From the beginning of time, bartenders have used mysterious names to make drinks sound more complicated than they actually are. A Salty Dog, for example, is just a cup of grapefruit juice and vodka with a salt rim. It’s not a particularly imaginative drink, and it isn’t perfect either. That’s why we’re giving you an updated version with a bit of soda water and lime juice. It’s lighter and more balanced than your typical Salty Dog, and you can make yours with either vodka or gin. As an added benefit, this very simple highball should only take about two minutes to make, so you won’t have to spend too much time standing in your kitchen which may or may not be air-conditioned.
How It Tastes: Tart, fizzy, like a power nap on a sailboat
Drink If You Like: Greyhounds, Palomas
The Salty Dog
Makes one Salty Dog
- 2 ounces gin or vodka
- .5 ounce lime juice
- 3 ounces grapefruit juice
- 1.5 ounces sparkling water
Step One: Salt Rim
It should come as no surprise to you that you’re going to begin this drink by prepping your glassware. That’s Rule No. 2, and it’s how you ensure that you can drink your cocktail as soon as you finish it. You’re going to need a salt rim for your Salty Dog, so go ahead and rub a lime wedge around the rim of your glass, then dip the rim in a saucer covered in salt.
Step Two: Lime Juice
Traditionally, the only juice in a Salty Dog is grapefruit. But a bit of lime juice will brighten this cocktail and help bring some much-needed balance. Fresh lime juice is, of course, non-optional. Juice a lime, and add .5 ounce of this juice to your highball.
Step Three: Vodka or Gin
Whether you use vodka or gin for this cocktail is entirely up to you. Hopefully, you know which one you like more by now, although if you don’t, just flip a coin. Pour 2 ounces of whatever you choose into your highball.
Step Four: Grapefruit Juice
Next, you need grapefruit juice (or this isn’t a Salty Dog). Fresh grapefruit juice is preferable, but if you don’t feel like getting a forearm workout while you attempt to drain a half-sphere of citrus, bottled juice will work fine too. Add 3 ounces to your highball.
Step Five: Seltzer
Finally, you need a healthy splash of seltzer. Like the lime juice, this isn’t typically used in Salty Dog, but it’ll help lighten the drink, and it’ll help temper the sweetness as well. Put 1.5 ounces in your highball. And that’s it. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge, lime wedge, or grapefruit twist, and you’re fully prepared to enjoy this new and improved Salty Dog.