Tag Archives: Venice Beach

Two Weddings and a Brazilian Themed Birthday Party

17 Oct
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San Clemente State Beach

 

Last week Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering for two big weddings and a Brazilian themed birthday party. Thursday I traveled to San Clemente to bartend a wedding at the Historic Cottage located at the San Clemente State Park. On Friday I bartended a birthday party with a Brazilian theme in the Venice Beach area, and then on Saturday drove to Palm Springs to provide bartending service at the Palm Springs air museum. It was a very successful week for Shaken Not Stirred.

The Historic Cottage

The Historic Cottage at the San Clemente State Park overlooks the ocean and is a fantastic venue for a wedding. This venue reminded me very much of The Pointe Vicente Interperative Center in Rancho Palos Verdes. The Historic Cottage only allows wine and beer service, and drink service stops at 10pm.

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Guests mingle during cocktail hour

For this wedding, the ceremony was held on the bluff overlooking the ocean, and then the guests came for the cocktail hour held in the front yard of the Historic Cottage. I had my portable bar setup there and a had a barback from Orange County helping me there. We served approximately 150 guests. After the cocktail hour, the guests moved to the backyard area of the cottage for dinner and dancing.

Brazilian Themed Birthday Party

A chef that I know, Ella Freyinger, referred me to bartend for one of her friend’s birthday party. The client and her husband were very British, but they wanted to do a Brazilian themed birthday party. I would be serving Caipirinhas, the Brazilian cocktails and they would be serving food popular in Brazil. Caipirinhas are made with Brazilian cane liquor, Cachaca, brown sugar, and lime. They are somewhat labor intensive drinks that require much muddling, so I kept busy making them for four hours for 30 guests.

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Cachaca and Brazilian soda

 

At first, I didn’t think the guests liked them, because they were drinking them slowly, but that changed quickly. Guests brought more bottles of different brands of Cachaca, and I was making drinks with at least four different brands, including Pitu, Cachaca 51, Novo Fogo, and Avua. The owner of the Avua brand was actually at the party, and provided a lot of insight about the various types. I must mention that Caipirinhas are deadly drinks that go down smooth, but can bite like a rattlesnake.

Palm Springs Air Museum

I have done weddings and parties at venues all over the Coachella Valley, but this was my first wedding at the Palm Springs Air Museum. It is a truly fantastic museum located in a hangar at the Palm Springs airport. It is full of vintage planes and displays, which I didn’t really have time to look out because I had to hustle and prepare for a 230 guest wedding party. I had another bartender and barback there to help me. Unlike many wedding parties I do the ceremony for this one was done somewhere else, so the guests trickled in, rather than arriving in a line all at once. It can be daunting to serve a line a 230 people.

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Myself, barback Teresa, and bartender Thomas

We served margaritas, and mojitos, and various other drinks. The highlight is when they opened the hangar door and we could see a dramatic sunset over the mountains of Palm Springs, as well as vintage planes outside the hangar and commercial jets taking off nearby. It was a great event and hope to return there soon.

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Shots!

 

Venice Beach Corporate Events

18 Nov
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Guests gather at the “succulent bar” with Komodo Truck standing by

This week Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at two different corporate events for a tech company in Venice Beach.  I did an event there last year and was delighted that they booked me again this year. This time, I did one smaller event on Wednesday night for around 40 people, and then on Thursday I brought a staff of four to serve cocktails o 250 people.

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“Weekend Celebrity” setting up at Venice corporate event

For the smaller event I worked with the coordinator to come up with unique drink menu. They chose the Pisco Sour and the Paloma as the specialty drinks. I didn’t think about it at the time, but the drinks are kind of similar. Pisco is a grape liqueur, but tastes more similar to tequila than to vodka, for instance. Then, both drinks have a similar sweet/sour thing going on. The Pisco Sour is a classic South American cocktail, that many people haven’t tried, so I always like serving.

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My mom with one of my barbacks, Karen

The company hired a “succulent bar” as part of the event. The succulent bar has different pots, different varieties of live succulents, dirt, and other plants to accentuate the chosen succulent  The coordinator told me how much they paid for the succulent bar and I couldn’t believe it. I guess I am in the wrong business. I also couldn’t believe how excited the guests were about the succulent. I was standing there behind the bar twiddling my thumbs while all the guests were at the succulent bar. These millennials are quite different than my generation, who would have been three drinks in already. The guests eventually made it to the bar. I’m sorry I forget a business card for the succulent bar. Komodo Food brought their truck into the lot and provided the catering.

