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  • Writer's pictureDane

Drinks with Dane | Week 18

2021 is starting with a bang. We're trying to stick to the schedule as much as possible, but life happens.


Hey everyone, I hope we all had a good start to our new year.

This week we’ll be looking at the history of a bartender's classic - the greyhound cocktail and its subsequent spinoff the salty dog. The evolution of this cocktail is a great incite to the rise of Vodka on the American bartending landscape. Finally we’ll be giving the salty dog a refresh by looking at how we can use concepts from the zero waste movement to maximize and layer flavors.

Thank you for your support and please tag me @drinkswithdane on Instagram or #DrinksWithDane so I can raise a glass with you!


Spirit of the Month: Vodka

The cocktail that would come to be known as the Greyhound cocktail first saw its appearance in the Savoy Cocktail Book published in 1930. It was then called ‘Grapefruit Cocktail’ - made with grapefruit jelly, lemon juice and gin. In the footnotes to the cocktail, it is suggested that any type of jelly may be used; or alternatively fresh grapefruit juice, gin, and sugar to taste.

The Savoy Cocktail Book is a foundational text of early American bartending, written by an Englishman, Harry Craddock. He immigrated to the United States in 1897 during the height of the American Golden Age of bartending. He worked at some of the best bars including, Hollenden Hotel in Cleveland, Knickerbocker Hotel and Hoffman House in New York. During the American Prohibition, Craddock returned to London and joined the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel. From his tenure at the American Bar he amassed a collection of 750 cocktails that were compiled and published at the Savoy Cocktail Book. In 1938, Harry moved to the Dorchester Hotel and then Browns Hotel before retiring in 1947.

The Greyhound recipe was first published in 1945 in Harper’s Magazine "The cocktails were made of vodka, sugar, and canned grapefruit juice - a greyhound. This cocktail was served at Greyhound's popular restaurant chain that was located at bus terminals, called 'Post House'." Vodka was not a popular spirit until well until the late 1940s. It first arrived in America with Smirnoff in 1933, just as the Prohibition ended. Rudolph Kunett purchased the rights to make Smirnoff Vodka from Vladimir Smirnov. Smirnov Vodka was founded in Russia in 1864 and pioneered the charcoal filtration technique. In 1904, the Smirnovs were forced to sell their successful vodka business because of the Tsar nationalizing the vodka industry. The family later fled Russia in the 1917 October Revolution, trying unsuccessfully establish the brand in Istanbul, Poland, and finally in France, They sold the company under the french spelling of their name, changing it from Smirnov to Smirnoff. Rudolph Kunett would have little success during the 1930’s, eventually having to sell the company to avoid a bankruptcy. John Martin, president of Heublein, purchased the company from Kuentt in 1938. Martin was a charismatic salesman and kept Kuentt in the company. Martin would find success selling vodka as a “white whiskey” with “no taste, no smell”. Sale considerably picked up. Martin and Kunett in 1940 would collaborate with Cock’n Bull restaurant in LA to make the Moscow Mule cocktail. Smirnoff enjoyed much success in the mid century with their “Smiroff leaves you breathless” campaign. Vodka started to replace gin in many cocktails - the martini being the primary example. The exotic allure mixed with counterculture ensured vodka popularity would continue through the cold war era, culminating in 1972 when PepsiCo made a deal with the Soviet Union to import Pepsi in exchange for Pepsi importing Stolichnaya vodka into the western markets.

The Salty Dog, a variant of the greyhound, included a salted rim. It was likely introduced by George Jessel in the 1950’s. Margaritas and Paloma both featured a salted rim and were popular at the time. Salt has the ability to cut through bitterness and enhance sweetness of a cocktail.


Cocktail of the Week: The Salty Dog

For this week's cocktail, we’re going to be making an Improved Salty Dog. With this cocktail, we're going to take some inspiration from the Zero Waste cocktail movement, by trying to utilize all parts of the grapefruit.

This not only has the benefit of using the entire grapefruit, but also we're going to be layering flavors to create a cocktail with depth. It's going to take a little prep-work, but you’ll be rewarded all week long.


What You'll Need

  • 2 Large Grapefruits ( Yellow or Ruby - Yellow will be more tart)

  • Lemon Juice

  • Vodka

  • Grapefruit Salt

  • Grapefruit Oleo Saccharum

  • Soda Water

  • Fine mesh stariner

  • Microplane or Grater

  • Vegetable {eeler

  • Muddler

  • Cocktail Shaker Set

  • Jigger

  • Cocktail Strainer

  • Kosher Salt

  • Sugar

  • Two Airtight Containers


Grapefruit Salt

With a microplane or grater, take one grapefruit and grate the rind off into a container. Try to take as little of the white pith as possible. Once the entire grapefruit rind is grated, add to the container ½ cup of kosher salt. Put the lit on and shake to combine. Leave for 24 hours.


Grapefruit Oleo Saccharum

With a vegetable peeler, take one grapefruit and peel off all the rind, leaving as much of the pith as possible. Take grapefruit peels and place in a container with one cup of sugar. Shake container to coat peels in sugar and leave for 24-48 hours. After the sugar has become wet with the oil from the peels, empty the container - sugar and peels - into a medium saucepan. Add one cup cold water and heat on medium high, stir until sugar is incorporated into a solution. Let heat until it reaches a boil, then turn heat off and cover. Let cool for 30mins to one hour. Strain out grapefruit peels and bottle in a squeeze bottle or airtight container. It will keep refrigerated for one month.


Improved Salty Dog

1 ½ oz Vodka

½ oz Lemon Juice

1 oz Grapefruit Oleo Saccharum

¼ Fresh Grapefruit

3 oz Soda Water

Top and tail grapefruit, cut in half. Take half segments and cut in four equal segments. Take two segments and peel off pith as much as possible, then add to shaker tin.

Add vodka, lemon juice, and grapefruit oleo saccharum. Muddle grapefruit segments. Add ice to shaker tins and shake until tins are frosty cold.

Double strain with Hawthorne strainer and fine mesh strainer into grapefruit salt rimmed Collins glass. Top Collins glass with about 3oz of soda water (to fill) give a gentle stir and enjoy. Salute!

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