The Dog Days of Summer call for a refreshing cooler.

What are the Dog Days?

From Farmers Almanac

It’s found in the stars….In the summer, Sirius rises and sets with the Sun. On July 23rd, specifically, it is in conjunction with the Sun, and because the star is so bright, the ancient Romans believed it actually gave off heat and added to the Sun’s warmth, accounting for the long stretch of sultry weather. They referred to this time as diēs caniculārēs, or “dog days.”

Thus, the term Dog Days of Summer came to mean the 20 days before and 20 days after this alignment of Sirius with the Sun—July 3 to August 11 each year.

Summer Heat: It’s All About The Tilt

While this period usually is the hottest stretch of summer, the heat is not due to any added radiation from Sirius, regardless of its brightness. The heat of summer is simply a direct result of the Earth’s tilt.

What the expression "Dog Days" means | WOAI

The Drink – Salty Dog

Grapefruit is a fairly new fruit relatively speaking – a cross breed of sweet orange and pomelo fruit.  It is described as the “forbidden fruit” of Barbados in 1750, but was not commercialized in the USA until the early twentieth century, becoming extremely popular by the 1930s.

The Salty Dog was created as a variation of the Greyhound cocktail from that era when the actor George Jessel added a salt rim sometime in the 1950s, as a way to balance the bitterness of the grapefruit – or mask bad gin.

The base spirit of the Salty Dog is now vodka, although some bartenders still prefer to pay homage to the original recipe.

The Recipe

What you need

  • 1 ⅔ oz vodka (or gin)
  • ½ oz Maraschino liqueur
  • 1 ⅔ oz pink grapefruit juice (fresh is best)

What you do

Shake all ingredients and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish Salt rim. Slice grapefruit optional

Serve: Highball or old fashioned glass


Taste: Bitter, sour balance, fruit forward

Patrick (Paddy) Moore

Patrick (Paddy) Moore is the author of the series Quarantinis, Eh? featuring cocktails that commemorate the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021.

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