This classic cocktail is a variation on the classic Greyhound. A pinch of salt is all it takes to make it doggish. In reading a bit about the Greyhound cocktail, I found that the first description of the recipe was documented in 1930 in a cocktail book printed by The Savoy, a famous London based hotel. The bartender at the time, named Harry Craddock, was the mixologist credited with crafting this simple concoction.

On our recent trip to San Francisco, on one of the many gorgeous sunny days, we ordered a Salty Dog in an outdoor cafe. It was our first time having this cocktail. It was perfect in this perfect setting. It’s now on our list of easy go-to beverages. It’s easily pulled together with either gin or vodka.  I prefer vodka, my husband likes it with gin. You choose. With summer months just weeks away, this will be a great cocktail for backyard entertaining.  BUT be careful.  It’s a little too easy to sip quickly on a gorgeous sunny day.  We know from experience.


For one cocktail

  • Coarse salt (we used a smoked chili salt which enhances the grapefruit flavor even more, but plain or a Himalyan pink salt would be great as well)
  • 1-1/2 ounces good gin or vodka
  • Grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed or a good ready made juice. TJ’s has one. So does Market of Choice.
  • Grapefruit slice for garnish
  • Fresh basil or mint leaf for garnish (optional)
  • Cubed ice

Pour coarse salt onto a plate. Moisten rim of a highball glass with either grapefruit or lime. Dip rim into salt to coat all the way around glass. Fill glass with ice cubes. Pour vodka (or gin) over ice in each glass. Fill with grapefruit juice and garnish with grapefruit slice and basil or mint.