Home / Going to the Dogs: Cocktails in Honor of Westminster

Going to the Dogs: Cocktails in Honor of Westminster

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One of my favorite convergences occurs this week: the fantastical worlds of New York Fashion Week and the Westminster Dog Show. Gorgeous Rodarte-clad creatures are stalking Lexington Avenue.


Gorgeous sighthounds, wearing the style of millennia past, are lounging off Seventh.

There is best at the show at Marc Jacobs, and there’s Best in Show at Madison Square Garden, and it all calls for a toast. Helping us with our theme, we can turn to The Cocktail Bible: Traditional and Modern Cocktails for Every Occasion by Linda Doeser which contains a whole page on canine-named cocktails.

The Cocktail Bible builds on the Greyhound foundation—vodka and grapefruit juice with a lime wedge. Pictured here, straight up with a salted rim, the drink becomes a Salty Dog, and there are many more variations on the motif.

There is The Great Dane:

2 oz. gin
1 oz. cherry brandy
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1 tsp. kirsch

Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Pour all ingredients and shake until frost forms on the outside of the shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

There are also recipes for the Beagle, the Bloodhound, the Black Dog (no relation to the ubiquitous Black Dog of Martha’s Vineyard), and the Mad Dog, which, of course, is every dog in the ring who doesn’t end up with that little liver treat.

There are many great recipes for a Westminster party in The Cocktail Bible, but one of my favorite canine drinks can be found in Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz’s The Art of the Bar—The Salty Poodle. An adaptation of the Salty Dog, this drink sidles over into welcoming margarita territory.

The Salty Dog

1 oz. silver tequila
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1/4 Fee Brothers falernum
dash of creme de cassis

Combine all the ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake until frost develops on the outside of the shaker. Strain into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass. Await blue ribbon.

As we celebrate the final announcement of Best in Show, a word about Fee Brothers is in order. A Rochester, New York company, Fee Brothers has a history that would rival the American Kennel Club in breadth and depth. Their bitters selection, especially orange, is an absolute necessity when attempting to slog one’s way through all the lovely cocktail books on the market now. The falernum named in the above recipe is a cocktail mixer with Caribbean flavors of lime, ginger, and almond.

As the judge is about to place an overly large ribbon on someone’s best friend…Forget the mixed drinks! Open up that bottle of Oban Scotch. Hickory, the beautiful Deerhound, has just won. Take that, all you lapdogs. Sighthounds rule!

Photos: AP

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About Kate Shea Kennon

  • Elizabeth Dodwell

    Wow! That’s quite a pedigreed Salty Dog. I’m a big fan of bitters to add panache to otherwise mundane libations. I’ll definitely give this a try.

  • And last night, I had a Bulldog – so easy. Gin on the rocks with two measures of OJ and a splash of ginger ale. Couldn’t be easier or lazier – just like the bulldog itself.