We are officially in the dog days of summer. In London, the weather forecast for the next couple of weeks gets up to 29 degrees C. You need something refreshing. The Greenhound is that something.
The Greenhound is a riff on two drinks: The Greyhound and the Salty Dog. The Greyhound is simply vodka and grapefruit juice, and the Salty Dog is the same, except with salt on the rim of the glass. My good friend John McGrew brought over the makings for Greyhounds the other day, and while I like the idea of the grapefruit, I wasn't so much feeling the vodka. I was craving an absinthe drink. After a couple of days of experimentation, I arrived at what I'm going to be drinking for the rest of the summer. And maybe the rest of my life.
How To Make It
- 30 ml absinthe
- 120 ml grapefruit juice
- 15 ml St. Germain
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3-4 fresh mint leaves
- Angostura bitters (optional)
It doesn't get much easier than this.
1. Bruise the mint leaves. You can do this by dropping them into your glass (preferably a highball glass) and gently using a muddler, or you can put the leaf in the palm of one hand, and smack it hard (clap). The idea is to release the oils without tearing up the leaf.
2. Add a few large ice cubes to the glass and then stir all of the ingredients together (except the bitters). For the salt, use something light and flaky like Maldon. Or you can go with kosher salt, if you want a little more grit.
3. Because grapefruit juice can be very sweet, very sour, or very bitter, give it a taste. Too sweet? Add a dash of bitters. Too bitter or sour? Add a little more St. Germain, or check out our variation below.
4. Drink it. Or make it for friends and be lauded for your heroic good taste.
A lot of people are afraid of absinthe, and indeed, it packs plenty of flavour. For this recipe we used Pernod, which blended extremely well with the tart grapefruit juice. Neither flavour overpowered the other, and the St. Germain (with the pinch of salt) binds it all together.
More good news: the Greenhound will transport fairly well. In other words, you can pre-mix all of the ingredients together in a big jug, take it to a friend's BBQ, and then pour it over ice once you get there. Just don't let the grapefruit juice get too warm for too long. Freshness is a key component to what makes this drink so refreshing.