Salty Dog Cocktail

Have you ever had a Salty Dog? Not to be confused with the one that jumps in the ocean (ha), this summertime sipper is made with grapefruit juice, vodka, and yes, salt. It's a zingy little drink that's pretty to boot!

What is a Salty Dog? tall glasses cocktail with grapefruit and salt
Nancy Mitchell

A Salty Dog is the perfect hot-weather drink: bright, citrusy, and fresh, with a little verve from the salt—basically, perfect for patio sipping. It's like a grown-up screwdriver!

The Ingredients for a Salty Dog

If you've never had a Salty Dog, the ingredients might sound a little strange. Vodka, grapefruit, and salt? Really, that's a thing? It is!

It’s so simple and unexpectedly delicious that it may become your summer go-to.

Salty Dog with Grapefruit salty dog grapefruit drink with ice and salt rim
Nancy Mitchell

Fun Fact About the Salt

Leave out the salt rim and you have a Greyhound, an equally nice cocktail.

I like the salt rim of the Salty Dog (the etymology here is fairly obvious) for two reasons:

  1. It looks fancy
  2. Salt adds dimension to a drink, just as it does to a dish.

Use a salt with a large, rough grain (like kosher salt) for the best results.

Greyhound vs. Salty Dog drink peach salty dog with salt rim closeup
Nancy Mitchell

A Quick Note About Glass Size

You'll notice this drink doesn't call for specific amounts of vodka and grapefruit juice. Instead, you're instructed to fill the glass with ice, and then roughly halfway with vodka. This makes for an easy recipe (nothing to measure!), but it also means the size of your glass is especially important.

A glass around 8 to 10 ounces is good. Anything more, and you'll probably run out of grapefruit juice, or end up drinking a truly massive amount of vodka.

Which Vodka To Use

I like Tito's, but any nice mid-range vodka will do. Since you're mixing with grapefruit juice, there's no need to go super-premium.

Love a Good Cocktail? Here You Go!

Salty Dog Cocktail

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Serving 1 serving


  • Fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (use a sweeter, prettier variety, like pink or red grapefruit)

  • Vodka

  • Salt for rimming (kosher salt or ground sea salt is best)


  1. Salt the rim:

    Pour salt in a shallow dish. Cut a notch into a slice of grapefruit, then run the notch around the rim of the glass. Gently press the glass in the dish to rim it with salt.

  2. Add the ice and vodka to the glass:

    Add ice to the salted glass, then fill the glass one-third to one-half full with vodka. (How much vodka depends on how strong of a drink you'd like—I don't recommend any less than a third, unless you want your drink to be very grapefruit-forward and sour.)

  3. Add the grapefruit juice:

    Fill the glass the rest of the way with the fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

  4. Stir:

    Give it a little stir, and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
221 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 221
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 584mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 59mg 293%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 251mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.