Spicy Salty Dog – freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, vodka, and jalapenos! So refreshing and delicious, the perfect spicy cocktail recipe.
Originally published May 11, 2017, photos updated April 27, 2020.
I love a spicy cocktail. If there’s a spicy cocktail on the menu, I’m ordering it. I don’t care what else is in it. If it involves a jalapeno or a serrano or a habanero, I’m trying it.
If you love spicy drinks as much as I do, you’re going to love this Spicy Salty Dog! It’s also a really pretty pink color thanks to the fresh grapefruit juice so it’s perfect for a girly brunch or shower.
I have a Spicy Cilantro Margarita that you may also enjoy.
How to Make a Spicy Salty Dog
Have you ever had a Salty Dog?
It is just vodka and fresh grapefruit juice with a salt rim. So easy, so delicious. I think grapefruit juice is so refreshing so it is the perfect summer cocktail for me!
- Start by making a jalapeno simple syrup by simmering water, sugar, and fresh jalapeno slices until thickened and syrupy
- To make the cocktails, rum a lime wedge along the rims of 2 glasses and dip into a plate of coarse salt
- Fill glasses with ice
- Combine grapefruit juice, vodka, and simple syrup in a shaker glass filled with ice; shake until chilled
- Strain into the prepared glasses
- Garnish with extra jalapeno slices, if desired
Why Is It Called Salty Dog?
Because it has a salted rim!
Without the salt rim, it’s a different cocktail, called a Greyhound! So if you don’t love a salted rim, you can leave it off but it’s not a Salty Dog anymore. A Spicy Greyhound will still be delicious though.
The easiest way to do a salted rim is to put coarse salt on a plate and then run a slice of grapefruit (or whatever fruit you are using in your cocktail) along the rim of the glass. Turn the glass upside down onto the salt plate and wiggle it around until the rim is coated with enough salt. That’s it!
And then just be careful when adding the ice so you don’t knock all the salt off the rim.
How Long Is Jalapeno Simple Syrup Good For?
This homemade jalapeno simple syrup will last up to a month in the refrigerator. Make sure to store it in an airtight container. I like to use these small 8 ounce mason jars since they have a lid and they’re the perfect size for something like this.
And then once you have a batch in the fridge, you can add it to cocktails and mocktails all month long.
You can also double or even triple the simple syrup recipe if you think you will be using it often over the next month. Just keep the water to sugar ratio 1:1 and add more jalapeno slices.
Making Spicy Salty Dog Ahead of Time
The jalapeno simple syrup can be prepped well in advance (up to a month) and stored in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to use.
You can squeeze the grapefruit juice the morning you plan to serve it and store the juice in the fridge until you are ready to add the vodka and give it a good shake.
The recipe doubles or triples really well since it is just grapefruit juice, vodka, and the jalapeno simple syrup so if you wanted to whip up a whole pitcher full for a party, it’s totally doable.
More Grapefruit Cocktail Recipes
More Vodka Cocktails
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For the spicy simple syrup:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 small jalapeno, sliced
For the cocktail:
- kosher salt
- 1 cup fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/3 cup vodka
- To make the spicy simple syrup, combine sugar, water, and sliced jalapeno in a small saucepan. Simmer for about 8 minutes, until it has thickened to a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat. You can store this in the fridge for several days.
- To make the cocktails, run a slice of grapefruit along the rims of 2 glasses and dip into kosher salt. Fill with ice.
- Combine grapefruit juice, vodka, and simple syrup to taste in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain over the prepared glasses. Serve immediately with extra jalapeno slices as garnish, if desired.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 296mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 0gSugar: 50gProtein: 1g