Hello cocktail lovers! I'm sharing a refreshing grapefruit cocktail recipe: The Salty Dog Cocktail. If you're a fan of grapefruit and love a good salty touch to balance your cocktail, then you're in for a real treat.
Origin of the Salty Dog Cocktail
Before we dive into the recipe, let's take a moment to appreciate the history and origins of the Salty Dog Cocktail. A close cousin of the popular Greyhound cocktail, the Salted Dog differentiates itself by the salt-rimmed glasses. This salty rim gives it a delicious savory note that pairs perfectly with the bitter notes of grapefruit.
While its origins are unknown, like many classic cocktails, the Salted Dog likely emerged during the mid-20th century. The combination of gin and grapefruit juice was already popular, and adding a salted rim was a natural variation to play with flavor contrasts.
I love changing this classic salty dog cocktail recipe slightly by using a rosemary simple syrup to bring a more depth of flavor.
Find the ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. For this salty dog recipe, you'll need:
- London Dry Gin: Use a good gin where the main flavor in this gin comes from juniper berries, and no artificial colors or flavors are added.
- Fresh grapefruit juice - I love ruby red grapefruit for this because it brings gorgeous color and it's on the sweeter side compared to yellow grapefruit. Use fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice if you can.
- Ice cubes
- A dash of simple syrup - You can use plain simple syrup or rosemary simple syrup for herbal touch.
- Salt for the rim - I like using flaky sea salt, but you can use table salt if that's what you've got.
- A grapefruit slice or a twist of grapefruit peel for garnish and a sprig of rosemary.
Here's what you need for the salty dog drink:
- A cocktail shaker
- A glass - A high ball glass is traditional, but I like using rocks glass.
- A small plate (for the salt)
Pour a thin layer of salt onto your small plate. Moisten the rim of each glass with a piece of grapefruit or a damp paper towel, then dip the rim in the salt until it's nicely coated.
Combine the gin, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup with ice in your cocktail shaker. Shake well until it's thoroughly chilled.
Fill your salt-rimmed glass with ice, strain the cocktail into the glass.
Garnish with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!
Variations to Try
This cocktail is wonderfully versatile and invites experimentation. Here are a couple of variations you can try to mix things up:
- Spicy Salted Dog: Add a kick to your cocktail by mixing some chili powder in with the salt for the rim. This adds a nice warmth that complements the tartness of the grapefruit juice.
- Herbaceous Salted Dog: Try adding thyme simple syrup or sage syrup for something different from rosemary.
- Sparkling version: For a fizzy and sweeter version, use grapefruit soda or mix grapefruit cordial with club soda.
- Tequila Salted Dog: Substitute tequila for gin or vodka for a Margarita-inspired variation.
More cocktail recipes
- 1 ½ oz / 45ml dry gin
- 2 ½ oz / 75ml fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1 teaspoon / 5ml simple syrup
- Flaky salt for the rim
- Sprig of rosemary
- Grapefruit slice
- Pour a thin layer of salt onto your small plate. Moisten the rim of each glass with a piece of grapefruit or a damp paper towel, then dip the rim in the salt until it's nicely coated.
- Combine the gin, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup with ice in your cocktail shaker. Shake well until it's thoroughly chilled.
- Fill your salt-rimmed glass with ice, strain the cocktail into the glass, and garnish with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!
For extra flavor, use rosemary simple syrup instead of regular.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 584mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g