I’m not much of a fruity drink kind of girl. I don’t need an umbrella, or a cherry on top. Most of my favorite cocktails involve salt, in fact … Dirty Martinis. Bloody Marys. Margaritas with a salted rim. But the simple freshness of a greyhound – that perfect balance of grapefruit juice and gin – earned a spot near the top of my list the moment I first tasted it. Massive extra points were earned for fresh squeezed grapefruit, of course. I’ll never forget the greyhound I drank at a little Seattle bar on Capitol Hill called Sun Liquor, on a date with my husband. The bartender proceeded to squeeze the huge pink fruit right at the bar where we sat, the juicer being a huge antiquated metal thing that conjured up images of an old farmhouse kitchen. It was lovely.
I remember the moment I learned that there was such a thing as salting the rim of a greyhound. A salty dog, they said. Who “they” were I can’t recall, but I know my face lit up with the possibility. And it was everything I imagined and more. The bittersweet tang of the pink citrus. The gin, that fresh evergreen elixir. All pulled together with the crusty salt, just a pinch with each sip. Yes! Please!
But I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I had to take it that step further. I blame my herb garden, lush in this unprecedented Seattle summer heat, for making a junky out of me. I’m putting herbs in everything.
And so I grabbed my chefs knife and a handful of thyme stalks and just started chopping the heck out of those pungent little leaves. Adding them to the rimming salt threw in a pinch of color to my drink. And conveniently, the salt pulls moisture out of the herb, increasing the shelf life.
The added flavor of the thyme on a salted rim was surprisingly and pleasantly subtle. It gave it just an herbaceous hint that paired well with the flavors of the cocktail. I suspect the addition might be even more delicious in a vodka greyhound, as the thyme would have no other herbal flavors to contend with.
1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jiggergin
1 large grapefruit
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tbsp finely minced fresh thyme leaves
In a small bowl, whisk salt and thyme until well combined.
Quarter the grapefruit. Using a citrus juicer, extract 4 fluid ounces of juice. Set aside.
Use a slice of grapefruit to wet the rim of your glass. Dip the rim in the salt mixture to coat.
Carefully fill the glass halfway with ice.
Add the gin and grapefruit juice. Stir well with a cocktail spoon.