Sodium’s atomic number is 11, so let’s talk Salty Dogs. What’s a Salty Dog? It’s a Greyhound with a salted rim. To wit:
1. Mix 3 ounces vodka with 6 ounces grapefruit juice (that’s a Greyhound) served in a glass with a salted rim (now it’s a Salty Dog).
2. Another recipe calls for a stronger mix: 2 ounces vodka to 2 ounces grapefruit juice. Other recipes mix salt and sugar before dipping the rim. Still doesn’t sound as good as a Greyhound, but the universe is infinite and life is full of uncertainty so it’s best to keep your options open.
3. According to the Webtender Wiki, this drink was invented by George Jessel, creator of the Bloody Mary. I feel like maybe this guy had a lot of time on his hands.
4. How do you make the salt stick to the rim? Rub a wedge of lemon (or lime, if you swing that way) along the rim first, then dip it in the salt.
5. Rip Torn’s character on The Larry Sanders Show once shouted at someone (he was always shouting at someone), “It’s a salty dog. Drink it, you pussy!” That guy was awesome.
6. You can swap gin in there if you want, just as you might make a gimlet or martini with vodka. Some folks make the gin version their signature drink.
7. Note that the term salty dog can be used to refer to an experienced sailor or just a really horny dude.
8. Here’s a delightful anecdote about drink creator George Jessel as relayed by the Webtender Wiki:
[He] was fortifying himself against Republicans with a strange potion out of a champagne glass. He let me have a taste, and after bystanders had turned the fire extinguishers on me and successfully resorted to resuscitation, he explained, that this drink was a Salty Dog. “It is a little something of my own invention,” he said. “Just half fresh grapefruit juice, half vodka and a dash of salt, and you think any Democrat can win.”
9. In June 2010, Bon Appetit made the following assertion: “The Salty Dog falls into a category of classic cocktail that is ripe to become this summer’s trend: the highball.” Does anybody remember that happening in summer 2010? Was everyone clamoring for various types of highballs? “Gimme a scotch and soda!” they were all shouting that summer, remember, anyone, were they?
10. Johnny Cash has an enigmatic but evocative song called “Salty Dog” with the following refrain: Honey let me be your salty dog/Let me be your salty dog/Or I won’t be your little man at all/Honey let me be your salty dog. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? The rest of the lyrics don’t illuminate the meaning, trust me: you can read them yourself.
11. I don’t know what this lively tune from Flogging Molly is about either, but I like it.