Skip to Content

Salty Dog Drink – A Refreshing Grapefruit Cocktail

The Salty Dog drink is refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for summer. It’s a simple drink made with gin or vodka, grapefruit juice and a salted rim. An easy recipe that’s quick to make and just as easily can be made in a large pitcher to serve a crowd.

Salty Dog drink with ruby red grapefruit slice and rosemary sprig for garnish with a caraft of grapefruit juice and bottle of vodka in the background.

 

Why You’ll Love the Salty Dog Drink

  • You only need 3 main ingredients.
  • Easy drink to make, even when you’re serving guests.
  • Refreshing
  • It’s a classic vodka cocktail.

History of the Salty Dog

Because this is a classic cocktail, the history deserves to be noted.

It all started with the Greyhound drink recipe, invented by Harry Craddock. Harry was a bartender at the Savoy Hotel in London and later documented the recipe in his book, The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930. It’s a classic book and if you love vintage cocktails, it’s worth owning.

Twenty years later in the 1950’s, it’s rumored an actor named George Jessel created the Salty Dog recipe. By adding the salted rim, Liquor.com explains how it pairs well with grapefruit by diminishing the bitter and sour flavors.

 

The Difference Between a Greyhound and the Salty Dog?

The Greyhound Cocktail is a mix of grapefruit juice and gin or vodka. This simple cocktail tastes overwhelmingly of grapefruit.

The only differences between the two drinks is the salt rim on the Salty Dog cocktail, which truly changes the flavor of the drink.

Why is it Called a Salty Dog?

The name is a play off of the Greyhound cocktail name. With the added salty rim to balance out the grapefruit juice, it became known as The Salty Dog.

What’s In a Salty Dog Drink?

The main ingredients are grapefruit juice, vodka and kosher salt.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice – fresh juice is always best and has more of a tart flavor. When purchasing juice, look for one without any added sugars.

Vodka – A quality vodka is best. Go with Grey Goose for a higher end vodka or Kettle One for a mid-priced, smooth vodka.

Lime Juice or Corn Syrup (for rim) – Used to adhere the salt to the cocktail glass.

Coarse Salt / Kosher Salt (for rim) – For best results, use a salt with large grains.

Fresh Rosemary (garnish) – Optional garnish. The aroma of the rosemary enhances the flavors of the drink.

Grapefruit Wedge (garnish) – The must-have garnish for the classic Salty Dog.

Salty Dog drink ingredients displayed on counter top.

 

Variations

  • You can also use gin instead of vodka. The Greyhound classic cocktail was originally made with gin. Use whichever alcohol is your personal preference.
  • You can also use pink grapefruit juice or an orange grapefruit juice.
  • If grapefruit is a little too sour for your tastes, add a dash of simple syrup to enhance the sweetness.

How to Make a Salty Dog Drink

Here are the easy step-by-step directions:

STEP 1: Cut a fresh grapefruit into wedges or wheels. For grapefruit wheels, add a slit in the side so it can perch on the glass. Either works fine. The wheels make for a prettier presentation, but you can get more wedges out of a single fruit.

Grapefruit wheels on a cutting board.

 

STEP 2: Pour a small amount of corn syrup or fresh lime juice on a small plate and dip the rim of your cocktail glass.

You can also run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass, but you may end up with a bits of pulp.

STEP 3: Coat the rim with kosher salt.

STEP 4: Fill the glass with ice cubes.

STEP 5: Pour in 1.5 – 2 ounces of vodka.

Pouring vodka into cocktail glass that has a salted rim.

 

STEP 6: Top off with 3 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice.

Top view of a highball glass filled with ice, vodka and grapefruit juice. Vodka bottle, a bunch of rosemary and grapefruits are placed around the glass.

 

STEP 7: Garnish with fresh rosemary and grapefruit slices.

Upclose view of the Salty Dog cocktail with garnishes.

 

How to Make a Pitcher of a Salty Dog Drink

  1. Simply keep the ratio of 1 part vodka to 3 parts grapefruit juice. Stir well.
  2. Prepare your glasses with a salty rim.
  3. Add Ice.
  4. Pour in cocktail mixture.
  5. Garnish.

More Vodka Cocktails To Enjoy

Watermelon Vodka Slush

Vodka Raspberry Lemonade

Pineapple Strawberry Lemonade Vodka Slush

Purple Rain Drink (Purple Cocktail)

Pineapple Screwdriver

 

The Salty Dog drink is delicious, refreshing, and perfect for a hot day. It’s salty with a balance of sour flavors that’s easy to make and is always a favorite grapefruit cocktail. Serve it to your friends and family, and they’ll love it.

Yield: 1

Salty Dog Drink

Salty Dog drink with ruby red grapefruit slice and rosemary sprig for garnish with a caraft of grapefruit juice and bottle of vodka in the background.

The Salty Dog drink is refreshing cocktail that's perfect for summer. It's a simple drink made with gin or vodka, grapefruit juice and a salted rim. An easy recipe that's quick to make and just as easily can be made in a large pitcher to serve a crowd. Enjoy this delicous Salty Dog cocktail.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 - 2 ounces Vodka
  • 3 ounces Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • Coarse Salt / Kosher Salt (for rim)
  • Lime Juice or Corn Syrup (for rim)
  • Fresh Rosemary (garnish)
  • Grapefruit Slices (garnish)

Instructions

  1. Cut a fresh grapefruit into wedges or wheels
  2. Pour a small amount of corn syrup or fresh lime juice on a small plate and dip the rim of your cocktail glass.
  3. Coat the rim with kosher salt.
  4. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  5. Pour in vodka.
  6. Top off with fresh grapefruit juice. Stir.
  7. Garnish with grapefruit slices or wheels and a sprig of rosemary.

Notes

See recipe post for variations and tips. Drink Responsibly.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g

Nutritional values are estimates and not exact.

Let's Be Social

Follow along on Pinterest for more great recipes!

Sharing is Appreciated!

Skip to Recipe