I had a drink that I was going to write up for today’s installment, but I looked at it and said, “Hey, this is just a fancy Greyhound”. So let’s start with that!
Since this is the Weekend Mixup entry that uses fruit juice, let’s talk about shaking vs. stirring cocktails. As a rule of thumb, if a mixed drink has ingredients that are “heavier” than spirits and light mixers, you shake it (with ice). This includes fruit juices, cream-based liqueurs, eggs, maple syrup, etc. Shaking these thicker ingredients incorporates them much better than stirring can, while still chilling and diluting appropriately. Make sure to strain a shaken drink to keep out ice shards and fruit pulp. I often use a small, fine strainer like this, especially when using fruit juice. Works great.
So, why stir at all? Well, besides being quicker and using less gear, it makes a nicer looking drink. Shaking tends to froth the liquid. A spirits-only drink like a Manhattan—stirred with ice in a mixing glass then strained into a glass to serve—will have a much nicer presentation if stirred, not shaken. Sorry, Mr. Bond. See the difference here.
One last thing: I generally don’t care for vodka. At all. But I love Russian Standard. It’s the only reason I even bother exploring vodka-based drinks.
I generally prefer a Greyhound to its better-known vodka+juice brethren, the Screwdriver. A Greyhound is more tart, and you can get all the juice you need out of one grapefruit as opposed to having to juice several oranges. Being that you can get grapefruit year-round here in Florida, it’s a drink that’s always in season!
You’ll find all different kinds of ratios for this guy. I prefer 5:2 because it uses about one whole grapefruit, giving me a nice, big cup of juice. Makes it great for brunch or as an afternoon sipper.
I do break with tradition by adding a barspoon of my homemade grenadine to the mix. When I eat grapefruit, I like to put a little agave nectar on top—just to balance the tart with the sweet—hence the splash of sweetener here. I would not use store-bought grenadine as a substitute. That stuff is way too sweet for this.
- 5 oz. freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice
- 2 oz. Russian Standard vodka
- 1 barspoon (about 1 tsp) of homemade grenadine (optional)
- Garnish: Wedge of grapefruit (optional)
Shake ingredients with ice. Fine strain into a rocks glass over ice.
Variations: Salt the rim and you’ve got yourself a Salty Dog. Both the Greyhound and the Salty Dog are sometimes made with gin.