Winter to spring cocktails: the Italian Greyhound from Canal House Cooking.

Italian Greyhound cocktail

Italian Greyhound cocktail

“We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”—Benjamin Franklin

With all due respect to (and agreement with) Benjamin Franklin, I’m certain that while wine may be proof that a higher spiritual being loves us and wants us to be happy, I am also convinced that citrus fruits are at their peak in the wintertime to give us some assurance that winter has its place and we shouldn’t hate absolutely everything from January through most of March. While I’m content to use them in salads and eat them as-is on a regular basis, using them in cocktails this year has yielded some pretty delicious results that have entered into my weekend cocktail rotation. In an effort to post more frequently than twice a month, I’m going to share a few different ones over the next few days.

A few weeks ago I acquired a nice stack of Canal House Cooking’s seasonal cookbooks on sale at Williams Sonoma, and a series of recipes that caught my eye in volume six was for the Greyhound—a simple combination of gin and grapefruit juice—and all of its variations.  March is perhaps the ideal time to be experimenting with these libations because while signs are pointing to spring, we could just as easily be walloped with a blizzard at any moment. We might as well be sipping a seasonally appropriate cocktail while we await to see if the weather is more akin to lions or lambs, right?

The reason why you see this image everywhere is because it’s accurate.

(Mmmm. Lamb.)

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound with Vol 6 of Canal House Cooking

Of all of the variations on the liquor-plus-grapefruit juice model, my favorite is easily the Italian Greyhound, because the Campari adds just the right amount of bitterness to the glass to keep everything balanced and you don’t need much to get the desired effect. I’m not sure if it’s just the grapefruit I use, but I don’t find the juice to be at all too tart here, but that also could be that Campari at work.

Italian Greyhound

slightly adapted from Canal House Cooking, Vol 6

serves 1

  • 2 oz gin
  • 4 oz grapefruit juice (1/2 of a medium grapefruit tends to get me enough juice for each serving)
  • Splash of Campari

In an old-fashioned or other short tumbler, fill with ice and add gin, said splash of Campari, and grapefruit juice; gently stir and serve immediately.

  1. shannon said:

    Yes to that graphic about winter/spring and that one warm day in March: it’s like someone looked into my heart and drew that.
    i’ve eyed those Canal House cookbooks forever at Williams Sonoma, but haven’t ever pulled the trigger on purchasing them. Are you liking them? I’ve flipped through them, and i want them, but i don’t know how practical they are. but if they’re on sale…that could be a game-changer. 🙂
    and this drink! agree: we should all be mixing drinks with fresh citrus in them right now. It’s just right, and i feel warm and cheery just looking at your photo, Elizabeth. it’s lovely.

    • Honestly? I think they are SO up your alley–they are gorgeous and they have lots of interesting recipes. I have so many recipes earmarked for the summer in the first one I got, and I think I’ll play around with the others this coming week as Michael has to go to Japan and therefore I’m on my own. But I’ll report back ASAP!

  2. Brianne said:

    I like all these things except winter. I have Canal House 1-3, and I love their cocktail recipes! They have the classics and some twists. I love it. I, too, bought mine on sale. I can’t wait to see what else you’ve been mixing up lately!

    • I can’t lie and say that I wasn’t partially inspired by your grapefruit post (I’m so glad you’re into it, btw) and I hope you’ll like what i have coming up in the next few days. 🙂

  3. This was some perfect timing — since I just planted a grapefruit tree in my yard last weekend! This will absolutely be what I make with my first grapefruit harvest and I can’t wait. I may have to do some test runs with a store grapefruit…just to make sure I get the complicated recipe right…

    • I am SO ENVIOUS of the grapefruit tree, but I would highly recommend using store-bought grapefruit to try the recipe for yourself first, just so you can get all the proportions correct. 🙂

      • That is excellent advice that I will be following starting today. I am drinking all of this gin in the name of research. RESEARCH I tell you!

  4. biz319 said:

    Yep, that graphic is so true this year – this morning, March 17, it was 14 degrees when I left the house! Now I want that cocktail!

    • That is criminal. I know we can get snow into April, but for crying out loud I want to plant my herbs for the season already!

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