Bitter Salty Perro

I have been craving grapefruits this winter. I love their colour and bitter-sweet taste, and I love that they seem like a special treat since we purchase them so infrequently. So I was pleased when Blake somehow read my mind and brought home five from the store. We gobbled down two, which left three for cocktails.

But what to make? Blake Googled “grapefruit cocktails” and came up with a selection that work this time of year. Since I can’t always turn everything into a margarita or some kind of sour, I opted for the Bitter Salty Perro. It’s supposed to be a twist on a drink called a Salty Dog (‘perro’ means dog in Spanish), which is gin and grapefruit juice with a salted rim. But I think it has more in common with the tequila-based Paloma, using tonic instead of soda, and a healthy dose of bitters. Bonus: we had all the ingredients on hand.

It's bitter and lip-puckering but also seriously refreshing. Three words: fresh grapefruit juice.

It’s bitter and lip-puckering but also seriously refreshing. Three words: fresh grapefruit juice.

I love how well grapefruit juice and tequila go together. I was worried the drink would be too bitter, but grapefruits are actually sweeter than limes, and tonic water has a lot more sugar than most people realize. Everything together makes this Bitter Salty Perro just sweet enough to want to drink again.

Bitter Salty Perro

  • 2 oz fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz blanco tequila (I used Casamigos)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Top tonic water (about 2 oz)
  • Salted rim
  • Half grapefruit wheel garnish

Method: Rim a rocks glass with salt and then fill with ice. Combine grapefruit juice, tequila and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, then strain into the rocks glass. Top with tonic and garnish with a half grapefruit wheel.

— Recipe adapted from Serious Eats


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