The Greyhound is a simple, delicious drink. Made from only 2 ingredients, it’s as quick to make as the race dogs that it’s named after. Traditionally, it’s made from grapefruit juice and gin, which makes it not only easy to make, but just the right combination of sweet and tart that you want from a spiked fruit drink.
We don’t know exactly when the Greyhound was first invented. What we do know is that it’s been around since before 1930. It was mentioned in Henry Caddock’s 1930 book, Savoy Cocktail Book. He calls it “… a variation of the Grapefruit Cocktail,” which most likely means that such drinks were common before the book was written.
There are a lot of different types of grapefruit juice out there. Pink grapefruit juice adds a fun pink color that’s great for girl’s night, bridal showers, brunch, or just Tuesdays. Try to find a grapefruit juice that’s both sweet and tart. Grapefruit is, by nature, a bit tart. So if you find that your juice is too sour, you can add some simple syrup to the cocktail to sweeten it up.
While the Greyhound can be made with only vodka or gin and grapefruit juice, there are often more ingredients in the recipe. Here is a simple recipe for the Greyhound from liquor.com:
1 pt Absolut vodka
1 pt Pamplemousse Rose liqueur
3/4 pt Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 pt Fresh Grapefruit Juice
Just add all of the ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake and then strain into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Because of the Greyhound’s simplicity, it’s very easy to adjust and vary. Here are a few variations of the Greyhound that are sure to please:
l Vodka Greyhound (2 oz. vodka, 6 oz. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice)
DIRECTIONS: Add ingredients to shaker with ice, shake and then strain into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon twist.
This is a simple alcohol substitution that replaces the gin with vodka. Some people prefer vodka to gin, which makes this recipe a great choice for them. The vodka actually adds very little to the taste, making it more like a spiked juice. Since that’s the case, you can play around with fruit-infused vodkas for more flavor. (Try strawberry or blood orange!)
l Dalmation (2 oz. vodka,6 oz. fresh grapefruit juice, .5 oz. black pepper syrup)
an Old Fashioned glass.
This is a unique variation of the vodka greyhound. The black pepper syrup adds a bit of spiciness, which compliments the sweet and tangy nature of the drink well. The peppery syrup provides a finish that lingers against the citrus-y backdrop.
l Salty Dog (1.5 oz. gin or vodka, 5 oz. grapefruit juice, .25 oz salt for rimming)
DIRECTIONS: Add ingredients to shaker with ice, shake and then strain into a salt-rimmed glass.
This variation is quick and easy to make. If you’ve never eaten grapefruit with salt, you’re missing out. But, this drink captures that flavor and mirrors it splendidly.
l Italian Greyhound (1.5 oz. vodka, .5 oz. Campari, 5 oz. grapefruit juice)
DIRECTIONS: Add vodka and grapefruit juice into shaker with ice, shake and strain into a highball glass. Float Campari over the top and then serve.
This is called an Italian Greyhound because of the bright red Italian Campari liqueur. By itself, it’s both bitter and sweet, much like the grapefruit juice is. So, a Campari and grapefruit juice pairing is complex, sweet and tangy.
l Rosemary Greyhound (2 oz. vodka, 1/2 oz. homemade rosemary simple syrup, 4 oz. grapefruit juice, rosemary sprigs for garnish)
DIRECTIONS: In a tall glass filled with ice, add and combine all ingredients except rosemary. Add rosemary sprigs for garnish.
This cocktail takes a few minutes longer to prepare than others on the list, but it’s worth it. The rosemary simple syrup is sweet, savory and spicy, which is great with the citrus-y tartness of the grapefruit juice. If you use pink grapefruit juice, the color of the juice with the green of the herb adds a pleasing aesthetic to the drink, which is packed full of flavor.
l Lady Greyhound (4 whole fresh sage leaves, 1 Tablespoon honey, 4 oz. Lady Grey infused vodka, 12 oz. grapefruit juice)
DIRECTIONS: Muddle sage and honey together in cocktail shaker. Then, add vodka, using the muddler to stir until honey is dissolved in vodka. Add ice to the shaker, then pour juice over the ice. Shake. Strain into ice filled glass.
