Screwdriver Cocktail Recipe

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Screwdriver 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 Screwdriver cocktail is a classic drink with a simple yet satisfying combination of vodka and orange juice. It is believed to have originated in the 1940s when American oil workers in the Persian Gulf would secretly add vodka to their orange juice and stir it with a screwdriver, hence the name. Over the years, the Screwdriver has become a popular choice for those who enjoy a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail.

How Screwdriver Tastes?

The Screwdriver cocktail offers a bright, citrusy, and slightly sweet flavor profile. The smoothness of the vodka is complemented by the tangy and refreshing taste of the orange juice, making it a well-balanced and easy-to-drink cocktail.

Interesting facts about Screwdriver

  • The Screwdriver is sometimes referred to as a 'Vodka and Orange' or simply 'V.O.'
  • The cocktail is often served as a brunch or breakfast drink, thanks to its refreshing and energizing citrus flavors.
  • The Screwdriver is considered a 'Highball' cocktail, which is a category of drinks that are made with a base spirit and a larger proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer.


  • Vodka: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Orange juice: 4 oz(120ml)
  • Ice: As needed
  • Orange slice: 1
  • Garnish: 1 Maraschino Cherry

A few good options for Screwdriver are:

  • Khor Platinum
  • Absolut

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Vodka is the smooth operator here providing a clean, neutral spirit that blends seamlessly with the sweetness of the orange juice. A 2 oz serving gives the Screwdriver its kick without overwhelming the drinker. Too much and you're on a one-way trip to tipsy town; too little and you might as well be sipping OJ at breakfast.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Juice

Orange juice (4 oz) is the yin to vodka's yang. It brings a burst of citrus flavor and a bit of tang, essential for tickling those taste buds awake. The vitamin C won't cure a cold, but it might make you feel zesty. Skip out on this, and it's just vodka on the rocks—though curiously less nutritious.

Mary Mitkina


As needed? The ice is your cocktail's faithful chaperone, ensuring every sip is crisp and cool. No ice, and you might as well be drinking warm vodka soup—nobody wants that. With the ice, each sip is as refreshing as a plunge into a Russian winter river.

Alex Green

Orange Slice

That 1 orange slice sitting pretty on the rim isn’t just for show—it whispers hints of fresh citrus with each sip, inviting you to dive in for another. No orange slice and your Screwdriver loses its charm, looking all naked and sad.

Mary Mitkina

Garnish: Maraschino Cherry

Our little cherry on top adds a pop of color and a touch of sweetness, making the drink look as good as it tastes. Leave it off, and you're depriving your senses of a full experience. Plus, it's the edible signal you've reached the end of a good drink.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Screwdriver Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour 2 oz of vodka over the ice.
  3. Top with 4 oz of orange juice and stir gently to combine.
  4. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh orange juice for a more vibrant and refreshing flavor.
  • Chill your vodka before using it to keep your cocktail cold longer.
  • Stir gently to combine the ingredients without diluting the drink.

Perfect Pairings

Brunch Fare

A Screwdriver cocktail is a brunch classic, pairing beautifully with eggs Benedict, fluffy omelettes, or a simple bagel and lox. Its citrusy notes cut through the richness of breakfast dishes.


Pair with light seafood dishes such as grilled shrimp, seared scallops, or a crab salad. The orange juice's acidity complements the seafood's sweetness.

Light Snacks

For a casual gathering, mix your Screwdriver with assorted nuts, cheese platters, or chips and dip. It’s a laid-back drink that doesn’t demand complex flavors.

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What you could change in Screwdriver

  • Vodka: You can substitute it with gin or tequila for a different flavor profile.
  • Orange Juice: Grapefruit juice or pineapple juice can be used as an alternative.
  • Garnish: Lemon slice or a cherry can be used instead of an orange slice.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Sunset Screwdriver

Ingredients: 2 oz vodka, 3 oz orange juice, 1 oz grenadine, Ice, Orange slice and cherry for garnish

Recipe: Follow your standard Screwdriver steps but before you garnish, slowly pour in the grenadine and let it settle at the bottom to create a 'sunset' effect. The grenadine adds a sweet, syrupy depth that makes your cocktail as visually stunning as it is delicious—like watching the sun sink into a sea of vodka.

Fizzy Screwdriver

Ingredients: 2 oz vodka, 3 oz orange juice, 1 oz club soda or sparkling water, Ice, Orange slice and lime wedge for garnish

Recipe: Build a classic Screwdriver, then top with a splash of club soda for a refreshing fizz that'll tickle your nose and add an upbeat tempo to the laid-back vibes. This twist brings on the bubbles; it's like your drink is throwing its own little party in the glass.

Spicy Screwdriver

Ingredients: 2 oz jalapeño-infused vodka, 4 oz orange juice, Ice, Orange slice and jalapeño for garnish

Recipe: Replace the plain vodka with jalapeño-infused vodka, stir with orange juice over ice and brace yourself. The jalapeño's bold kick turns up the heat for those who like their breakfast cocktails with a side of daring. It's a spicy twist on the classic—like the Screwdriver grew a beard and took up woodworking.

In case you forgot basics how to make Screwdriver

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 Screwdriver

Can you recommend a specific brand of vodka for making a Screwdriver cocktail?

The choice of vodka is entirely up to the bartender or drinker's preference. Some popular choices are Grey Goose, Smirnoff, and Absolut. Remember, better quality vodka will generally produce a smoother cocktail.

What is the alcohol content of a Screwdriver cocktail?

The alcohol content will vary depending on the exact proportions used. Many recipes recommend a ratio of one part vodka to two parts orange juice, which would result in a cocktail with approximately a 10-12% ABV (Alcohol By Volume).

What other cocktails can be made with vodka and orange juice?

There are numerous cocktails that use vodka and orange juice as ingredients, including the Fuzzy Navel (which adds peach schnapps), the Harvey Wallbanger (which includes Galliano), and Sex on the Beach (which adds cranberry juice and peach schnapps).

Do I always need an orange slice and maraschino cherry for garnish?

While the orange slice and cherry add a touch of color and flavor to the Screwdriver, they are also largely to add visual appeal. If you don't have these on hand, the cocktail will still be delicious.

Can I prepare a Screwdriver cocktail in advance?

Yes, you can prepare a Screwdriver in advance, just remember to add the ice just before serving to keep it cold and prevent dilution.

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