Salty Dogs and the problem with lizards

Salty Dog Cocktail

“I wouldn’t recommend a lizard,” said Heidi. We were at my Grandma’s drinking tea when the subject of pets had come up.

“Heidi’s got birds,” said my Grandma, in much the same tone of voice one might use to say “Heidi’s got rabies.”

“I do,” Heidi was unrepentant. “I’m mad for my chickens, me. I love them. I make them hot water bottles and wrap them in towels for them to sleep on every night. They’ll come to you and let you stroke them. They give you eggs. Chickens are great pets. But I wouldn’t recommend a lizard.”

“Oooh,” Grandma was unimpressed. “A snake? Oooh.”

“It’s not a snake. It’s a lizard.”

“That’s just a snake with legs to run at you.”

It’s hard to argue with logic like that.

“Well, I wouldn’t recommend them,” said Heidi. “He’s a gecko so he’s small and shy, and you spend half the day hunting for him round the house, then when you find him, you have to tear up worms for him to eat!”

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
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