Screwdriver cocktail

Screwdriver cocktail
The Screwdriver cocktail is a popular and (usually) strong drink – made with zesty orange juice and vodka. There are many, many variations of this drink, but orange juice is the common factor between them all.
The name screwdriver could stem from either; prohibition when poorer quality spirits were mixed with orange, and after the first taste, the drinker would screw up their face at the taste!
Or another popular origin story is (and our favourite);
Decades ago, American oil workers in the Middle-East discreetly added vodka to their orange juice while on the job. Lacking a spoon, the workers decided to stir the drink with a screwdriver.
An alternate, but similar drink to the Screwdriver cocktail is the fantastically named Harvey Wallbanger cocktail.
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • Highball glass


  • 50 ml vodka
  • 100 ml orange juice
  • ice cubes

To garnish

  • 1 orange slice


  • Put a handful of ice cubes into a highball glass. 
  • Add the vodka. 
  • Then add the orange juice, and stir.
  • Garnish with an orange slice, and serve.


units: 2


Do you shake screwdriver?

Whilst originally stirred with a screwdriver (out of necessity, not for taste!), the Screwdriver cocktail is simply a mix of vodka and orange juice, so it can be shaken or stirred.

I personally find shaking it improves the taste slightly – but as it generally involves a bit more fuss so I usually just stir a Screwdriver cocktail like the recipe above.

What vodka cocktails are best?

If you like a cocktail with vodka in, we also have a roundup of our top ten cocktails with vodka, its not official, but we think you’ll find these cocktails are all worth trying.

Another story about it's name is that miners and blue-collar workers used to mix vodka with orange juice using their tools –most commonly a screwdriver!

Please note that the units field is an estimation, and will vary depending on the type and quantity of alcohol used. Please drink responsibly and legally.