Have you ever tried a Greyhound? I mean the cocktail, although the animal kind is an awfully sweet oversized lap dog ❤️ The Greyhound I’m talking about is a classic cocktail made of grapefruit juice and vodka served over ice. And fun fact: if you salt the rim of the glass, then it’s called a Salty Dog. But I’m getting off-topic! I know I have tried a Greyhound, but I don’t remember being crazy about it.
I know you’re wondering why on earth, then, am I trying this Greek Greyhound Cocktail? Well, tastes change over time and this version has ouzo, something I have never tried. Ouzo is a liqueur with a strong anisette flavor (think sambuca or absinthe). I love absinthe, so I’m guessing I’m going to like ouzo. But will I like it in a Greyhound? Let’s find out!
Greyhounds, the dogs not the cocktail, have a long history in Greece, where it’s believed that Odysseus’s beloved pup, Argus, was an early example of the breed. Our ode to that swift and loyal companion is this twist on the popular greyhound drink.
Folks, the ingredients for this cocktail took a little more effort to obtain than most of my recipes. I knew I would have to make an extra trip to the liquor store for the vodka and ouzo, but I had planned for that. Plus curbside pick-up made it pretty easy.
Then my regular grocery store didn’t have pink grapefruit. I searched online for it and found it at Doris Italian Market. It’s just up the street, so I added a stop to my trip and picked up the pink grapefruit and fresh mint there. And a bunch of other stuff—Doris’ is like Disneyland for foodies!
I had the sumac, fennel seeds, and sugar, so now I was set. Slightly damp since it rained and rained on the day I decided to leave my house to get groceries, but that’s just summer here in South Florida ??♀️
The Greek Greyhound isn’t too complicated, but it does involve making an infused simple syrup before the actual cocktail. Here’s how my time was spent:
- 4 minutes to prep the simple syrup
- 30 minutes to steep the fennel seeds/cool the simple syrup
- 4 minutes to make the cocktail
- 38 minutes total
I loved how the simple syrup was started by toasting the fennel seeds. I used a small saucepan, and it worked very well. After that, it’s just like any other simple syrup: add some water and sugar to the pan and stir until dissolved.
Then I removed the pan from the heat and left it to steep for 30 minutes. I did take the extra step of pouring the liquid (with the seeds) into a cool pan. That helped the syrup cool faster since I wanted to make the cocktails ASAP.
While I waited on the syrup, gathered the rest of my equipment, made the garnishes, and juiced the pink grapefruit. One grapefruit was all I needed.
After I strained the fennel seeds out of the cooled simple syrup, it was time to make my Greek Greyhounds! I made a little bit of a change to the order of things to make it easier. Tip: Muddle the mint leaves with the sumac before adding anything else to the mixing glass. It’s easier than trying to muddle floating mint leaves.