Salty Dog Cocktail Recipe

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Salty Dog Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Salty Dog cocktail has its origins in the 1920s and 1930s, when it was first created as a variation of the popular Greyhound cocktail. The main difference between the two is the addition of a salted rim on the Salty Dog, which gives it its distinct name and flavor profile. This classic cocktail is often enjoyed by those who appreciate a balance of sweet and sour flavors, with a hint of saltiness to round it all off.

How Salty Dog Tastes?

The Salty Dog cocktail offers a delightful balance of flavors, with the tartness of grapefruit juice and the sweetness of gin or vodka. The salted rim adds a savory touch, making it a refreshing and satisfying drink.

Interesting facts about Salty Dog

  • The Salty Dog is a variation of the Greyhound cocktail, which is made with the same ingredients but without the salted rim.
  • The name 'Salty Dog' is believed to have originated from the slang term for a seasoned sailor.
  • The cocktail is traditionally served in a highball glass with a salted rim, but it can also be enjoyed in a rocks glass or even a martini glass.


A few good options for Salty Dog are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

A few good options for Salty Dog are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Gin or Vodka

The spirit is the backbone of any cocktail; gin adds a botanical touch, while vodka gives a cleaner, more neutral taste. Use 1.5 oz — it's the sweet spot that lets the spirit say 'hello' without overpowering the conversation. Without it: You're just drinking juice — and where's the fun in that?

Emma Rose

Grapefruit Juice

Provides that tangy, slightly bitter zing we adore. 3 oz is plenty to marry with the booze while allowing the grapefruit's sass to shine. No juice: Then it's more of a 'salty whisper' than a 'salty dog'.

Alex Green


It's like the supporting actor that steals the show — a pinch enhances all the flavors and adds a savoury note. Skimp out, and you'll miss the 'salt' in 'Salty Dog'.

Mary Mitkina

Grapefruit Wedge

More than just a pretty face, it's the citrusy garnish that completes the beachy vibe of this concoction. Plus, it gets the rims dressed up in salt. No wedge: You'll lose style points and that extra zesty kick.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Salty Dog Drink

  1. Prepare a highball glass by moistening the rim with a grapefruit wedge and then dipping it in salt to create a salted rim.
  2. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. In a shaker, combine 1.5 oz of gin or vodka and 3 oz of grapefruit juice.
  4. Shake well and strain the mixture into the prepared highball glass.
  5. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh grapefruit juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill your glass before preparing the cocktail to keep it cool longer.
  • Try different types of salt for the rim to alter the flavor profile.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Seafood: The briny, oceanic flavors complement the Salty Dog's citrus profile, especially good with oysters or shrimp. - Brunch Dishes: An excellent addition to a brunch spread including eggs benedict, or with savory breakfast items like bacon and quiche. - Salads: Try with a citrus or fruit-based salad for a refreshing companion to your cocktail. - Light Pasta Dishes: A simple pasta with olive oil and herbs balances well with the drink's tartness.

Drink Pairings

  • Sparkling Water: For a non-alcoholic refreshment between sips. - Chilled White Wine: A zesty sauvignon blanc would pair beautifully after a Salty Dog.

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What you could change in Salty Dog

  • Gin or Vodka: You can use either depending on your preference. Some also use tequila.
  • Grapefruit Juice: Orange or pineapple juice can be used for a sweeter cocktail.
  • Salt: Try using flavored salts for a unique twist.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Cucumber Salty Dog

  • Add muddled cucumber to the shaker before adding gin/vodka and grapefruit juice. It lends a refreshing twist. Recipe: Muddle a few slices of cucumber, add the rest of the ingredients, shake, and strain. The cucumber adds a spa-like quality, that's both cool and invigorating.

Spicy Salty Dog

  • Incorporate a small amount of jalapeño or hot sauce. Recipe: Muddle a slice of jalapeño, then add the remaining ingredients. Expect fireworks — it's a cocktail with a kick.

Herby Salty Dog

  • Incorporate fresh herbs, like basil or rosemary. Recipe: Muddle fresh herbs before adding the other ingredients. The herbs make it garden-fresh, a drink with depth and earthiness.

In case you forgot basics how to make Salty Dog

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Salty Dog

What type of glassware can I use if I don't have a highball glass?

You may use any medium to large-sized glass available like a pint glass or mason jar. The important thing is to have enough space for the liquid and the ice.

Is grapefruit the only type of citrus that could be used in the Salty Dog cocktail?

No, although grapefruits are traditionally used, other citrus fruits like oranges or limes can be used as a substitute. However, the unique sweet-tart characteristic of grapefruits contributes to the distinct flavor of the Salty Dog cocktail.

Why is salt used on the rim in a Salty Dog cocktail?

Salt not only adds flavor but it also has a tactile effect contributing to the overall sensory experience of the cocktail. Furthermore, salt also suppresses bitterness, thus enhancing the refreshing sweet and sour flavor of the drink.

What can I pair with the Salty Dog cocktail?

Its bright and balance flavors pair well with seafood and vegetable dishes. Moreover, it's superior as an appetizer due to its palate cleansing properties.

Is the Salty Dog cocktail suitable for a cocktail party?

Definitely, it's colorful, refreshing, and visually appealing characteristics make it a fantastic choice for any cocktail party or social gathering.

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