The Greyhound

By Ed Sikov

Cocktail Chatter

"I can't believe you're serving us a drink named after a bus line." This was going to be a long night. Craig was in one of his moods, and it seemed as though nothing anyone could say or do was going to make things any better. "It's not 'named after a bus line,'" I snapped. "It's a classic cocktail named after...." I had to stop the sentence in midstream because I had no idea why the drink was called a greyhound.

"There! You see?" Craig cried triumphantly. "It was named after a bus line! How very middle America of you. Woman of the masses! Everygal! You think just because you're serving a drink named after a bus line you're connected to 'the people.' Well, you're not. You're still a prissy little snob."

"Craig, dear," I began in my calmest available tone. "We love you and all that, but shut the hell up. Do you want a greyhound or don't you? That's what the bar is serving this evening, and if you don't like it, you can shove it up your...."

"Ladies," Dan interrupted. "Ladies, please!"

"You're no better," Craig said turning his venomous attention to Dan. "In fact, in certain ways you're worse."

"Name one," Dan challenged.

"First of all, your many Harvard degrees are tiresome, especially when you bring them up, which is once a day if we're lucky."

Dan looked stricken. He knew Craig was right. Fortunately for us, Craig paused and reached for the glass I was proffering, took a big gulp, and suddenly looked like he'd just been given the keys to heaven. "This is good," he announced. "What's in it?"

I had a momentary urge to make up a list of fake ingredients, but I chose the path of honesty instead. "Vodka and grapefruit juice, with a hint of orange Curacao. It's basically a screwdriver with a citrus cousin."

Craig polished off his greyhound in just shy of 90 seconds and asked for another. Dan glared at me as if to say "Don't you dare," but the drink seemed to be taming Craig's inner rhinoceros, and I was glad to serve him anything as long as he stopped being so obnoxious.

"Am I obnoxious?" Craig asked in an abrupt change of disposition.

"I wouldn't say 'obnoxious,'" I said, lying through my teeth. "You're, you're, um, opinionated."

Craig looked pensive, as though he'd just been handed an enormous box of assorted chocolates and was deciding which one to start with. "I just say what I feel," he said mildly. "That you do," I concurred. "That you do."

The Greyhound

Absolut premium vodka

Grapefruit juice

A small splash of Orange Curacao (optional)

Like the screwdriver, much depends on the quality of grapefruit juice you use. Tropicana makes a delicious grapefruit juice that tastes almost as though the juice has been freshly squeezed. All you do to make this cocktail is pour the Absolut over some ice and fill the glass with grapefruit juice. If you decide to add the Curacao, do it after the vodka but before the juice. (It mixes better that way.) Stir. Serve.

Ed Sikov is the author of the e-book, "The Boys' and Girls' Little Book of Alcohol," a novel with recipes based on his Cocktail Chatter column.

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