Grapefruit salty dog Cocktail with black background.
Food - Drink
What Makes The Classic Salty Dog Cocktail Unique?
A Salty Dog is a cocktail that's always made with grapefruit juice and served in a glass that has a salted rim, but the rest of the drink's formula can vary. While the original Salty Dog recipe calls for gin to be mixed with grapefruit and ice, this botanical liquor is often swapped for vodka, and many other unique variations also exist.
The precursor to the Salty Dog was the Greyhound, a 1930s cocktail with gin, grapefruit, and ice. The Salty Dog came to be around the 1950s, and is often attributed to George Jessel, who was looking to soften the tartness of the Greyhound's tangy grapefruit by salting the rim of the beverage, since salt actually can tame bitter flavors.
Fresh grapefruit juice is ideal for a Salty Dog so that each sip is filled with crisp, bright citrus flavors. As for the ratio, depending on how much alcohol you use (a standard shot is one and a half ounces), double that for the juice (three ounces, in this case), and stir it together with ice for a smooth, fruity drink with just a slight bitter edge.
You can also experiment with different salts to see which texture and flavor bring the ideal finish for your Salty Dog. The cocktail is classically garnished with a slice of grapefruit, but lime wedges and sprigs of herbs like rosemary and thyme are also common, and you can even add color with ingredients like matcha or other fruit juices.