Screw Up Cocktail Recipe

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Screw Up Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Screw Up cocktail is a playful twist on the classic Screwdriver, which traditionally consists of vodka and orange juice. The addition of 7 Up gives the Screw Up a bubbly personality, making it a hit at casual gatherings and summer parties.

  • Origins: The exact origins are unclear, but it likely evolved from the Screwdriver.
  • Popularity: It's favored by those who enjoy light, citrusy cocktails with a fizzy lift.
  • Occasions: Perfect for barbecues, beach outings, and relaxed evenings.

How Screw Up Tastes?

The Screw Up cocktail offers a refreshing balance of sweet and tart flavors. The effervescence of 7 Up complements the citrus tang of orange juice, while the vodka provides a smooth, clean base that's neither too strong nor overpowering.

Interesting facts about Screw Up

  • The Screw Up is often considered a 'highball' due to its use of a spirit mixed with a larger proportion of non-alcoholic mixer.
  • It's a popular choice for those new to cocktails because of its simplicity and approachable flavor profile.
  • The name 'Screw Up' is a playful nod to the original Screwdriver, suggesting a 'mishap' with the addition of soda.


A few good options for Screw Up are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Vodka is the canvas of our cocktail painting. At 1 oz, it provides just enough kick without turning the drink into a rocket launch. Balance is the name of the game! Too much vodka, and your Screw Up becomes a mess-up overpowering the subtler flavors. No vodka? Then, my friend, you've got a mocktail on your hands. Alternatively, switch to a flavored vodka like orange or vanilla for a twist that'll enhance the overall profile without changing the cocktail's soul.

Alex Green

7 Up

Ah, 7 Up, the effervescent fairy in our garden party mix. Those 4 oz are like a symphony, adding lightness, sweetness, and sparkle. It's what turns our drink from a mere blend to a proper cocktail. If it's missing, well, you're left with something quite flat—literally. If you fancy a change, try substituting with soda water and a pinch of sugar or another citrus soda for a different kind of sweet kick.

Emma Rose

Orange Juice

This little squeeze of orange juice? It's the sunrise in your highball glass. 1 oz is the golden ratio, cutting through the vodka with a sweet and tangy embrace. Without it, 'Screw Up' loses its sunny disposition. Maybe swap it with grapefruit juice for a sharper edge or pineapple juice for a tropical vacation vibe. Careful though, swapping juices can lead to a whole new drink—exciting, but a different journey altogether!

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Screw Up Drink

  • Fill a highball glass with ice.
  • Pour 1 oz of vodka over the ice.
  • Add 1 oz of orange juice.
  • Top with 4 oz of 7 Up.
  • Stir gently to mix.
  • Garnish with an orange slice or a cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Always use fresh ice to avoid diluting the cocktail with melted water from the ice.
  • Chill the glass beforehand to keep the cocktail colder for longer.
  • If you want a less sweet version, use club soda instead of 7 Up and add a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Perfect Pairings


  • Fried Calamari: The light citrus notes of the cocktail complement the crispiness of the calamari.
  • Bruschetta: The fresh tomato and basil can be a good match for the fruity and refreshing notes of the Screw Up.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Chicken Salad: The cocktail's bubbly and citrus profile pairs nicely with a simple salad with a tangy dressing.
  • Fish Tacos: The orange juice in the cocktail accentuates the flavors of the fish and the taco toppings.


  • Vanilla Ice Cream: The sweetness of the ice cream will contrast pleasantly with the slight tanginess of the cocktail.
  • Lemon Tart: The citrus flavors in both the tart and the cocktail can enhance each other.

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What you could change in Screw Up

  • Vodka: Any good quality vodka will do, but for a twist, you can use a citrus-flavored vodka.
  • 7 Up: Can be substituted with any clear lemon-lime soda, like Sprite or Sierra Mist.
  • Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed orange juice is best, but store-bought is also acceptable.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Citrus Breeze

  • Include a splash of grapefruit juice.
  • 2 dashes of bitters.
  • Use lemon-lime soda instead of 7 Up.

Recipe: Follow the original Screw Up recipe, but after pouring vodka, add a splash of grapefruit juice and the bitters. Then top with lemon-lime soda and stir. Expect a slightly bittersweet twist with an herbal undercurrent that transforms the drink into a more complex concoction. Perfect for those afternoons when plain ol' sunshine just isn't enough.

Tropical Screw Up

  • Use coconut-flavored vodka.
  • Substitute 7 Up with coconut water.
  • Add a splash of pineapple juice.

Recipe: Swap out the regular vodka for coconut-flavored vodka, replace 7 Up with equal parts coconut water, and add a splash of pineapple juice. It's like catching a wave in a highball; this version is a mini-holiday in your mouth, with tropical breezes flirting with your taste buds.

Berry Up

  • Muddle a few fresh berries at the bottom of the glass.
  • Use club soda instead of 7 Up.
  • Add a splash of berry liqueur.

Recipe: Muddle some fresh strawberries or raspberries in your glass first. Pour in the vodka, followed by club soda, and top it off with a generous splash of berry liqueur. The berry presence turns each sip into a summer fruit harvest, ideal for those dreamy evenings with a hint of nostalgia.

In case you forgot basics how to make Screw Up

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Screw Up

What is the ideal glassware for serving a Screw Up cocktail?

A Screw Up cocktail is optimally served in a highball glass, which allows ample room for ice and the effervescence of the soda to create an inviting presentation.

Can I make the Screw Up cocktail in a pitcher for a group?

Certainly! Simply multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need and mix in a large pitcher. Serve over ice in individual highball glasses.

How long does it take to prepare a Screw Up cocktail?

A Screw Up cocktail can be prepared in just a couple of minutes. It's quick and easy, requiring just pouring and stirring.

Is the Screw Up cocktail suitable for batch preparation?

Yes, it's an excellent choice for batch preparation. Just mix the vodka and orange juice in advance and add the 7 Up right before serving to maintain the fizz.

Is it possible to add garnishes to the Screw Up other than orange slice or cherry?

Absolutely! Consider adding a sprig of mint or a twist of lemon for a different aromatic experience.

Can non-alcoholic versions of the Screw Up be made?

Yes, you can replace the vodka with a non-alcoholic spirit or more orange juice for a mocktail version.

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