Salty Dog Cocktail

This Salty Dog Cocktail is a crisp and refreshing mix of vodka or gin, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and just a touch of club soda for fizz.  It’s sure to be your go-to cocktail all year round.

A Salty Dog Cocktail made with vodka, ruby red grapefruit juice, a twist of lime and a splash of club soda, then garnished with a salted rim and wedge of red grapefruit.


This cocktail is actually a variation to a ‘Greyhound’ cocktail, which is vodka or gin and grapefruit juice in a highball glass WITHOUT a salted rim.

It was developed when a bartender in the 1950s added the lime and salt rim of the glass to counteract the bitterness of the grapefruit juice. It became a hit and even more popular than the Greyhound.


This cocktail is pretty simple.  Equipment includes a cocktail shaker and a highball glass.  Pretty much everyone has those in their arsenal.

As for ingredients, you will need either vodka or gin.  I prefer vodka, but it does make this cocktail deceptively smooth and dangerous.

You will also need lime and coarse salt for the rim, and another lime wedge to twist into the cocktail.  

Grapefruit juice adds flavor.  I like using Ruby Red grapefruit juice for both the pink color and the sweeter taste.  You can use any grapefruit juice that you like.

Finally, have some club soda on hand to add a splash to the drink for just a bit of bubbly.  I like using a grapefruit or lime flavored club soda, but any will work well.

A Salty Dog Cocktail made with vodka, ruby red grapefruit juice, a twist of lime and a splash of club soda, then garnished with a salted rim and wedge of red grapefruit.


  • Use pink grapefruit juice or regular grapefruit juice.  Your cocktail will be less sweet and have more of a bitter edge.
  • Experiment with flavored club sodas, sodas like Fresca, or sparkling waters.
  • Add a dash of fruit bitters for an herbal kick of flavor.  My favorite is Citrus bitters.
  • Add herbs like fresh thyme or mint.  Muddle the herbs in the cocktail shaker before adding the ice. The oils from muddling the herbs will infuse your cocktail with wonderful flavor.

Since you’re playing bartender, here are a few more cocktail recipes to try:



This Salty Dog Cocktail is a refreshing blend of vodka or gin, grapefruit juice, a twist of lime, and a splash of club soda.  Deceptively smooth, this delicious cocktail will be a hit at your next get together.

  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 1
  • Category: Starters - Cocktails
  • Method: Shake
  • Cuisine: American



2 Lime wedges

Coarse salt for rim

2 ounces vodka or gin

3 ounces Ruby Red grapefruit juice

1 ounce club soda


Place the coarse salt onto a small plate.

Use one lime wedge to moisten the rim of a highball glass.

Turn the glass over and dip into the coarse salt to rim the glass.  

Fill the glass with ice.

Add ice to a cocktail shaker.

Pour the vodka or gin and the grapefruit juice into a cocktail shaker.

Shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker is ice cold.

Strain the liquid into the highball glass.

Top off the glass with the club soda and squeeze the juice of the other lime wedge.

Garnish with a slice of grapefruit or lime.

Keywords: salty dog cocktail, vodka cocktails, gin cocktails, cocktail recipes, grapefruit, Happy Hour drinks