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How The Greyhound Cocktail Got Its Name


The greyhound is among the popular classic cocktails mainly for its simplicity in preparation. The Greyhound cocktail is prepared with only two ingredients and a garnish if you like. Made with simply grapefruit juice and vodka or gin, along with maybe a lime for garnish, this refreshing cocktail takes a few minutes to be ready, but it tastes amazing and always hits the right spot. Read on for an exclusive review of the Greyhound cocktail, its history, recipe, variations, and how it got its name.

History Of the Greyhound Cocktail

The Greyhound cocktail looks simple enough to prepare, but it's amazing to think of how the drink came to be. According to, the Greyhound cocktail was first mentioned in the Harry Craddock's Savoy cocktail book of 1930. Craddock was a bartender and author who described the recipe of this cocktail as a Grapefruit Cocktail variation. This suggests that these cocktails were already commonly used before writing his book. According to his book, the Greyhound cocktail consists of nothing else except grapefruit, gin, and ice. A recipe with similar ingredients as the Greyhound cocktail reappeared in Harper's Magazine in 1945. The cocktail was prepared with vodka, canned grapefruit juice, and sugar. Before 1945, vodka was uncommon, and the majority of drinks that are classic cocktails today prepared using vodka were originally made with gin.

According to Ramshackle Pantry, the main reason most cocktails during and soon after the prohibition era were made with sugared or salted rims is to try and enhance the unappealing quality and taste of alcoholic beverages. After the emergence of vodka in the US around 1950 and it began to gain traction, the Greyhound cocktail increasingly started substituting gin for vodka. The ubiquitous restaurant chain Post House at The Greyhound bus served the Greyhound cocktail version with vodka. And because the restaurants were massively visited by travelers all across the country, the vodka-spiked cocktail spread widely. Today, it's common to find both vodka and gin used in preparing the Greyhound cocktail, so try both ingredients and find out which you prefer most. Today, the greyhound cocktails are often made with vodka instead of gin. This is to enhance the taste preference and serve a wider market.

So, How Did the Greyhound Cocktail Get Its Name

Now that you know about the history of this cocktail, you wonder how it came to be referred to as the Greyhound cocktail. The recipe first appeared in the Savoy Cocktail Book from 1930, written by Harry Craddock. According to Harper's Magazine, the cocktail got its name 'Greyhound cocktail' because it was popularly served at Post House, a popular restaurant chain at the Greyhound bus terminals. The name was published in 1945 because many people would order the cocktail at the Greyhound bus terminals during those years.

Greyhound Cocktail Recipe

A greyhound is a cocktail with grapefruit juice, gin, and ice.


  • Freshly squeezed Grapefruit juice
  • 11/2 ounces gin or vodka
  • Lime wheel garnish


  • Fill a glass with ice, add gin or vodka and grapefruit juice, and mix gently.
  • Garnish the mix with a lime wheel or lemon. This step is optional based on your taste preference.

With the drinks only having two ingredients, you should ensure to use high-quality vodka and grapefruit juice, the most preferred being the freshly squeezed grapefruit. Over the years, most bars have used canned grapefruit juice in preparing Greyhound cocktails. According to, while this is an effective option, fresh juice provides the drink with a more refreshing buzz. Preparing the drink with fresh grapefruit results in a cocktail ideal for breakfast, mealtime, and afternoon pick-me-ups. Luckily, one grapefruit produces a lot of juice, so you often just require one to prepare the cocktail.

Greyhound Cocktail Variations

While the classic greyhound cocktail recipe produces a great cocktail as it is, you might consider experimenting with some of the drinks' variations to feel the flavor. One of the common variations of the Greyhound cocktail is Vodka greyhound which uses vodka instead of gin. The Italian greyhound is another variation that uses vodka and Campari in place of gin. Other similar cocktails to the Greyhound substitute grapefruit juice for grapefruit soda, such as the Mexican Paloma made of tequila and grapefruit soda and the Finnish Lonkero made of ready-to-drink grapefruit soda and gin mix. Do you want to throw a bone between the spirit and citrus? Add some salt to the cocktail, and you have a cocktail variation popularly known as the Salty Dog. The Greyhound cocktail is a salty dog if the glass rim has been salted. The simple variation can be prepared with either vodka or gin. The salted rim gives a savory taste to every electrolyte-laced sip. Generally, the Salty dog features a salted rim on the glass and uses gin or vodka. If you want a sweeter cocktail, you can make a Ruby Red Greyhound Cocktail by substituting the yellow grapefruit for the ruby red grapefruit. You can also add a few drops of grenadine if you don't have the ruby red grapefruit. You will get a Perfect Pink Greyhound if you use a pink grapefruit instead. Adding club soda to the classic Greyhound cocktail will give you a Sparkling Greyhound cocktail variation that helps in taming the tartness of the grapefruit juice.

Greyhound Weight Loss Benefits

Unlike most unhealthy cocktails, the Greyhound cocktail provides an excellent cocktail recipe for those on a weight loss journey. The drink is rich in vitamin C from grapefruit juice and potassium, and vitamin A. According to scientific research, drinking grapefruit juice before a meal improves insulin resistance and helps in weight loss. On the other hand, the Greyhound cocktail is prepared with either vodka or gin, and both have lesser carbs and calories than most choices. It's no surprise that the Greyhound cocktail is the drink of choice for many dieters.

Bottom Line

The Greyhound cocktail is a classic two-part drink that is easy to make. Composed of just vodka or gin and grapefruit, this drink is tart, easy and refreshing; just what you require on a warm day or anytime you are in the drinking mood. Ultimately, this is a delicious cocktail perfect for any time you want an easy and quick to prepare a beverage with a fruity and averagely bitter flavor.

Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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