Salty Dog Cocktail Recipe

Teddy Francisco
Published on
by Teddy Francisco
Salty Dog Cocktail Recipe

The Salty Dog is a great drink to enjoy during a hot summer’s day. But if you think adding coarse salt to your drink is too much, this recipe guide will surely change your mind!

Salty Dog Recipe Overview

Salty Dog

The Salty Dog is a simple cocktail with just a handful of ingredients. The secret to its signature taste lies in its garnish, a salty-rimmed glass that makes all the flavors pop.

Here’s how to mix a Salty Dog cocktail:


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice
  • Coarse salt
  • Grapefruit slice

Mixing Tips

  • Take a highball glass and wet its rim.
  • Put the salt on a small plate and dip the top of the glass in it to create the salty rim, and add ice cubes.
  • Add the drink ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  • Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.

If you don’t have a shaker, you can pour all the ingredients directly into the glass and stir gently.

Cocktail Nutrition Information

Here’s a quick breakdown of the Salty Dog cocktail’s nutrition facts:

  • 82 calories
  • 5.9g carbs
  • No saturated fat
  • 5.4g sugars
  • 247mg sodium
  • Around 20% ABV

You can also skip the salted rim if you want a sodium-free version, known as the Greyhound.

These numbers represent cocktails mixed with freshly squeezed grapefruit, but if you use bottled juice, it may contain additional sugar and carbs.

Salty Dog Serving Tips

Here’s what to consider when mixing a Salty Dog cocktail:

  • Ingredient quality: The cocktail only has two base liquid ingredients, so the flavors will be influenced by the type of vodka you choose, as well as the grapefruit juice. Bottled juice will offer the drink too much sweetness, so it’s best to use fresh grapefruit juice instead.
  • Ice cube bucket: If you’re making a bigger batch for a party, don’t add the ice directly to the pitcher. As it melts, it will dilute the drink, and the salt rim will overpower the taste. Keep an ice bucket next to your batch, and let your guests add it as they like.
  • Food pairings: The saltiness in this drink pairs well with something sweet, so don’t be afraid to serve it next to a decadent dessert.

Salty Dog Recipe Variations

Salty Dog and Vodka

The Salty Dog drink can be tweaked slightly to get even more delicious cocktail recipes:

  • Greyhound: The only difference between the Salty Dog cocktail and the Greyhound is the salt rim. Skip it, and you’ll get an equally refreshing vodka drink.
  • Vodka or gin: Some bartenders may swear the Salty Dog cocktail asks for good gin. Both recipes are acceptable, but when you choose gin instead of vodka, the combination has strong herbal notes.
  • Fruit juice: Grapefruit has a signature sour and bitter taste, but if you don’t like that at all, you can replace it with orange juice and get a classic Screwdriver, or keep the salted rim and enjoy a Salty Saint.
  • Topping: The Salty Dog cocktail can be garnished with a lime wedge, but you can also add some fresh lime juice on top to give it a stronger sour taste.
  • Simple syrup: Make the Salty Dog even friendlier by adding some extra sugars to the mix.


The Salty Dog is one of the cocktails that you might not immediately turn to for a get-together, but once you try it, it can become your go-to beverage.

With little-to-no prep time, a simple recipe, and lots of opportunities to experiment, a Salty Dog is a vodka or gin lover’s best friend.

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Teddy Francisco
Teddy Francisco
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