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The Easy Salty Dog Cocktail

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Cocktails made with freshly squeezed juice are always better. Most recently I made this Salty Dog Cocktail. Whenever we have drinks on a Friday afternoon, we’ve dubbed it Happy Hour at Home or Triple H, I have fresh oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes on hand. Most recently I made this Salty Dog Cocktail.

The Salty Dog is the second in my classic cocktail series. If you missed the first one, check out the Nutty Irishman, which is not only a delicious after-dinner drink, it’s ideal for St. Patrick’s Day.

A cocktail glass next to limes and a ruby red grapefruit.

This post is sponsored by Newair and Melissa’s Produce but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links where I earn a commission at no additional charge to you.

What’s the difference between a Salty Dog and a Greyhound?

The salty dog has 3 ingredients and I’m counting salt as an ingredient because, without it, it’s a cocktail called a greyhound. If you’ve ever made a margarita, you know how to salt the rim of a glass. 

So this is where things get a bit tricky. Depending on what you like, gin or vodka, you can use either when making this cocktail. It seems it was originally made with gin, during Prohibition but when the popularity of vodka grew after World War II, either became acceptable.

Ingredients for a salty dog cocktail.

How do you make a Salty Dog?

The simplicity is one of the appealing aspects. Three ingredients, that’s it. I prefer vodka over gin but feel free to use gin in this cocktail if it’s your favorite.

When salting the rim, I like adding zest from the grapefruit before juicing it. It adds lovely color to the salt too. Using either a hand-held juicer or an electric one, juice the grapefruits. Strain the seed and you are ready to make the drink.

Overhead photo of a cocktail with limes and half a ruby red grapefruit.

 If you read my previous vintage cocktail post with the Nutty Irishman, you know the Newair countertop clear ice maker makes 40 pounds of ice a day.

A portable ice machine sitting on a countertop.

The model I was sent is remanufactured, making it a bit less expensive. It’s sleek, stylish, and doesn’t take up much space making it perfect for all your parties. I have even made ice and stored it in the freezer while continuing to use the machine so I don’t run out.

A cocktail garnished with a grapefruit wedge being held.

The Salty Dog is a great summer brunch drink. Tart, refreshing, and easy to make. You could even make it by the pitcher and serve over ice. It’s perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day or a bridal shower.

Salty Dog Cocktail Twitter Image

A cocktail glass next to limes and a ruby red grapefruit.

Salty Dog Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A tart but refreshing classic cocktail perfect for summertime sipping.


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice (I used Melissa's Produce)
  • 1 Key lime (or Persian lime) wedge (I used a Key lime from Melissa's Produce)
  • Zest of 1 ruby red grapefruit
  • ¼ cup salt
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit wedge or lime wheel for garnish


  1. In a shallow plate combine the salt and ruby red grapefruit zest. Using the Key lime wedge, rub it around the rim of a rocks glass. Immediately dip the moistened rim into the sugar/ zest mixture. Set aside.
  2. In a stainless steel cocktail shaker filled with ice combine the vodka and ruby red grapefruit juice. Shake until the shaker becomes cold and frosty, about 2 - 3 minutes.
  3. Fill the prepared rocks glass with ice and pour the vodka mixture into the glass. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge or lime wheel. Serve immediately.

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Did you make this recipe?

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Tuesday 6th of April 2021

The drink looks fabulous. Love the color. This can be a great drink for summer parties.

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