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How the Salty Dog Cocktail Got Its Name


The Salty Dog Cocktail has been around for decades. It's still a popular drink today. When it's made correctly, the Salty Dog is a simple, yet smooth and deliciously fruity cocktail. The recipe has changed through the years, and it's good to know the origins of The drink. You can trace its evolution back to the source and the way the first bartenders mixed the drink if you're a historian and a purist. We researched the Salty Dog Cocktail to learn more about its origins, who created the mixture, and how It changed from its original form. Here's how the Salty Dog Cocktail got its name, and more about its history.

What is a Salty Dog?

A Salty Dog sounds like a drink that would knock your socks off, but it's much more pleasant. The recipe is simple. It's a classic Greyhound cocktail with a salted rim, hence the name, Salty dog. What to Much explains that it's a cocktail that is best for summer afternoons. It's a refreshing blend of grapefruit and vodka, sipped over a salted rim. It's The ideal combination of the bitterness of grapefruit tempered by the saltiness to transform it into a velvety sweetness.

Who created The first Salty Dog Cocktail and when?

The origins of the Salty Dog Cocktail are on The murky side. A few origin stories are floating around. Make Me a Cocktail dates the first Salty Dog back to the 1950s. It is said to have been created when a man named George Jessel added the salted rim to the Greyhound Cocktail. He added one feature that changed the entire personality of the drink. It deserved to have its name. Since it was a new twist on the Greyhound, he came up with the name Salty Dog.

It is thought that the Greyhound was created in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

The recipe for the Greyhound, the forerunner of the Salty Dog, was developed by Harry Craddock, a British citizen who moved to The United States. He worked as a bartender at the Savoy Hotel. Mr. Craddock had been a bartender in his native Britain before relocating to the USA. Some venture that the first Greyhound appeared in the 1920s or earlier, but it's impossible as the grapefruit was not in existence at that time. The exact date and year of the creation of the Greyhound have not been documented officially. The Salty Dog would not exist for another twenty years.

The original Salty Dog

The first Greyhound was adapted to become The Salty Dog and used gin instead of vodka. It was The alcohol of choice in The 1930s through The 1950s. Eventually, bartenders began replacing the gin with vodka, which infused less flavor into the drink than gin and allowed the grapefruit's flavor to shine through. Some bartenders preferring the purist approach still use gin. Either gin or vodka is appropriate. The origination story of the Salty Dog is credible. The cocktail can't have been created before the 1930s as grapefruit was the result of crossbreeding that happened in The 1930s. It became a popular juice. As a trending beverage, A pomelo orange became cross-contaminated. The grapefruit was the hybrid fruit that came from the event. This should clear up any confusion about when the Greyhound was first made. Craddock implemented the popular grapefruit juice into a simple cocktail. Since grapefruit was a novel fruit it became a trending beverage and as a mixologist, Craddock was looking for new and novel combinations to please the discriminating tastes of Savoy patrons. agrees that the most likely origin of the Salty Dog Cocktail is the legend that actor George Jessel created it from Craddock's Greyhound. Confirmation of the Greyhound's late '20s to early '30s creation exists in an old book on mixing drinks titled "The Savoy Cocktail Book," printed in 1930, authored by Harry Craddock.

How to make The perfect Salty Dog Cocktail

Esquire offers the best recipe for the traditional Salty Dog Cocktail. It gives you the choice of alcohol. The ingredients are one ounce of either gin or vodka, one ounce of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, and kosher salt to rim the glass.

Instructions for making the Salty Dog Cocktail

Moisten the rim of a highball cocktail glass, then dip it in coarsely ground kosher salt. You may also choose pink Himalayan salt for a colorful effect. Add vodka or gin and grapefruit juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for a few minutes until well blended and chilled. Pour the mixture over ice cubes into the prepared highball glass, and serve. for a stunning visual effect, add a twist of grapefruit to garnish. The Salty Dog Cocktail contains an even mixture of grapefruit juice and gin or vodka. If you prefer a stronger drink, you can enhance the potency of the Salty Dog by doubling the alcohol to a two to one ratio with grapefruit juice.

Final thoughts

The Salty Dog Cocktail is a simple citrus beverage for adults. It is easy to make, but we suggest using high-quality gin or vodka, and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice for the best results. It has a history that goes back to the original Greyhound cocktail, created by famed Savoy bartender Harry Craddock. The drink was created in the late 1920s or 1930s and appeared in an old printed version of Savoy cocktails dating back to 1930. A few decades later, actor George Jessel rimmed a highball cocktail glass with salt. He mixed a Greyhound, adding a new twist to the beverage, that became an instant hit for those who needed relief from the bitterness of the grapefruit juice. The salt did the trick. The Salty Dog Cocktail has endured as a classic for more than seventy years.

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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