Inside: This low sugar version of the refreshing classic grapefruit vodka cocktail, the Greyhound, will hit the spot on those summer days when the air AND the sweet drinks are just too heavy. ➡
It’s a thousand and fifteen degrees outside.
The humidity is hanging on us like a wet weighted blanket. But there we are, out hacking around a little golf ball toward a hole. And all we can think about is treating ourselves to a cold adult beverage in the clubhouse at the end of this brutal round after we’ve sweated every last salt grain out of our bodies.
Not just any cocktail will do. Sugary too-sweet drinks won’t quench this thirst. Beer is too heavy.
The perfect elixir?
The vintage classic, the Grapefruit Greyhound. Only with less sugar. And less calories.
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What in the world is a Greyhound cocktail?
Yes, I just learned last summer that is what the vodka/grapefruit drinks I was craving after fun in the sun activities were called.
If you are like me and have never heard of a Greyhound, here’s a little backstory:
Greyhound cocktails have been refreshing thirsty adults for almost a century. The early versions of the Greyhound were made with gin, grapefruit juice, and ice.
Before 1945, vodka wasn’t widely used and most cocktails were made with gin. Vodka became more popular after WWII and remains so to this day.
It’s NOT named after the skinny dog or the color. The drink was dubbed the “Greyhound” in Harper’s Magazine in 1945 because it was served at Greyhound bus terminals in their “Post House” terminal restaurants. This recipe in Harper’s consisted of vodka, canned grapefruit juice, and sugar.
Fast forward to today, and people still love this combination. This drink really hits the spot after any sweaty outdoor activity in the South that you want to follow with a cocktail.
The classic Greyhound. Only better.
This skinny version of the Greyhound is so simple and even better than the original, which had tons of sugar. Because delicious cocktail + less sugar + fewer calories = my kind of drink.Jump to Recipe
The ingredients that make this guilt-free Greyhound.
This is all you’ll need…
- Grapefruit Sparkling Ice OR Diet Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
- Optional – Splenda or Stevia for a sugar rim; Course salt or kosher salt for a salt rim
Depending on whether I want bubbles more like a spritzer, and how strong I want to make them, I use one of these two different grapefruit options: diet Ruby Red or zero sugar Sparkling Ice.
Both of these grapefruit mixers are already sweetened (with artificial sweeteners) so no need for simple syrup if you are watching your sugar intake.
If you’d like them a little sweeter, rim the glass with Splenda or Stevia to add sweetness when you sip.
If you rim the glass in salt, this version is called a Salty Dog cocktail. Sometimes that salt is soooo good on a sweaty outdoor summer day!
Your Greyhound is served, just like you like it.
The ratios are really according to how strong and sweet you like it. Here is a starting point—make it your own from here:
- In a double old-fashioned or lowball glass, add ice.
I used large round ice here because it melts more slowly and doesn’t dilute the drink as quickly as ice cubes. I make them with silicone ice molds like these.
If you want a sweet or salty rim, do it before adding the ice. Wet the glass and dip and swirl the rim around in Stevia, Splenda, or coarse salt on a small plate. Then add your ice.
- Pour in 1-2 oz. of vodka.
- Fill the remainder of the glass with either Grapefruit Sparkling Ice or Ruby Red Diet.
- Stir well and enjoy!
Options for serving the classic Greyhound cocktail.
Don’t be afraid to dress it up with garnishes or additions:
If you’re watching your sugar you may want to check out this summer dessert: (Almost) Sugar-Free Southern Banana Pudding.
Hope you give this one a try to cool you down in this summer heat. I’ll see y’all inside in the A/C—I’ll be sipping on my Greyhound. Cheers!
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Skinny Vodka Grapefruit Greyhound
This low sugar version of the refreshing classic grapefruit vodka cocktail, the Greyhound will hit the spot on those summer days when the air AND the sweet drinks are just too heavy.
- 1-2 oz Vodka
- ICE Sparkling Grapefruit or Diet Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
- Optional: Splenda, Stevia, or course salt
If desired, wet the rim of a double old fashioned glass and swirl it in Splenda, Stevia, or Salt.
Add ice to the glass.
Pour 1-2 oz. of vodka over the ice.
Fill the remainder of the glass with Grapefruit Sparkling ICE drink or Ruby Red Diet Grapefruit Juice.
Stir well and serve.
You can substitute the vodka with gin if you prefer the original spirit used in the Greyhound!