Spicy Empress Greyhound Cocktail

Spicy Empress Greyhound Cocktail
Spicy Empress Greyhound Cocktail

Here is a fun and spicy twist on the classic Greyhound Cocktail! The classic Greyhound is a great drink that is best when made with gin (opinion alert)! We decided to take the baseline drink and make it more interesting by introducing some spice and using a beautiful and tasty gin, Empress 1908. The result is a stunning riff on the greyhound that is just a little spicy and a little tart, but balanced and beautiful at the same time.

The Classic Greyhound

The classic version of the Greyhound cocktail dates back to the 1930s. The very first mention of this cocktail, like many classic cocktails, is in Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock. The classic version had vodka, grapefruit soda and sugar. Sources say that this was a popular cocktail served in Greyhound bus terminal restaurants, hence the name.

Over the years, versions of this cocktail have popped up with gin or vodka and fresh grapefruit juice. A similar cocktail, the Salty Dog, has the addition of a salted rim.

Spicy Empress Greyhound Cocktail
With a bit of heat, this riff on the classic Greyhound is balanced and beautiful.

Our version of the Greyhound

We chose cinnamon and cayenne pepper to spice up this drink, and the combination is remarkably pleasing. The cinnamon adds the sweet heat, and the cayenne pepper adds fire without imparting any flavor that would take away from the Empress 1908 botanical profile.

The grapefruit juice by itself didn’t work nearly as well as when it shared the stage with lemon juice. The two citrus fruits balanced the drink much better than just one. The simple syrup added just the right amount of sweetness to finish this cocktail off in the perfect way.

Although jalapeño is not actually muddled into the drink itself, the addition of a single thin slice for garnish reminds you of the spiciness of this cocktail but also lends a great fragrance as you sip.


We hope you enjoy this Spicy Empress Greyhound cocktail! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

Spicy Empress Greyhound Cocktail
Spicy Empress Greyhound Cocktail

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Spicy Empress Greyhound Cocktail

4 from 5 votes
Course: CocktailsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Total time




  • 2 oz 2 Empress 1908 Gin

  • 1 oz 1 Grapefruit juice

  • 1 oz 1 Lemon juice

  • 2 tsp 2 simple syrup (2:1)*

  • 1/8 tsp 1/8 cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp 1/8 cayenne pepper

  • Thinly sliced jalapeño (for garnish)


  • Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Pour through a strainer into a lowball glass with a large-format ice cube. Garnish with a thin slice of jalapeño and serve.


  • If you prefer less heat, reduce the cayenne pepper.
  • We use a 2:1 simple syrup for this recipe. You can make your own at home by combining two cups of sugar with 1 cup of water over medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved. Then remove from the heat and cool before transferring to an air tight container or using in a cocktail. You can store the simple syrup in the fridge for up to 6 months.

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