 150 guests at this very nice venue. I hope to bartend many more events at this location in Ventura County. The weather was perfect for a wedding and a nice ocean breeze blowing in from the coast provided natural air conditioning.

Forever Young Brewery,  provided some kegs and he had a keg cooler with Co2 bottles, which makes it very easy for the bartenders. This is really the best way to serve beer from kegs – and I dread the pump up taps that slow service way down and the beer is often way too foamy. We had six different beers to serve, from a light ale, an IPA, two different porters, a stout, and Coors Light. We served completely out of the Ale and IPA, but there was plenty of the other beers left over. We also served Chardonnay, a Moscato, Merlot, and Cabernet. We ran out of white wine, which is always the biggest seller at weddings.

After the initial rush directly after the wedding ceremony, I probably could have handled this party by myself, but I usually recommend that people book two bartenders for parties over one hundred people. I have several great people who work with me, and the service is much quicker, especially when a big line to the bar forms. We usually try to pick up empty glasses and keep the tables and area clean when we aren’t busy. Good bartending service is about providing all around service, not just serving drinks.

Bruce Barrios provided the DJ services and he says that Ventura County is his territory. He says he does several events a year at the McCormick Home Ranch, and I hope to work with him again. Wood Ranch Barbecue

McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo

McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo

Future bride with her daddy

Future bride with her daddy

Action shot bartending

Action shot bartending

The sparkler gauntlet

The sparkler gauntlet

provided the catering and their food is always excellent. My son has worked for them for years and they are a very good company that is growing in Ventura, Los Angeles, and Orange counties.

Tonight I have another wedding in El Monte, and then tomorrow am doing a backyard pre Labor Day party in Redondo Beach. This marks the official end of the summer, but not the wedding season, as I still have several wedding coming up in Westlake Village, Temecula, Palm Springs, and I just booked one in Santa Ynez.  I am flying to Montana on Monday for a week long vacation, and then am providing bartending service for a cocktail party on my first day back in Beverly Hills.