Sip on a Summer Favorite: The Greyhound Cocktail

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Greyhound Cocktail | Hey Bartender | The Smoking Chair

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As the temperatures rise, nothing beats a refreshing cocktail, and the Greyhound cocktail is the perfect summer favorite. Made with vodka and fresh grapefruit juice, this classic cocktail is easy to make and perfect for any occasion. Learn about the history behind the drink, how to make it, and get recommendations for the top 10 highly rated vodkas to use. Plus, we'll give you a rundown of the bar tools and glassware needed to make the perfect Greyhound cocktail. Whether you're lounging by the pool or hosting a barbecue, the Greyhound cocktail is the perfect sip of summer.

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Article Contents

The Greyhound cocktail stands as a testament to the elegance and simplicity of mixology. With its tangy bite and refreshing zest, it has earned its place as a beloved classic in the world of cocktails. From its intriguing history to its variations and alternatives, the Greyhound offers a delightful journey for cocktail enthusiasts.

Drink History

The origins of the Greyhound cocktail trace back to the mid-20th century, where it emerged as a variation of the classic cocktail, the “Screwdriver.” The Screwdriver, consisting of vodka and orange juice, had already gained popularity. It is believed that the Greyhound emerged when bartenders decided to swap out the orange juice for grapefruit juice, creating a concoction with a slightly bitter yet refreshing taste.

The name “Greyhound” is said to be a nod to the Greyhound Lines, a prominent bus transportation company that flourished during the mid-20th century. The association between the cocktail and the sleek, fast Greyhound buses adds a touch of glamour and sophistication to the drink’s image.

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The Greyhound cocktail boasts a minimalist yet flavorful combination of ingredients:

  1. 2 oz. Grapefruit Juice: Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice is preferred for its vibrant taste and aroma. The tartness of grapefruit juice provides the signature tang that defines the Greyhound.

  2. 4 oz. Vodka: A neutral spirit like vodka serves as the base for the Greyhound, allowing the citrusy notes of the grapefruit juice to shine through.

Essential Barware & Glassware

To craft the perfect Greyhound, you’ll need:

  1. Cocktail Shaker: Essential for mixing the ingredients thoroughly and chilling the cocktail.

  2. Jigger: A precise measuring tool to ensure the perfect balance of vodka and grapefruit juice.

  3. Highball Glass: The tall, slender shape of the highball glass is ideal for serving the Greyhound over ice, allowing the flavors to mingle while keeping the drink cool.


Creating a Greyhound cocktail is a straightforward process:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Pour 2 ounces of vodka and 4 ounces of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice into the shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds to chill the mixture.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a highball glass filled with ice.
  5. Optionally, garnish with a slice of grapefruit or a twist for added visual appeal.

Variations & Alternatives

While the classic Greyhound remains a favorite, there are several variations and alternatives to explore:

  1. Salty Dog: A variation of the Greyhound that incorporates a salted rim on the glass, adding a savory contrast to the citrusy flavors.

  2. Ruby Red Greyhound: Made with ruby red grapefruit juice, this variation offers a slightly sweeter and more vibrant flavor profile compared to the classic Greyhound.

  3. Gin-Greyhound: Substitute vodka with gin for a botanical twist on the traditional Greyhound.

  4. Paloma: While not identical, the Paloma shares similarities with the Greyhound, featuring tequila, grapefruit soda, lime juice, and salt.

Last Call

The Greyhound cocktail embodies the essence of simplicity and sophistication. With just two ingredients, it manages to deliver a refreshing burst of flavor that captivates the senses. Whether enjoyed on a balmy summer afternoon or as a lively accompaniment to evening festivities, the Greyhound remains a timeless classic in the world of mixology, inviting enthusiasts to savor its delightful tang with each sip.


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