It is the Saturday before Memorial Day which usually means I’m exhausted but surrounded by friends from all over the world at GeoWoodstock. We know this year was different, even before it was rescheduled to 2021, but this weekend is always special for our crew, even more so since The Godfather left us nearly five years ago, so sit back and think about 18 years of good times as we make a Salty Dog in honor of my friend, Joe Armstrong. 

I had not heard about this drink till Joe introduced me to it many years ago, it’s not my thing but he loved them “extra salty”. I guess it’s fair to say that he introduced me to a lot of things I didn’t care for, but so many more that I loved. I’m not gonna run through the history here, either you know or someone will tell you in the comments, but he was something else. I have been working in the shop all day on a project he would’ve probably been a part of if he were still here and I when it came time to make today’s drink, I knew this was the one. 

To be fair, this is barely a cocktail, but we’re not gonna let that stop us. Grab your tins and pop in 3 ounces of grapefruit juice topped with 1 1/2 ounces of gin, Joe would’ve specified Bombay Blue Sapphire, but the closest I had was some Spanish Majon. I added two stabs of El Guapo Tricentennial Bitters, to give some depth and so we’d have a third ingredient. Shake well over ice to froth things up and pour into a glass that Joe “borrowed” from a Seattle brewery, rimmed with sea salt. Toss a pinch of that fancy salt in the drink, so it’ll be “extra salty”. Garnish with an inside joke and serve.

That first sip is always a punch to the palate. Too much salt and a nice “eeewww” face from the grapefruit juice. If you stick with it the gin begins to kick in and you end up with enough nostalgia to make this one a nice experience. I’m kidding, it’s not that bad, just not my thing, but damn did he love them, and that’s good enough for me. Here’s to ya, buddy. As much as I hate this drink, you still make it “”Too cool”. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.