Greyhound cocktail recipe

The Greyhound cocktail is a classic drink recipe made with only two ingredients: gin or vodka and grapefruit juice. Learn how to make one to enjoy at home!

Greyhound cocktail in rocks glass with lime wedge

The Story Behind this Refreshing Gin Cocktail

Like many classic cocktails, the origins of the Greyhound cocktail are shrouded in mystery. Some say it was invented in the early 20th century as a way to mask the taste of bathtub gin during Prohibition.

Others claim it was first served on board a Greyhound bus in the 1930s, hence the name. What we do know is that it was first mentioned in a book in 1930 by bartender and author Harry Craddock, the “Savoy Cocktail Book.”

The Greyhound began as a simple and refreshing cocktail that consisted of just two ingredients: gin and grapefruit juice. But when vodka became popular in the Americas, people started replacing gin with it in many cocktail recipes.

So the classic Greyhound  cocktail is a refreshing combination of grapefruit and gin. But the gin got replaced with vodka over time, and how that’s now how most bars make it.

You can try it with vodka or gin and see which you prefer. Either way, the combination of sweet and tart flavors makes for a perfect balance that is both delicious and easy to drink. 

Ingredients for a Perfect Greyhound

The key to making a perfect Greyhound cocktail is selecting the right ingredients. The simplicity of this cocktail suggests that each ingredient plays an essential role in the final taste.

The recipe requires only two main components: gin and grapefruit juice. When it comes to choosing gin, London Dry Gin is ideal for its dry and crisp flavor. It balances well with the sourness of grapefruit juice, creating a refreshing and aromatic cocktail.

If you opt for vodka instead, try Ketel One. It’s a high-quality and smooth vodka that complements the grapefruit juice well. Other good options include Absolut and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. 

Grapefruit juice is another critical ingredient. Freshly squeezed pink or red grapefruit juice is preferred over bottled juices as it offers natural sweetness and tartness that enhances the character of the drink. But bottled will work whenever grapefruits aren’t available.

The Glassware for a Greyhound

The ideal glassware for a Greyhound is a tall, narrow-mouthed glass with straight sides that tapers slightly towards the bottom. This type of glass is commonly known as a highball or Collins glass and is perfect for serving refreshing cocktails like the Greyhound.

A short tumbler or old-fashioned glass is also a good choice. Like the highball glass, it has plenty of room for the ice – and a straw, if desired.

How to Make a Greyhound Unique: Garnishing

A perfect Greyhound cocktail isn’t just about the ingredients, but also about the presentation. A well-garnished drink not only looks impressive, but it also heightens the senses and adds a unique touch to your cocktail. Here are some creative tips for garnishing your Greyhound:

The standard garnish is a lime wheel, which is always beautiful. You can also adding a rim of salt to the class, which technically makes it a Salty Dog. Grapefruit juice and salt make a great pair, with the salt seeming to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit.

Serving Your Greyhound Cocktail Recipe

While some cocktails require complex instructions for serving, the Greyhound cocktail is quite easy to serve. All you need to do is pour your cocktail into a glass with ice.

For those who prefer their drinks chilled without watering them down, consider using large ice cubes or even frozen grapefruit chunks instead of regular ice cubes. 

Foods to Serve with Your Greyhound Drink

A well-crafted Greyhound cocktail is a refreshing and citrusy drink that pairs perfectly with a variety of foods. When it comes to pairing your Greyhound, you want to choose dishes that enhance the cocktail’s natural flavors and compliment its tartness.

For appetizers, consider serving light and fresh options such as shrimp cocktail or ceviche. The acidity in these seafood dishes will heighten the tartness in your Greyhound and create a refreshing contrast on the palate.

Grilled chicken or fish tacos make an excellent main course pairing choice as they are flavorful but not overly heavy, allowing the zesty flavors of the cocktail to shine through.

For dessert, keep things simple with a fruit tart or sorbet. The sweetness of these desserts will balance out the sourness of your Greyhound perfectly.

Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing your drink with a cheese board featuring soft cheeses like brie or goat cheese. The creamy texture of these cheeses will complement the sharp taste of grapefruit juice in your Greyhound beautifully.

Enjoy and Share Your Greyhound Cocktails

Te Greyhound cocktail is a classic and refreshing drink that has stood the test of time. Its simple yet elegant combination of gin and grapefruit juice makes it a go-to cocktail for any occasion. 

Greyhound cocktail in rocks glass with lime wedge
Yield: 1 drink

Greyhound cocktail recipe

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

The Greyhound cocktail is a classic drink recipe made with only two ingredients: gin or vodka and grapefruit juice. Learn how to make one to enjoy at home!


  • 1 1/2 ounces gin or vodka
  • Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Lime wheel garnish


  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice.
  2. Pour in your spirit followed by the grapefruit juice.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Garnish with a lime or lemon wheel.

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