Salty Dog Cocktail — A cousin to a greyhound, this bright, refreshing drink is made with vodka (or gin), grapefruit juice, and a sea-salted rim!! Easy to make a pitcher of it or make in advance if you’re entertaining!!
What Is a Salty Dog Cocktail?
If you’ve never heard of a salty dog drink, don’t worry. It’s actually a classic grapefruit and vodka cocktail, although it’s sometimes made with gin.
A salty dog is bright, delicious, and served with a sea salt rim for a refreshing and sippable evergreen cocktail!
I love that you can use this salty dog cocktail recipe to make individual cocktails or a pitcher drink. This is a great recipe for parties!
Difference Between a Salty Dog and a Greyhound
If you’re thinking, wow, a salty dog sounds very similar to a greyhound given the vodka (or gin) along with the grapefruit juice, you’re right!
The difference is that a salty dog drink has a salted rim whereas a greyhound does not. Other than that, they’re virtually identical.
Ingredients in a Salty Dog Cocktail
A salty dog is essentially a grapefruit vodka cocktail. Here’s what you’ll need to make one:
- Sea salt
- Vodka or gin
- Grapefruit juice
- Grapefruit wedge, optional for garnishing
- Lime slice, optional for garnishing
Scroll to the bottom of this post for the recipe card with the exact measurements.
What’s the Best Vodka for This Cocktail?
Since this is a two-ingredient vodka cocktail, the vodka really shines. As such, I don’t recommend getting the cheapest vodka at the grocery store.
Reasonably priced vodkas that I recommend for making a salty dog cocktail include: Tito’s, Absolut, and Reyka. However, use whatever vodka you prefer (so long as it’s unflavored!).
How to Make a Salty Dog Cocktail
This is one of the easiest cocktails you can make. There’s no special equipment or technique involved, and you can measure out the grapefruit juice and vodka in parts rather than in exact ounces.
Here’s an overview of how the salty dog recipe is made:
- Begin by using your finger to run a bit of water around the rim of a cocktail glass before dipping it in small plate or sauce of sea salt.
- Fill a glass about three-quarters of the way with ice before adding the vodka and grapefruit juice, and stir with a bar spoon.
- Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and lime slice and voila, it’s that easy!
Can I Make This as a Pitcher Cocktail?
Yes! Salty dogs are an easy drink to make as a pitcher recipe or a big-batch recipe because there’s nothing carbonated, so there’s nothing to go flat.
You can even make a pitcher in advance and pop it in the fridge if you’re going to be entertaining for New Year’s or for a summer pool party or barbecue, of course when we get back to that phase of life, one day.
Salt the rims of individual glasses before serving or as noted below, you can add a pinch of sea salt to the drink itself.
I love a salted rim especially when it’s warm outside. Bring on the margaritas and salty dogs indeed!
Can This Recipe Be Made with Gin?
Yes! Salty Dogs can be made with either gin or vodka.
I prefer them with vodka because the salt helps neutralize the vodka flavor and makes for a really smooth cocktail. I also will almost always choose vodka over gin, but of course, suit your personal preferences.
Can I Use Another Citrus Juice?
Yes, but then it won’t be a classic salty dog recipe. A salty dog is always a grapefruit vodka cocktail (or gin).
Tips for the Best Salty Dog Cocktail
Salt: A pinch of sea salt can be added to the drink itself if you’re a salt lover.
Grapefruit juice: For the best flavor, I recommend using only fresh squeezed grapefruit juice or the refrigerated store-bought kind.
If possible, avoid using shelf stable grapefruit juice such as Ocean Spray because it doesn’t have quite the same fresh and natural flavor as a fresh grapefruit does. If that’s all you can find, work with what you’ve got.
What to Serve with a Salty Dog
Serve your salty dog drink with your favorite nibbles! We love the following:
- Coconut Shrimp
- Pineapple Chipotle Salsa
- Watermelon Cucumber Salad
- Strawberry Crostini
- Prosciutto Flatbread
Or, make a DIY cheeseboard or charcuterie board!
Pin This Recipe
Salty Dog Cocktail
A cousin to a greyhound, this bright, refreshing drink is made with vodka (or gin), grapefruit juice, and a sea-salted rim!! Easy to make a pitcher of it or make in advance if you're entertaining!!
- ¼ cup coarse sea salt, for rim
- 1½ ounces vodka or gin*
- 4 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- grapefruit wedge, optional for garnishing
- lime slice, optional for garnishing
- Use your finger to run a bit of water around the rim of a cocktail glass. I like to use a large-ish rocks glass.
- Add the sea salt to a small plate or saucer and dip the water rimmed glass in the salt, gently moving around to coat.
- Fill the glass about ¾-full with ice.
- Add the vodka, grapefruit juice ,and stir with a bar spoon.
- Optionally garnish with a grapefruit wedge and lime slice and serve immediately.
- Recipe can be made up to 12 hours in advance and can be made in bulk but quadrupling, 10x'ing, etc. all proportions of all ingredients.
*I prefer vodka to gin almost always, and this drink is no exception, however suit your personal taste preferences.
Recipe is intended for those for whom alcohol is legal, safe, and appropriate.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 28297mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g
You will not use anywhere near ¼ cup of sea salt per cocktail, however in order to get a sufficiently deep layer of sea salt in order to rim a glass,¼ cup is the least I find I can use to get the job done. Therefore, ignore the sodium value in this computer-generated estimate.
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Tequila Sunrise — Not only is it pretty to look at, but a tequila sunrise is also refreshing, nostalgic, and the grenadine sweetens it up enough that you may not even notice it packs quite a punch!
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Tropical Alcoholic Punch— One of my all-time favorite party drinks! Feel free to leave the alcohol out if desired. This punch tastes delicious even without it!
Creamy Nutella Martini — Everything’s Better with Nutella! A wonderful dessert martini!