Happiest Hour 

Salty Dog

What it is: A throwback of a cocktail that's easy to make and perfect to drink as spring weather arrives. All you need to do is rim a highball glass with kosher salt, add ice, pour two ounces of gin or vodka and top with about four or five ounces of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. Stir and enjoy.

Hold up, friend. Talk us through this a bit: Not much to discuss, which is why this old hound is a classic. It's pure preference when choosing between gin and vodka. I wanted to mark the occasion of opening a first-batch bottle of Montgomery Distillery Quicksilver, so I went with vodka. As for the fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, it's a no-brainer. Score three for a buck or so and you'll taste the sweet difference compared to bitter bottled options.

  • Photo by Skylar Browning

Old dog, new tricks: The Salty Dog's been around so long, there are plenty of variations. Skip the salt and you have a Greyhound. Orlando Weekly, a fellow alternative newspaper that recently reminded us of this drink, also suggests the Peppery Dog: vodka, grapefruit juice and pepper syrup made of black peppercorns, water, sugar and lime juice. It reportedly provides a bit of a kick. Call me old-fashioned, but I'd just as well stick with the straightforward original.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor at missoulanews.com.

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