Screwdriver Cocktail Drink

Screwdriver

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

If you’re looking for a solid cocktail, this Screwdriver recipe covers you! With just two main ingredients, this drink is as easy to make as it is satisfying.

Screwdriver Drink Recipe

Check out our Screwdriver recipe! Made with vodka and orange juice, this classic cocktail is your go-to for a quick and refreshing drink.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

149 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Vodka
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange slice or twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 1½ oz Vodka over the ice.
  • Add Orange Juice: Measure and pour 4 oz orange juice into the glass.
  • Garnish: Place an orange slice or twist into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: If you don't have vodka, you can use gin for a more botanical flavor. I've tried it, and it gives the Screwdriver a unique twist.
  • Orange Juice: Grapefruit or pineapple juice can work if you're out of orange juice. The flavor profile changes, but you still get a refreshing drink.

Making a Pitcher of Screwdriver:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of vodka and 32 oz of orange juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the vodka and orange juice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, garnish with an orange slice or twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic vodka substitute; these are available and mimic the neutral flavor of vodka.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of regular vodka, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Screwdriver.

Making it Vegan:

  • Orange Juice: Ensure that your orange juice doesn't contain animal-derived additives like omega-3s from fish oil or vitamin D from lanolin (sheep's wool).
  • Proceed As Usual: After confirming your orange juice is vegan-friendly, follow the original steps to enjoy a vegan Screwdriver.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
149
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.2
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.03
g
0
%
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
12
g
4
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Potassium
 
227
mg
6
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.04
g
Vitamin A
 
227
IU
5
%
Vitamin C
 
57
mg
69
%
Calcium
 
12
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.2
mg
1
%

 

Screwdriver Cocktail Drink

Screwdriver Drink Recipe

Andrea Ottaiano Written by Andrea Ottaiano
Jump to Video
Check out our Screwdriver recipe! Made with vodka and orange juice, this classic cocktail is your go-to for a quick and refreshing drink.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 149

Ingredients
 

  • oz Vodka
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange slice or twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 1½ oz Vodka over the ice.
  • Add Orange Juice: Measure and pour 4 oz orange juice into the glass.
  • Garnish: Place an orange slice or twist into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: If you don't have vodka, you can use gin for a more botanical flavor. I've tried it, and it gives the Screwdriver a unique twist.
  • Orange Juice: Grapefruit or pineapple juice can work if you're out of orange juice. The flavor profile changes, but you still get a refreshing drink.

Making a Pitcher of Screwdriver:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of vodka and 32 oz of orange juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the vodka and orange juice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, garnish with an orange slice or twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic vodka substitute; these are available and mimic the neutral flavor of vodka.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of regular vodka, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Screwdriver.

Making it Vegan:

  • Orange Juice: Ensure that your orange juice doesn't contain animal-derived additives like omega-3s from fish oil or vitamin D from lanolin (sheep's wool).
  • Proceed As Usual: After confirming your orange juice is vegan-friendly, follow the original steps to enjoy a vegan Screwdriver.

 

What is a Screwdriver Drink?

A screwdriver is a drink made with vodka and orange juice. It’s known for being easy to make and refreshing to drink. The cocktail is famous for its mix of smooth vodka and the bright taste of orange juice. It’s a common choice at many parties and events. People like it because it’s both easy to make and enjoyable to drink.

A Screwdriver cocktail, shot from a side, in a highball glass on a wooden coaster placed on a white marmol table with two orange slices in front

What is a Screwdriver Drink Made of – The Ingredients

The recipe for preparing a Screwdriver includes the following ingredients:

  • Vodka: Provides an alcoholic base and a clean, neutral flavor.
  • Orange Juice: Adds natural sweetness and citrusy brightness to balance the vodka.
  • Ice Cubes: Chill the drink to make it refreshing.
  • Orange Slice or Twist (optional): Serves as a garnish, enhancing the drink’s visual appeal and adding a hint of extra citrus.

Vodka laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Screwdriver Drink?

Make your own Screwdriver with our simple recipe steps:

1
<p>Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes to chill the glass and keep your drink cold.</p>

Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes to chill the glass and keep your drink cold.

2
<p>Measure 1½ oz of vodka with a jigger and pour it over the ice in the glass.</p>

Measure 1½ oz of vodka with a jigger and pour it over the ice in the glass.

3
<p>Follow the vodka with 4 oz of orange juice, pouring it directly into the glass.</p>

Follow the vodka with 4 oz of orange juice, pouring it directly into the glass.

