HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Remix: A fresh take on the Salty Dog cocktail 

click to enlarge 1454323.jpg

This month's Remix candidate is an easy-drinking, summery classic: the Salty Dog. It's not a mixologist's dream – no obscure ingredients to track down, no murky mythology to trace – just a good ol' American highball. Like a lot of cocktails that are generally expected to contain vodka these days, the Salty Dog was originally a gin drink: grapefruit juice and gin, mixed and poured into a salt-rimmed highball glass. (Skip the salt and it's a Greyhound.) Whether you prefer vodka or gin, though, the Salty Dog is one of those drinks that just begs for a tweaking.

A casual drink deserves a simple Remix, so I didn't do much: just swapped the salt for pepper, in the form of a black-peppercorn syrup. It's not too sweet, but full of tingly heat that perfectly gooses fresh grapefruit juice. (This syrup is worth keeping around to spark a Bloody Mary or margarita, or just mix with seltzer and lime for a sophisticated soda alternative.) As always, I strongly recommend fresh-squeezed fruit juice. It's not that much of a hassle and the payoff is huge – fresh grapefruit juice tastes completely different, sweeter and more delicate, than bitter bottled juices. In such a simple drink, every ingredient counts, so I'd also recommend a high-quality vodka such as Tito's Handmade.

Here's to the fast-approaching dog days: Toast them with a Peppery Dog.

CLASSIC

Salty Dog

2 ounces gin
4 ounces grapefruit juice
kosher salt

Fill a saucer with kosher salt. Wet the rim of a highball glass and dip into the saucer to coat with salt. Fill the glass with ice, pour in the gin, and top with juice. Stir and serve.

REMIX

Peppery Dog

2 ounces Tito's Handmade Vodka
3 ounces fresh red grapefruit juice
1 ounce black pepper syrup (recipe below)

Stir all ingredients in a tall, ice-filled glass. Serve with a straw.

black pepper syrup:

4 ounces whole black
peppercorns
3 cups water
1.5 ounces sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice

Crack half of the peppercorns with the blade or butt end of a heavy chef's knife. Add crushed and whole peppercorns to 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a lively simmer and reduce the liquid by half – about 20 or 30 minutes. (Note: The pepper vapors may make your eyes water.)

Remove pan from hot burner and allow to cool to room temperature, then strain out the solids. You should have about a cup and a half of pepper-infused water. Pour the liquid back into saucepan, bring back to a boil, add sugar and stir to dissolve, then remove from heat. When syrup in pan has cooled to room temperature, add lime juice, transfer to a clean jar and store in refrigerator.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation