It’s fleet week here in NYC, which means that enormous ships are floating along side Manhattan like pods on a space ship, and bars up and down the west side are filled with men in uniforms and the gals and guys who love a man in a uniform, all having a fabulous time.
Seeing sailors riding the subway, taking photographs of each other outside a hot dog truck and asking for directions to the Empire State Building when they’re on 34th and Broadway has put clearly people in a nautical frame of mind. Twice now in the last three days, I’ve shown up to meet a friend and discovered that we’re both wearing blue stripey dresses, red belts, and, I kid you not, anchor earrings.
For my friend Bob the costume guy, Fleet week brings back memories. “I was a sailor in the draft. I chose it because the outfits were so darn cute,” he says, “but I have this medical condition where I sleep walk, and the last thing anyone wanted was a sleepwalking ex-tap dancer on a boat in the South China Sea, so I was honorably discharged. Oh Honey, that’s pretty much the only honorable thing about me.”
Salty Dog (per glass)¼ cup Maldon salt crystals (or other mild salt) 1 measure vodka 1 measure fresh grapefruit juice
- Tip the salt onto a plate, and wipe the rim of the glass on the cut grapefruit to moisten
- Twirl the rim in the salt to coat
- Shake the vodka and grapefruit juice over ice and pour carefully into the glass
If You Want To Fancy It Up A Bit
- Add soda to make this a longer drink
- Garnish with a twist of grapefruit – use a vegetable peeler, and squeeze the peel into the drink before dropping it in to release the essential oils
- Make grapefruit ice cubes by dropping grapefruit into an ice cube tray topping up with water and freezing
- Add a sprig on mint and a tsp of sugar or sugar syrup to the shaker, add the vodka and grapefruit and shake to muddle in a sweet mint flavor
- Make a pitcher of Salty Dogs for a crowd, prepare the salt rimmed glasses in advance, then fill with crushed ice and pour in the drink – you get a slightly weaker drink, but the crushed ice is lovely and refreshing, and it’s easier to make than shaking individually