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  • Writer's pictureJarnard Sutton

Behind the Stick with Ryan Short of FIREHOUSE

The bar manager of FIREHOUSE American Eatery + Lounge in Pacific Beach, Ryan Short, shows us how to make this refreshing summer time cocktail that's infused with Kaffir lime and gin.

Gin & Juice


.50 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz fresh grapefruit juice

.75 ozhouse ginger syrup

2 oz Kaffir lime-infused Beefeater Gin

Garnished with rosemary sprig

What's the story behind Gin & Juice?

We wanted to create a refreshing summer gin cocktail to enjoy on our rooftop. The Beefeater Gin is already rich with botanical notes so we infused it with Kaffir lime leaves to add in a refreshing citrus twist.

Describe the taste.

Refreshing crisp start, with a spicy finish from the fresh ginger.

What's the key component of this drink?

The kaffir lime-infused gin.

What's the process of infusing kaffir lime with gin?

We take kaffir lime leaves and break them apart, We let it sit in the gin for two hours. The leaves emit an intense citrus flavor which is soaked up by the gin.

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

The response has been really good. It has been a great way to introduce non gin drinkers to gin.

Bar manager Ryan Short shows us how to make this summer time cocktail, Gin & Juice.

What kind of experience can guests get at FIREHOUSE?

Firehouse is what you want it to be:

We cater to the perfect date night venue on Wednesday nights with our ocean views, half off bottles of wine, $1 oysters and live acoustic music.

We are the perfect Sunday brunch spot with $16 bottles of Champagne, tropical tunes, a live magician and a party that continues into the night.

Our three-course lunch special is perfect for the quick affordable lunch option, and our rooftop cabanas are perfect for hosting an unforgettable bachelor/bachelorette party.

About Ryan Short

Are you from San Diego?

I am not. I’ve lived in San Diego now for four years. I grew up in Bozeman, Montana. I went to school in Athens, Georgia, spent a short time in Scottsdale, Arizona and then moved here right after.

What has your journey been like leading up to your current position at FIREHOUSE?

I spent all of college working in a few different high volume campus bars, worked for a sports bars in Arizona, and was lucky enough to get in with SDCM group at Firehouse upon arrival in San Diego.

What's your favorite thing about bartending?

Ive stuck with bartending because of the social aspect and getting to have a different individual with a different story sit down in front of you every day.

What's your favorite cocktail on the menu?

The Smoke Alarm.

What's your favorite spirit?


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

I don’t have much of a culinary background, so getting together with others and playing off each others thoughts really helps the creative process. Starting with a spirit and a flavor profile and then going from there seems to always work out well.

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

Something with mezcal in it. We have a great cocktail at Firehouse called the Smoke Alarm that is half mezcal and half tequila with fresh lemon juice, blood orange syrup, and peach bitters. Cutting the spirits half and half is great for introducing an individual to mezcal.

Define the perfect cocktail.

Whatever cocktail puts a smile on the face who has the drink in their hand.

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

The Grass Skirt is a great new Tiki venue that opened up right down the street from FIREHOUSE. My friends Tony and Tuttle run the place. I like to drink rum with them.

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

Seniority in a bar is bullshit. Work hard and bring something to the table that no one else is doing. People get caught up with the idea that they have to put in their time to get the good shifts or move up. Ive never been a fan of that theory. If you’ve earned being behind the bar, you should be there.

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

I really like Mexico.

What's next for you?

I'll probably bartend again this weekend. Then I might play some golf on Monday.

FIREHOUSE American Eatery + Lounge

722 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach. (858) 274-3100 or


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