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Full house at corporate cocktail party

The second night was the big event. Last year we scrambled making the specialty cocktails one at a time. This year I brought my drink dispensers and premixed the cocktails, which maked serving large groups a breeze. The line moves so much faster. My mom was here visiting from Montana and she went to the event with me, as she did last year. She is very outgoing and helped pour wine. The guests seemed to love her, though I was a bit embarrassed, because she tells anyone who will listen her life story…Weekend Celebrity provided the live entertainment, and this is the second time I’ve seen them on a gig, and they are very good. I highly recommend them. Dave’s Catering did the food, which unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to sample, but it looked good.  

This weekend I have one event in Thousand Oaks on Saturday and then next week is Thanksgiving. I could have taken a job on Thanksgiving, but I am done doing that. I own my own business now and I don’t work on Thanksgiving. That is a day for gratitude. Next month there will be plenty of work.    

Venice Art Gallery Event

30 Apr
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“Showmance” at Parallax Art Fair

Last night, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at a Venice Beach art gallery event. The Parallax Art Fair originally started in London, and they held the special Venice version of the art fair at Venice Arts on Lincoln Boulevard. About 200 guests mingled and drank wine as they viewed interesting works of all medias and talked with the artists. My son worked with me and we had a great time talking to the guests and the artists as well.

We set up a portable bar in the corner of the gallery and did our thing. We passed out glasses of wine on trays and got the party rolling. Showmance provided the live entertainment. We served cabernet and chardonnay from boxes and that was fine. People are not so discriminating when they are drinking free wine.

There were all kinds of fantastic pieces on display, including paintings, sculptures, pottery, and photography. This was the opening night of the art fair and it will be ongoing today, 4/30 and tomorrow, though we won’t be serving wine. I hope to be doing more of these events in the future. Afterward, my son and I had a late dinner at Leona

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My son behind bar at Venice Beach art fair

on Washington Boulevard where my daughter is a sous chef. The restaurant is fantastic and I highly recommend.

Host an Art Gallery Event

  • Hire a bartender
  • Serve free wine and soft drinks
  • Hire entertainment
  • Utilize social media
  • Get great artists to display

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    Guests mingle at Venice Arts

Today, I am preparing to do a party in Eagle Rock. A couple is renewing their vows and having a celebration. This month, Shaken Not Stirred will be very busy with graduation parties, birthday parties, Christenings, bachelorette parties, and weddings. We will be traveling all over the place, including the Inland Empire, Palm Springs, and all over LA. Saturdays are booked solid throughout May and June, but many Fridays, Sundays, and weekdays are still open.

Venice Beach Corporate Event

19 Nov
Corporate event before the madness

Corporate event before the madness

Wednesday Shaken Not Stirred provided bartenders for a large corporate event in Venice Beach. This was the first of many holiday company parties Shaken Not Stirred has contracted to do in the next month and a half. The Venice event required two bartenders and two barbacks to provide service for approximately 300 guests.  ‘

I worked extensively with the company party planner developing a drink menu and shopping list. She wanted Thanksgiving themed cocktails and chose a Cranberry Old Fashioned, an Apple Cider Moscow Mule, and an Apple Pie sparkler as a mocktail. Now, how to serve these moderately complex drinks to 300 people in three hours.

Guests mingle in Venice Beach

Guests mingle in Venice Beach

I normally don’t recommend serving drinks that require any muddling, fresh fruit, or four different ingredients to large crowds. We worked it out. Otto, a veteran Hollywood nightclub bartender was working with me and he showed me how to muddle fruit, sugar, and bitters in masses, so all we had to do was add a spoonful to each Old Fashioned and mix the drink.

Corporate Event Bartenders

  • Company holiday parties
  • Client appreciation
  • Grand Openings
  • Screenings
  • Product launches
  • Conferences

I had my barback putting ice into glasses and booze and then I mixed the drink. I saw the line circulating three or four times throughout the night. Only one bottle of whiskey was left at the end and about a case of wine. My shopping list was pretty accurate for 300 people for three hours.

Off the hook in Venice

Off the hook in Venice

On Saturday I will stay in the San Fernando Valley and bartend a birthday party in Reseda. On Monday I will bartend a cocktail party in Westwood, and then on Thursday I will spend Thanksgiving with my family. I had requests for bartending gigs on Thanksgiving, but I am sorry – I worked too many holidays when I worked in the restaurant industry. This Thanksgiving I will be with family.

Shaken Not Stirred Crew

Shaken Not Stirred Crew