This salty dog cocktail recipe adds fresh strawberries for a spring twist to this classic drink. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo if tequila isn’t your thing!

Raise your hand high if you’ve had an “incident” with tequila.

Oh, hi, me over here, standing on tippy toes raising hand.

The scene: my 21st birthday.

The outcome: the Carlisle, PA ER.

It wasn’t pretty. Or so I’ve been told since 13 years later I still have zero recollection of 3 hours from that night.

This salty dog cocktail recipe adds fresh strawberries for a spring twist to this classic drink. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo if tequila isn't your thing!
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So while I know tomorrow (Cinco de Mayo) is all about the tequila and guac, I totally get it if one of those things is just not your cup of tea (and I’m not talking about the guacamole, not liking that is just plain weird).

Unless it’s a really good margarita, the thought of tequila usually makes me squirm.

That changed a little last week though when I was in Mexico at the Cancun Wine and Food Festival and we did a tequila tasting at one of the restaurants in the host hotel, Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach (a lovely place to stay in the area with the best spa I’ve ever been to in my life).

This salty dog cocktail recipe adds fresh seasonal strawberries for a spring twist to this classic drink.

Apparently, we’re all doing this tequila thing wrong.

It’s not about throwing it back, licking some salt and squeezing a lime wedge into your mouth.

It’s all about sipping and breathing correctly.

I will say, now that I know how to properly do a shot of tequila, it tastes way better than what I remember from that horrible night spent celebrating legal-dom.

And, all these years I spent thinking white (blanco) tequila was the way to go, the tasting made me realize I actually much prefer a nice anejo.

These mango coconut margaritas or this serrano cucumber margarita make great Cinco de Mayo options as well! Rather eat your booze? Try these coconut cilantro margarita ice pops instead.
This strawberry salty dog is a seasonal twist on the classic tart and salty drink.

All that said, it’s still not quite my alcohol of choice for mixed drinks. Good old vodka wins that one and that’s just what this strawberry salty dog calls for.

What’s In A Salty Dog?

The classic salty dog cocktail combines vodka and grapefruit juice with a nice salty rim. It’s this brilliant contrast of sour and salty and it works deliciously well. Same goes for the grapefruit martini, a cocktail I adore in winter when grapefruit is one of the few shining stars of the season.

Being that we’re smack in the middle of strawberry season though, I decided it needed a spring twist with the addition of some fresh strawberry juice.

I used my juicer but if you don’t have one, just throw some in a blender, that’ll work just as well.

So if your hand was raised to the sky on the tequila hate train, I get it. Enjoy one of these strawberry salty dogs for Cinco de Mayo instead.

The guac won’t know any better.

Need more cocktail inspiration?

This green tea shot can be turned into a cocktail easily and makes a festive looking celebratory drink.

5 from 1 vote

Strawberry Salty Dog

Servings: 2 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
This salty dog cocktail recipe adds fresh strawberries for a spring twist to this classic drink.


  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberry juice
  • 1/3 cup good quality vodka
  • kosher/pink himalayan salt
  • crushed ice


  • Wet the rim of two glasses. Place salt in a small dish and dip rim into salt until coated all the way around.
  • Fill glasses with crushed ice.
  • Combine juices and vodka in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled.
  • Strain and pour into salt rimmed glasses.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 187kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 1gSodium: 268mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. This drink sounds fabulous. This looks so tasty! A perfect drink for warm weather if it ever arrives! Thanks for sharing us.

  2. I am so with you and Tequila. No ER visit, but one margarita and I don’t remember my name! I am loving this salty dog–so making it!

  3. I think I’ve had more “incidents” with vodka than tequila. LOL. But yes, as you get older, you learn to not only drink it more appropriately, but to also not drink that bottom shelf well stuff that will surely make you sick. ;) This drink sounds fabulous–a great way to round out all the margaritas that will be going around!

  4. aaah, yes. The “tequila incident” of 1994 involved way too many shots, and not being able to handle my booze, and it … making its exit via my nose. Even the smell now … well, it isn’t pretty.

    I’m ALL about this salty dog! Looks REALLY good

  5. Well it wasn’t tequila, but rum that did me in..or possibly all the sugar since it was one of those yard long daiquiri drinks you get in Vegas and walk around with all night like an idiot. Anyways, vodka is my booze of choice these days and I’m loving the strawberry salty dog, can’t wait to give it a try!