Salty and tart, this grapefruit salty dog cocktail recipe is the ideal refresher for 5 o’clock. Learn how to make this classic drink.
What is a salty dog cocktail
A salty dog is a cocktail consisting of vodka or gin and tart grapefruit juice served in a highball glass with a salty rim.
Similar to a greyhound cocktail, a salty dog includes the same ingredients except for the addition of coarse salt to the rim of a glass.
It’s also the name given to an ornery sailor who has spent too much of his time as sea.
Ornery sailor aside, I like the tartness of the grapefruit juice paired with the salt rim of this tall drink.
This is one of my favorite ruby red grapefruit vodka recipes.
When the end of the day rolls around I’m ready for a drink!
As I’ve gotten older, I have gained an appreciation for fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.
We order Texas Ruby Red grapefruit every year and this year was no exception.
This kind of grapefruit is the star of the show.
There is nothing like fresh grapefruit juice in your favorite summer drinks.
Who am I kidding, I enjoy this classic cocktail all year round.
This salty dog drink combines the tart yet sweet taste of freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice, vodka and of course, a salted rim.
For this simple recipe I also added elderflower liqueur for a pop of sweetness as well as a sprig of fresh rosemary from my garden.
Have you ever tried this floral liqueur?
The elderflower liqueur adds subtle sweetness while the rosemary adds a peppery finish to each sip.
I’m not one for syrupy sweet drinks but with the grapefruit, this one is a great refresher.
The nice thing about this easy drink is that it is easily amendable.
More of a gin fan? If you’re out of vodka, a good gin is an acceptable replacement.
Can’t find fresh grapefruit in season?
Pick up a bottle of ruby red or pink grapefruit juice from your local grocery store.
Sea salt also works well if you are out of coarse kosher salt.
How to make this classic salty dog
Salt the rim of the glass with course salt or margarita salt.
Add ice to the glass.
Fill a cocktail shaker with one part vodka, three parts grapefruit juice and 1/2 part elderflower liqueur.
Shake well and pour into the salt-rimmed glasses.
Add a grapefruit slice and sprig of rosemary to each glass.
Try a few of my other cocktail recipes
- Strawberry Balsamic Smash Cocktail
- Clementine Prosecco Cocktail
- Orange Hemingway aka Papa Doble
- Cranberry Grapefruit Vodka Cocktail
How to Make the Best Salty Dog Cocktail
- 1 ounce vodka
- 1/2 ounce Elderflower liqueur (I love St. Germain brand)
- 3 ounces freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
- Kosher salt
- Extra grapefruit slices and fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish
- Run a grapefruit wedge around the rim of your ice-filled glass.
- Sprinkle kosher salt on a small plate and coat the rim with kosher salt.
- Using a cocktail shaker pour in the vodka, grapefruit juice and elderflower liqueur.
- Shake the ingredients and pour into a prepared glass.
- Garnish each glass with a sprig of fresh rosemary and a slice of grapefruit.
If you make a recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #homeandplate. I’d love to see what you cook!