Italian Greyhound Cocktail with Rosemary Sugar
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Italian greyhound is a pretty pink gin and grapefruit cocktail made with fresh grapefruit juice, Aperol liqueur and a sparkling rosemary sugar rim.
This Italian greyhound pink gin cocktail made with fresh grapefruit juice and a dash of bitter liqueur hits the spot when you’re craving adult refreshment.
It’s a great drink to make any time of year, and it’s not too sweet or strong.
There’s really nothing better than winding down with a glass of chilled rosé or prosecco at the end of the day, especially during the warmer months. But every once in a while a gin greyhound cocktail recipe is in order!
I’m a fan of the liqueur Aperol, a brand of Italian bitters very much like Campari.
A light and refreshing drink we love is the Pamplemousse, a mixture of fresh grapefruit juice and white wine.
Sipping on it reminds me how refreshing grapefruit juice can be in a cocktail, especially when combined with gin and blended into concoctions like a Salty Dog.
Aperol is not quite as bitter as Campari, with a tiny bit more sweetness and more complex hints of herbal-citrus flavors, which means it takes the place of simple syrup.
You can use either one in this recipe, because the differences between them are pretty subtle.
Instead of a salted rim (usually on a margarita), I embellished this Italian greyhound by rimming the glass with rosemary sugar, which tempers the bitter edge of the grapefruit and Aperol with every sip.
Rosemary sugar is easy to make:
- Mix 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves with 1/4 cup sugar. That’s it!
You will love, love, love this drink! It’s dangerously thirst-quenching. If you’re not usually a fan of gin and grapefruit, an Italian greyhound is a good place to get acquainted.
The complexity of herbs, roots and botanicals that go into a good gin match up nicely with grapefruit juice and aromatic piney rosemary. You can easily substitute with an equal amount of vodka, if you prefer the more neutral taste.
Garnish the drink with a slice or thin grapefruit wedge, along with a sprig or rosemary for that Italian flair. Cin-cin!
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Italian Greyhound Cocktail with Rosemary Sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
- 2 ounces (60 ml) gin
- 4 ounces (120 ml) freshly squeezed pink or red grapefruit juice
- 1 ounce (30 ml) Aperol or Campari liqueur
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig, for garnish
- Combine the rosemary and sugar and spread on a small plate.
- Rub the edge of a Collins glass or wide tumbler with a wedge of fresh citrus — grapefruit would be perfect! Then press the glass onto the plate, turning to coat it in the herb sugar.
- Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add the gin, juice and Aperol. Stir, and garnish with a rosemary spring and slice of grapefruit. Enjoy.
Hey, I’m Karen
Creator of Familystyle Food
I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.
hi there, this cocktail sounds delicious but the amount of sugar seems very high! any thoughts about the ratio from those who have made it? thanks!
Hello – The sugar is just for rimming the glass, just like you’d use salt in a margarita. You can totally skip that step!
I have always thought a greyhound was made with grapefruit juice and vodka and a salty dog was made with gin, so this recipe confuses me. The addition of rosemary sugar on the rim however would be great with both. A splash of La Croix grapefruit sparkling water would give it a nice zip
I took creative license with the recipe title 🙂 But if you like gin, I encourage you to try it. And oh, yes I love the idea of grapefruit sparkling water!
Hi! I’m a staff writer for Spoon University (UT Austin chapter) and I just wanted to make sure that it was okay if I linked your recipe in one of my articles: https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/7-cocktails-make-next-spring-soiree/
wow !! rosemary sugar looks freaking yummy !! thank you karen 🙂
A sexy drink indeed! The rosemary sugar is what really makes this special (as well as your gorgeously clean and calm photos!).
We’re rounding-up everyone’s sexiest recipes this month on the Shine Supper Club and this would make an excellent contender. I hope you’ll join us!
oooh I can’t wait until Yardarms for this one 🙂
This is my new drink for the summer. I fell in love with Aperol on a trip to Venice, and am so happy to see it available in the States. I make mine with vodka because gin makes me mean.
Ha – Terri you made me smile. Best to love Aperol while in Venice (or anywhere) than to drink gin and get mad! Cheers.
What type of gin were you recommending ?
Hi Garrick, I like a gin with subtle herbal notes. My faves are Plymouth, Junipero and Greenhook.
this sounds really good! and i love the glasses you used!
I breed and exhibit Italian Greyhounds. I am going to provide these cocktails at my housewarming in the next couple of months.
I had a very successful run with the following recipe at a restaurant I often consult for:
1 1/2 oz. Charbay Ruby Red Grapefruit
3 oz. Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice (I prefer the cocktail variety, of course)
1/2 oz. Rosemary-infused Simple Syrup
In a seltzer bottle, combine 8 oz. Aperol with 8 oz. of Sparkling water and charge.
In a tall Collins glass rimmed with half turbinado sugar and kosher salt, add large ice cubes and the first 3 ingredients (adjust the Rosemary Syrup to taste) and stir well. Top with 1oz. of the Aperol Spritz. Garnish with a candied slice of grapefruit and sip to your heart’s content!
Ah yes, another great grapefruit cocktail! I love it! The color is really beautiful, and I am sure the rosemary sugar enhances the flavor of the gin.
I’ll go with tradition and stick with gin. I just made a batch of these, but carbonated them. Very refreshing. Made for a wonderful Sunday afternoon.
I love Campari, so I am going on the hunt for Aperol! Will skip the rosemary sugar however, I once pricked my lip with fresh rosemary and my entire face swelled…apparently I am allergic! Beautiful bog…
The color alone on this drink is reason enough to make it! Sounds absolutely delicious! =)
Wow, what a gorgeous photo! This drink looks SO yummy!
That sounds great! I drink gin a lot and Aperol a lot, but I don’t usually combine them…and with grapefruit, another fav! I’ll definitely be making this one. Also, love the idea of a rosemary sugared rim. Really creative. I can totally imagine how wonderful that would be with this cocktail…and others…hmm…dreaming of weekend cocktails…
Thanks! I’m really excited about this one!
This looks like one of those addicting drinks you have to have seconds of! LOL
Beautiful color, and I love the rosemary in it.
I could feel my lips pucker from the sweetness of the sugar from just looking at the picture. Really, I did. This is lovely!!
Lindsay – ha! I love that you had that reaction.
Hi Amy. I’m glad I found the Aperol. I’ll never abandon Campari, but it adds a little different “something” that I like.
Yes, and funny that we think of Greyhound as a vodka drink these days. Traditionally it was made with gin. Just like martinis, gin has gone out of fashion in favor of vodka. I’d be telling my age, but I worked in a bar when I was in college, and served lots of gin Greyhounds!
Jacqueline. I agree. But now you have something to look forward to later today. 😀
Hi Carl! So glad to see your comment. I wish I could clink glasses with you.
I read the same post at Orangette, and went to find some Aperol. I had been drinking Kettle One, grapefruit and Campari and thought I would try Aperol instead. I like them both, but still prefer the Campari.
I was also surprised to see you call gin and grapefruit a “greyhound.” I usually think of a greyhound being grapefruit and vodka.
That looks so refreshing! I am not a big Gin drinker but I’m going to go find some Aperol and make one with vodka. Could be my new summer cocktail!
What a shame. I’m reading this at 8 a.m. Will have to wait at least a couple of hours to try it.
My mouth is watering. Love collecting cocktail recipes and sharing with friends.