This variation uses Lady Grey tea infused vodka, which is less strong than the Earl Grey tea used in the Grapefruit of Wrath, but still adds the flavors of black tea and bergamot. Using sage instead of thyme provides a bit of spice to the drink. Sage can be a little spicy if you use too much, however, so you’ll want to stick to the recipe. This cocktail is a bit like drinking an artfully-made, spiked fruit tea, making it great for brunch, with a meal, or all on its own.
l Basil Greyhound (6 fresh basil leaves + extra for garnish, 5 oz. grapefruit juice, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, ice, 3 oz. vodka)
DIRECTIONS: Put basil leaves and sugar in a highball glass and muddle. Add ice, then pour vodka and juice. Stir and garnish with fresh basil.
The grassy, spicy notes of the basil pair well with the citrus of the grapefruit juice in this cocktail. It’s easy to make this particular cocktail too sweet. So, make sure that your grapefruit juice lists grapefruit as the only ingredient. Adding sugar to something with sugar in it is going to take away from the brilliant simplicity of this cocktail.
l Bad Dog Greyhound (3 0z. Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka, 3 oz. grapefruit juice, 10 dashes Fire & Damnation Bitters by Bad Dog Bitters, salt and Rio Grande Chile Blend for rimming)
DIRECTIONS: On a plate, mix the salt and Chile blend. Run a lime around the rim of a glass and then dip it into the salt mixture to rim glass. Shake the other ingredients in shaker with ice, then strain into glass. Garnish with Habenero pepper.
If you were searching this list for something with a fiery kick to it, you’ve just found the cocktail for you. Not only do you get some heat from the bitter and the chile blend that rims the glass, the recipe calls for a whole habanero pepper to be used as garnish. This cocktail is the perfect blend of citrus and spice. But, beware: not everyone can handle the heat that this drink packs!
l Greyhound, with a twist (1.5 oz. Vodka, .5 oz. St. Germain, 2 oz. grapefruit juice, lemon wedge)
DIRECTIONS: Pour alcohol and juice into a shaker with ice. Squeeze juice from wedge into shaker, as well and then discard the wedge. Shake and strain into glass, adding an additional lemon wedge for garnish.
This is a great recipe to use if you’re using a cheap vodka. The top-shelf quality of the St. Germain liqueur shines through and provides floral notes of elder flowers to the citrus of the grapefruit. It’s a great way to indulge on any occasion.
l Rosemary Elderflower Greyhound Fizz (1 teaspoon rosemary simple syrup, 1 Tablespoon elder flower simple syrup, 1-2 oz. vodka,3 oz. red grapefruit juice, 3 oz. club soda)
DIRECTIONS: Add all ingredients, except club soda, into shaker with ice and shake. Strain into glass and add club soda. Garnish with rosemary sprig.
Making the simple syrups will take some time, but it’s worth it to try this complex, sweet and fizzy drink. The combination of rosemary and elder flower makes this drink light, while the club soda and grapefruit juice make it refreshing. It’s a great pick for a hot Summer day.
l Breezy on the Cape (2 oz. vodka, 2 oz. Unsweetened cranberry juice, 1 oz. simple syrup, 3 dashes grapefruit bitters)
DIRECTIONS: Add ingredients into a highball glass that is 2/3 full of ice and then stir.
The difference between a traditional Greyhound and this cocktail is that this recipe calls for grapefruit bitters, not grapefruit juice, using cranberry juice instead. However, the small changes are very rewarding. It still has the tartness and sweetness of a Greyhound. The red colors and the use of cranberries make it a great cocktail to serve during the upcoming holiday season.
No matter which version or variation of the Greyhound you choose to make, you’re in for a treat. They’re as easy to make as a Screwdriver, but with a different type of citrus tartness. It’s very likely that the Greyhound will become your new go-to cocktail recipe!