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.
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:
- It looks fancy
- 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.
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!
- Bloody Mary
- Fall-Spiced Old Fashioned Cocktail
- Pomegranate Paloma
- Long Island Iced Tea
- Mint and Lime Mojito
Salty Dog Cocktail
- Fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (use a sweeter, prettier variety, like pink or red grapefruit)
- Salt for rimming (kosher salt or ground sea salt is best)
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.
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.)
Add the grapefruit juice:
Fill the glass the rest of the way with the fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.
Give it a little stir, and enjoy!