Hands down, the best Salty Dog recipe includes gin, not vodka, as some will tell you. Gin was the original liquor of choice and for good reason. Gin offers more flavor, thanks to the juniper and other spices added during production. Vodka, primarily made from potatoes rather than grains like Gin, is distilled until almost none of its original flavor remains.
To make a true Salty Dog cocktail, you will need:
- a highball glass
- grapefruit juice
However, you can vary the recipe and presentation to suit your own taste. True Salty Dog lovers, however, know the best Salty Dog recipe is the simple, time-honored highball cocktail as follows:
- 5oz. Grapefruit Juice
- 1 ½oz. Gin
- Moisten the rim of a highball glass. You can do this with a clean sponge or by a rimming tray like the ones bartenders use.
- Dip the rim of the glass in salt until the entire circumference is coated with salt. Tips: You can roll the outer rim across a small pile of salt, or you can dip one side of the glass into a small pile of salt and rotate the glass until the entire rim is coated. If you purchased a rimming tray, you can simply add salt to the dry side and set the glass, rim-down, in the salt.
- Mix or shake together grapefruit and gin. If you have a cocktail shaker, add ice to the shaker prior to adding the grapefruit and gin. If you don’t have a shaker, you can simply pour the gin and grapefruit over ice before adding it to the highball glass.
- Pour into salted highball glass, garnish with a grapefruit or lime wedge, and enjoy! Tip: Traditional Salty Dogs are served “chilled” (mixed with ice cubes and strained) but not “on the rocks” (with ice cubes in the glass.)
Alternative Ideas: For a sweeter version, substitute regular grapefruit juice with ruby red grapefruit juice, and use sugar rather than salt. Serve in a sugar-rimmed martini glass.