This Salty Dog cocktail is a twist on a classic greyhound that features gin and a coarse salt rim. The drink is crisp and refreshing, and super tart, with fresh grapefruit and lime juices!

A salty dog drink on a slab of marble


 

Easy Gin Cocktail Recipe

All the glorious fresh citrus this time of year definitely helps ease the wintertime blahs. And this Salty Dog cocktail, pretty-in-pink and super tart with fresh-squeezed grapefruit and lime juices, is a favorite way to enjoy it!

I like gin, especially in a good gin & tonic – as you may have guessed by the G&T recipes I’ve shared, like pomegranate, cranberry, and strawberry.

The salty dog is another easy gin cocktail recipe. It’s bright and refreshing, which makes it a perfect spring and summer sipper. But I think it’s the absolute loveliest during winter, when grapefruit’s in season and at its most delicious best!

Oh. And by the way. If you’re not a fan of gin, you can make this salty dog drink with vodka too!

Two salty dog cocktails on white marble

What’s A Salty Dog Drink?

A salty dog cocktail is a twist on a classic greyhound cocktail, made with grapefruit juice, gin (or vodka), and lime juice – and served in a glass with a salted rim.

A classic greyhound features the very same ingredients, but without the salted rim. My absolute favorite greyhound cocktail recipe features a splash of rosemary simple syrup – it’s delightful!

The only difference between a classic greyhound (no salt rim) and a salty dog (yes salt rim) is the rim. It makes sense, right? Salty dog. Salted rim. 😊

A salty dog is light and fruity in a super tart way, and only as sweet as your freshly squeezed grapefruit. Most of the time, you won’t see any added sweetener in a salty dog (But I often include a super small splash! Just depends on the tartness of the grapefruit).

Salty dog cocktail ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

This easy gin cocktail recipe requires just 3 ingredients.

  • Grapefruit juice – Freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice is the key to the very best salty dog cocktail. But a good quality not-from-concentrate 100% grapefruit juice will work in a pinch.
  • Gin – For this cocktail, any good quality gin that you already like to drink will work. I opted for The Botanist here, but also have Hendrick’s and a couple local MN gins on hand, Prairie Organic and Tattersall.
  • Lime juice – Freshly-squeezed lime juice adds another pow! of acidity and freshness to the cocktail.

Optional: Like I mentioned in the previous section, depending on the tartness of the grapefruit, I sometimes add a tiny splash of simple syrup. This drink is not meant to be sweet. However, you do you. If you want it sweet, then make it sweet!

How to Make a Salty Dog Cocktail

Here’s how to make a salty dog cocktail – you’ll only need a few minutes.

  • Salt the glass. Rub the cut edge of a lime wedge around 2 glass rims, then dip into coarse salt.
  • Shake. Add the liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Cover shaker tightly and then shake vigorously for 30 seconds, until the drink is perfectly chilled and diluted.
  • Serve. Add ice to prepared glasses and strain drink over the ice. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit and lime. Enjoy!
A salty dog cocktail topped with a slice of grapefruit

Tips & Variations

Here are a few tips for preparing this grapefruit cocktail, as well as a few easy variations.

  • Be sure to use coarse salt. When salting the rim of a cocktail, you want to use coarse salt (not table salt). Here’s some inexpensive coarse salt that works well.
  • Use vodka instead of gin. Like a classic greyhound, this salty dog cocktail can be made with your favorite vodka instead of gin.
  • Use quality ingredients. The smaller the ingredient list is, the more important each individual ingredient is. In this case, make sure you’re using a good quality grapefruit juice and lime juice (freshly squeezed will always be best) and a good quality vodka or gin.
  • Add some sweetness. Grapefruit is tart. Lime is tart. Together, they’re one heckuva puckery combo. I’m telling you to feel no shame if you want to add some simple syrup. It’s ok. Really!
A hand holding a salty dog drink

Can I Make This A Big Batch Cocktail?

Yes, you can easily turn this salty dog cocktail into a pitcher recipe. Just multiply the ingredients by 4 and you’ll have a pitcher of cocktails to make 8 drinks.

Sometimes I like to add a big splash of club soda to the pitcher, to make the cocktail go even further. This also lightens up the alcohol content and adds some effervescence. I like bubbles!

If you want to prepare this in advance, combine everything in a pitcher up to 4 hours beforehand, and refrigerate. If you do decide to add club soda, add that just before serving.

More Easy Cocktail Recipes:

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A salty dog drink on a slab of marble

Salty Dog

Yield: 2 cocktails
prep time: 5 minutes
total time: 5 minutes
This Salty Dog cocktail is a twist on a classic greyhound that features gin and a coarse salt rim. The drink is crisp and refreshing, and super tart, with fresh grapefruit and lime juices!
5 Stars (3 Reviews)
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Ingredients

  • 6 ounces freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 3 ounces gin
  • ounces freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup optional (use more if you like)

Instructions

  • Rub the cut edge of a lime wedge around the rim of 2 glasses and then dip them in coarse salt; set aside.
  • Add the grapefruit juice, gin, lime juice, and optional simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Cover the shaker tightly and shake vigorously for 30 seconds, until the drink is thoroughly chilled and perfectly diluted.
  • Fill prepared glasses with ice and then strain the drink over the ice. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit and a lime wheel. Enjoy!

Notes

A salty dog typically does not include any sweetener/simple syrup – but I usually add a very small amount, depending on the tartness of the grapefruit.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 145kcal Carbohydrates: 12g Protein: 1g Sodium: 2mg Sugar: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
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A salty dog drink on a slab of marble