The Green Greyhound: The Fast Track Cocktail of the Summer
This week we’re pleased to provide the recipe for a new cocktail that’s refreshing, well balanced, and perfect for the dog days of summer. Like all good cocktails, there’s a story behind its creation.
Hilary Somers Deely, half of the creative team behind the Made in the Berkshires festival, spent much of the past winter in Michigan, where her husband, Phil, was serving as interim headmaster at The Roeper School. During those months away, her Western Massachusetts home was never far from her mind. As she tells it, also on her mind was the development of a cocktail inspired by, of all things, a perfume.
Deely explains that as she burned time (and calories) during the bitter Michigan winter, window shopping at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom’s, and Saks, “I was often offered a sample of cologne by my favorite perfumer Jo Malone; her latest scent, White Lilacs and Rhubarb (limited edition of course), triggered dreams of summer back home in my garden. Then, on one of my forays, I tried Jo’s signature Lime Basil & Mandarin scent and a light bulb went off! How about a summer cocktail inspired by this copacetic trio?”
Using vodka as a base, Deely went to work, tweaking the flavors, swapping the orange for grapefruit, and adding a splash of St. Germain elderflower liqueur. At a dinner with visiting friends, when Deely described her concoction, one companion noted that what she had developed was a variation of the Greyhound, a basic combination of grapefruit juice and vodka. And that is how she came up with the name of her cocktail, the Green Greyhound, thanks to the addition of basil and her insistence that the the grapefruit be organic. Deely’s use of locally produced Ice Glen Vodka from Berkshire Mountain Distillers adds further eco-friendly cred.
Now back in the Berkshires, Deely has refined the proportions, and as her gardens are already producing bounteous basil she is able to pluck this essential ingredient straight from the plants outside her kitchen door. With the advent of summer weather, she has been serving the Green Greyhound to eveyone who stops by, inspring one local bon vivant to riff on the classic Greyhound bus tagline: “Just leave the drinking to us!”
The Green Greyhound, created by Hilary Somers Deely
2 oz fresh-squeezed organic ruby red grapefruit juice (the juice of one large grapefruit)
2 oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Ice Glen Vodka
1 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
2 tsps fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tsp simple syrup
2 large basil leaves
Roughly tear one of the basil leaves, reserving the other for garnish. Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a martini glass (with or without grapefruit pulp, according to your preference) and float the intact basil leaf on top. Be sure to inhale deelply as you sip to fully appreciate the essence of basil in taste and aroma.
Hilary Deely, right; photo courtesy of