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  • Writer's pictureJarnard Sutton

Behind the Stick with Steven Tuttle of The Grass Skirt

The folks over at The Grass Skirt, located next door to Good Time Poke in Pacific Beach, are serving up some unique tiki cocktails. We caught up with the Beverage Director Steven Tuttle on this edition of 'Behind the Stick'. He shares the recipe to this boozy tiki libation called Tipsy Tentacle.

Tipsy Tentacle


1.5 oz Black Rum .5 oz Biscotti Liqueur .5 oz Lime 1.5 oz Pineapple 1.5 oz Banana Coconut Syrup

Garnish with banana octopus

What's the story behind the Tipsy Tentacle?

The drink recipe is by one of the brain trusts behind Grass Skirt, Ryan Walsh, but the name is actually from one of our managing partners, Jillian Donavan. Comic genius, don’t know where she gets it!

What's makes a good tiki drink?

As in all cocktails, balance. But I think with tiki it’s a balance between rums as well. Using multiple rums to achieve sweetness, spice, heat, etc. is very important.

Describe the taste.

Sweet and savory with a touch of dryness.

What's the key component of this drink?

Biscotti Liqueur & the banana syrup.

When choosing a rum, why did you go with the Zaya rum?

We went with Zaya because it’s a Trinidad rum. A lot of Trinidad rums are very bold, very rich in flavor. It add great depth to the drink.

What reactions do you get from customers when they try this cocktail for the first time?


Steven Tuttle of the Grass Skirt shows us how to make this boozy tiki cocktail called Tipsy Tentacle.

What kind of experience can guests get at Grass Skirt?

It’s as all tiki bars should be, FUN! There’s something for everyone and that’s the idea. We also have such an incredible food element to the restaurant. With Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski and our Grass Skirt Chef Erin Harris at the helm, it’s hard to not get something fantastic. It’s elevated food in a fun way.

About Steven Tuttle

Are you from San Diego?

I’m from San Jose, CA and I’ve been in San Diego for about 13 years.

What has your journey been like leading up to your current position at The Grass Skirt?

Educational and fun. I was a buster, bar-back, bartender, floor manager, bar manager, entertainment manager, wine salesman, general manager, you name it. Just haven’t done the kitchen side yet, unless you count working Brian Redizokowski’s Bao Bun nights at our donut shop Devil’s Dozen. It’s been a fun progress and I’m enjoying it.

What's your favorite thing about bartending?

Working with your friends in the trenches. Working a shift that is very demanding, high volume with your friends/coworkers around you. With my job I also love the business side. I have a business degree and applying that to financial management of our programs is challenging and rewarding.

What's your favorite cocktail on the menu?

The Grass Skirt Daiquiri.

What's your favorite spirit?


What's your thought process when you're creating a new cocktail?

Could be anything. Usually I know one or two ingredients I want to work with and then build from there.

What's one drink we should be making at home?

Rum old fashioned and a Ti Punch.

Define the perfect cocktail.

Whatever suits you.

If you're going out for a cocktail, what are some spots you like to go in San Diego?

Anywhere with Christian Siglin or Eric Johnson.

What's one piece of advice you would give someone starting out in the business?

Learn the basics, do everything 100%, be the person people can always count on.

What do you do in your spare time when you're not creating cocktails?


What's next for you?

There are still a lot of restaurants and concepts we want to open so you'll see!

The Grass Skirt

910 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach. (858) 412-5237 or

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