A Spicy Perspective

Salty Dog Cocktail

Salty Dog Cocktail – A retro Salty Dog drink recipe made with vodka and grapefruit juice, plus a splash of bubbly club soda. Enjoy this classic summery cocktail with your fave sweet and salty garnishes!

salty dog cocktail recipe

Classic Salty Dog Cocktail Recipe

I’m a fan of a simple summertime cocktail that is both refreshing and exciting… Drinks that aren’t overly complicated to make, but that still have seasonal ingredients and some unique flair.

We love the retro 1950s Salty Dog, which is a variation of the iconic Greyhound typically made with gin and grapefruit juice. This version swaps gin with vodka for a stronger and slightly less sweet taste.

Because a classic Salty Dog cocktail recipe is made with vodka and is served in glasses with a salted rim, it’s also similar to a fun and delicious grapefruit margarita.

overhead view of two glasses of vodka drinks garnished with salt and grapefruit slices

Ingredients You Need

We keep this Salty Dog drink authentic by using only 5 ingredients.

You simply need:

  • Ruby red grapefruit juicefor a great tart and tangy flavor
  • Vodkause top shelf quality for the best taste
  • Club sodamakes this a delightfully bubbly cocktail
  • Simple syrupadds sweetness to balance the grapefruit juice and vodka
  • Kosher saltfor rimming the glass

Plus ice for serving the beverage chilled on the rocks.

how to salt the rim of a glass

How to Make a Salty Dog

There are only, like, 3 or 4 steps to make this classic easy cocktail recipe. Some “steps” are so simple I think they hardly count as steps!

First, salt the rim of each glass: Set out two small shallow plates. Place salt in one dish and a thin layer of simple syrup or agave syrup in the other. Dip the edge of a highball glass in the syrup, then dip in salt. Roll slightly as you dip to thoroughly coat the rim.

Next, fill the glass three-quarters full of ice.

glasses with ice and salt on the rim

Add the grapefruit juice, vodka, club soda, and 1 teaspoon of simple syrup.

Stir the drink with a cocktail swizzle stick. Taste, and then add a little more simple syrup if desired.

Get the Complete (Printable) Retro Salty Dog Cocktail Recipe Below. Enjoy!

pouring in bubble grapefruit soda into the glass

Lastly, add a fresh grapefruit wedge to the rim. Serve immediately while cold.

two glasses of salty dog drinks with grapefruit garnishes

Recipe Variations

There are several fun ways to jazz up this classic Salty Dog drink…

  • Substitute kosher salt with flaked Fleur de Sel or a flavored salt you like.
  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the salt before coating the rim of the glass. This gives the cocktail a kick of heat that goes great with the sweet, tangy and salty flavors!
  • Use sparkling grapefruit-flavored water instead of plain club soda.
  • Drizzle a bit of agave syrup to the top of the drink before serving for even more sweetness.
  • Make as a nonalcoholic mocktail by simply skipping the vodka and adding a bit more grapefruit juice and extra splash of sparkling water.
  • As-is this Salty Dog cocktail recipe is enough to prepare one drink. Of course you can make as many as you like for two or a crowd! Pro Tip: add the amount of grapefruit juice and vodka needed to make however many drinks you like, and mix together in a cocktail shaker. Then add 6 ounces of the mixture to each glass, and top with a generous splash (1 ounce) of the bubbly water.
  • Make it blended! This turns into basically a grapefruit margarita recipe by subbing the bubbly club soda with regular water or more grapefruit juice. Add all ingredients to a blender and serve as a refreshing boozy slushy.
overhead view of two salty dog cocktail drinks with garnishes

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Salty Dog Cocktail Recipe

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
This retro summer drink recipe is made with vodka and grapefruit juice, plus a splash of bubbly club soda. Perfectly sweet, tangy, and salty!
Servings: 1 beverage

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce club soda or sparkling grapefruit flavored water
  • 1-2 teaspoons simple syrup
  • Ice
  • For Garnish: Kosher salt or Fleur de Sel agave syrup, grapefruit wedges

Instructions

  • For the Salt Rim: Set out two small shallow plates. Place salt in one dish and a thin layer of agave syrup (or simply syrup) in the other. Dip the edge of a highball glass in the syrup, then dip in salt.
  • For Each Cocktail: Fill the glass three-quarters full of ice. Add the grapefruit juice, vodka, club soda, and 1 teaspoon simple syrup.
  • Stir with a cocktail swizzle stick. Taste, then add a little more simple syrup if desired. Add a fresh grapefruit wedge to the rim.

Notes

Try a spicy Salty Dog by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the salt before dipping.

Nutrition

Serving: 8oz, Calories: 202kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Sodium: 13mg, Potassium: 189mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 8IU, Vitamin C: 31mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Beverage, cocktail, Drinks
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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5 comments on “Salty Dog Cocktail”

  1. I’ve wondered what this drink was before, and your recipe did not disappoint! Love the grapefruit- so refreshing!

  2. This is such an amazing drink!! My husband loved it!

  3. A stunning drink and one I love serving when friends come over! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I was looking for a new summer cocktail and I am so glad I found this one. It is delicious!

  5. This cocktail is one of my favorite go to simple drinks to make for the summertime! I absolutely love it!