4
<p>If you like, garnish the drink with an orange slice or twist to add a touch of visual flair.<br />
Enjoy your Screwdriver cocktail!</p>

If you like, garnish the drink with an orange slice or twist to add a touch of visual flair.
Enjoy your Screwdriver cocktail!

What is the Difference Between a Screwdriver, Orange Crush, and a Mimosa?

A Screwdriver consists of vodka and orange juice, typically served over ice in a highball glass. It’s a straightforward drink that balances vodka’s clean, neutral flavor with the citrusy sweetness of orange juice.

An Orange Crush, on the other hand, adds a bit more complexity. It combines vodka, orange juice, and triple sec and often includes a splash of soda for effervescence. Unlike the Screwdriver, you usually serve an Orange Crush in a pint glass, often featuring freshly squeezed orange juice.

A Mimosa is quite different from both, as it replaces the vodka with champagne or another sparkling wine. Served in a flute glass, a Mimosa is a bubbly, lighter cocktail that often graces brunch tables. It usually has a lower alcohol content than the Screwdriver and Orange Crush, making it a popular choice for daytime drinking.

The Smirnoff Screwdriver and other Pre-Mixed Screwdrivers

If you’re looking for a convenient option, pre-mixed or canned Screwdrivers are a solid choice, and Smirnoff offers one of the best out there. Smirnoff’s pre-made Screwdriver comes in a can, ready to drink, and nails the classic vodka-orange juice combo. It’s not too sweet or tart, and it has a smooth finish that makes it easy to enjoy. While other brands like Jose Cuervo and Bacardi offer pre-mixed Screwdrivers, Smirnoff stands out for its balanced flavor and reliable quality. 

A Screwdriver cocktail on a wooden coaster placed on a white marmol table with two orange slices in front

Screwdriver Variants

Discover our unique twists and pick your favorite:

  • Creamsicle Cocktail: This delightful take combines the traditional elements with a splash of cream or half-and-half, resulting in a texture and flavor that echo the beloved ice cream treat. The addition of cream transforms it into a smooth, velvety beverage that’s both comforting and refreshing. I find the creamy sweetness of this one irresistible; it’s like sipping on a dessert.
  • Slow Screw Drink: This blend introduces a bit of sloe gin, infusing a berry-like sweetness that perfectly complements the orange juice. The sloe gin brings a unique, fruity depth, making the drink more complex and vibrant. I’m drawn to the rich, berry-infused sweetness of this blend; it adds a delightful twist to the original.
  • Rusty Screw Drink: Here, the traditional vodka is replaced with Scotch, adding smoky and malty elements to the drink. This switch creates a more robust, complex profile, appealing to those who enjoy a deeper, more nuanced flavor experience. The smoky undertones blend intriguingly with the citrus, offering a unique and memorable sip.

A side shot of a Screwdriver cocktail in a highball glass on a thick wooden coaster with two orange slices on the side

History and Origins of the Screwdriver

The Screwdriver cocktail has a somewhat murky history, but many believe it originated among American oil workers in the Persian Gulf during the late 1940s or early 1950s. These workers would discreetly add vodka to their orange juice and use a screwdriver, the tool they had readily available, to stir the mixture. Hence, the drink earned its utilitarian name.

Over time, the Screwdriver gained popularity and returned to the United States, where it became a staple in bars and households. It’s often cited as one of the most straightforward and classic cocktails, requiring just two main ingredients.

 

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Screwdriver?
A standard Screwdriver contains approximately 180-200 calories, depending on the vodka and orange juice brands.
How strong is a Screwdriver in terms of ABV and proof?
A typical Screwdriver has an ABV of around 10-12%, translating to about 20-24 proof, depending on the ratio of vodka to orange juice.
What type of alcohol is used in a Screwdriver?
Vodka serves as the alcoholic base in a Screwdriver.
In which glass is a Screwdriver typically served?
A Screwdriver is usually served in a highball glass.
What does a Screwdriver taste like?
The Screwdriver offers a simple, refreshing taste with a balance of citrusy sweetness from the orange juice and vodka's clean, neutral flavor.
What is the ratio of vodka to orange juice in a Screwdriver?
The standard ratio is 1½ oz vodka to 4 oz orange juice.
How is a Screwdriver served in terms of ice and presentation?
A Screwdriver is generally served over ice cubes in a highball glass.

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