Tag Archives: wedding rehearsal

Rolling Hills Estates High School Graduation Party

13 Jun
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Scenic Rolling Hills Estates

Last Saturday I drove to the South Bay to bartend a high school graduation party in scenic Rolling Hills Estates. Of course, high school graduates are not yet of drinking age, but I served the graduates soft drinks, and mixed harder stuff for their parents and older siblings. The party took place at a very nice property, with a well stocked home bar.

I made Old Fashioneds, Dry Martinis, Margaritas, and Mojitos for approximately sixty guests. This was a much different party than the one I attended when I graduated high school. Ours was in a garage and we had a keg of beer and we all got really drunk. That was a different time and place over thirty years ago. These high school graduates are going off the universities like Tulane, and USC next year.

The host makes his own wine from grapes he grows himself on his property. I forget the name of the grape he uses, but I had never heard of it before. I decanted a couple of bottles and the guests loved it. He even has his own stylish labels on the bottles. He also makes Grappa, and limoncello.

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Home made wine from Rolling Hills

Graduation Party Ideas

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Serve great food
  • Invite the parents
  • Play great music

The party went on until midnight and they had a dance floor setup in the living room. It was a very nice graduation party, and I’m sure the graduates will always have fond memories of it. I met some good people who took my card and I hope they will call me for future jobs. I have a long history in the South Bay and I always enjoying back there.

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Home bar at Rolling Hills

Tomorrow I am doing a junior high graduation party in Encino. I will make virgin drinks for approximately 40 kids. I have done a few non alcoholic events. This coming Saturday I will drive out the Palmdale to bartend a wedding rehearsal party. I have other events later this month in Los Angeles and in Oxnard. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram if you haven’t done so already.

Two San Fernando Valley Parties

27 Sep
Guests mingle poolside in Sherman Oaks

Guests mingle poolside in Sherman Oaks

This weekend Shaken Not Stirred remained at home in the San Fernando Valley and bartended two parties in Sherman Oaks and Northridge. The first party was a wedding rehearsal dinner south of the boulevard in Sherman Oaks, and the second party was a one year old’s birthday party in Northridge. I made a lot of margaritas over the weekend, to say the least.

The Sherman Oaks party was poolside at a very nice hillside home a few blocks south of Ventura Boulevard. The host had requested that I make the margarita mix with fresh ingredients. I use limes, lemons, agave nectar, and filtered water to make my own mixture, and it has always been a hit. The host asked me why I use lemons, and I suppose the real answer is because I have a lemon tree in the backyard that produces some of the juiciest lemons I have ever seen. I didn’t use those lemons for this batch because they aren’t ready yet, but they should be ready by Christmas, and are excellent for whiskey sours, Tom Collins mix, and many other cocktails.

The margaritas were a hit at the Sherman Oaks party, and many of the guests were in from Canada, enjoying the 100 degree weather we are having here in the valley. I served completely out of the margarita mix and only served a few beers and some sangria and white wine.  The heat was oppressive when I first arrived, but it cooled off a little after the sun went down.

The sun finally goes down

The sun finally goes down

On Saturday, I traveled a few miles further to Northridge to bartend a one year old’s birthday party. The hosts were of Philippine heritage and they explained to me, a one year olds birthday is a big deal in their culture.  They really did some elaborate planning and decorating for the party, and they had a large yard that was very conducive to entertaining.  Approximately 100 guests showed up, including a lot of children. Mark Cano was the photographer on hand, and he also kept very busy.

I made Moscow Mules, Cadillac Margaritas, and variations of vodka drinks. I also served a lot of Coors Light. Once again, temperatures were soaring in the valley. I kept very busy during this party and was struggling to keep up as a steady stream of people came to bar. We almost ran out of cups and ice, but somehow made it to the end of the night with few left over.

Backyard paradise in Northridge

Backyard paradise in Northridge

Next week, I have a corporate event in Newport Beach on Thursday, and then a wedding in Hollywood on Saturday. I still have Friday and Sunday open and hope to book some more events.  I will be very busy in the month of October, and have several event scheduled in the Palm Springs area. I just booked my first Christmas party yesterday, and expect many of those dates to start filling fa

Shots!

Shots!

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Catering setup in Northridge

Catering setup in Northridge

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….