A fruity and strong drink, is this what you are asking me for, dear guest? Well I would say that vodka is definitely your friend here. While many other spirits mix very well with fruit juices to create wonderful cocktails (think of rhum for the mojito), I always consider that vodka is the best base to preserve the original taste of a fruit juice, highlighting it while adding its strength to the mix. Vodka is, to my taste, an alcohol that is best mixed in a cocktail with only one additional liquor (not counting the non-alcoholic components) – more will either make for too strong a drink or drown the flavour of some of the ingredients. Some famous examples of vodka-based mixes with two ingredients include the Bloody Mary (soon to be described with its many variations) and the Pink Greyhound.
It is a historical fact that vodka, as a spirit, has had a long and distinguished past in its original Eastern European countries, such as Poland, Russia and Sweden, dating as far back as the 14th century. It did not make its appearance on the world cocktail scene until after the end of World War II – replacing gin in many earlier mixes as it became more easily found and more affordable. The Greyhound received its original name as it was served around 1945 by Post House, a popular restaurant chain that was located at Greyhound bus terminals.
A rather fruity drink, the Pink Greyhound also offers quite a few variations to the preparation and the final taste – bringing different salty, herbal or sugary notes to complete the cocktail.
- 5oz (15cl) freshly pressed grapefruit juice
- 1.5oz (4.5cl) vodka
- A slice of fresh grapefruit
- 3 or 4 ice cubes
- Optional secret ingredient: rosemary and a rosemary twig
Fill a sugar-rimmed rocks glass or cocktail glass with the ice cubes. Add the grapefruit juice and the vodka, and garnish with the grapefruit slice. For an optional twist, one of my favourite additions is to mix the sugar with rosemary before rimming the glass, and complete with a rosemary twig in the drink. Another common variation to the classical recipe is to have the glass rimmed with salt instead of sugar. When prepared like this, the cocktail is then called a “Salty Dog”. Et voila! A tasteful and tonic cocktail for your late afternoon or evening!