Sunny Screwdriver Cocktail Recipe

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Sunny 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 Sunny Screwdriver is a twist on the classic Screwdriver cocktail, which is believed to have originated in the 1940s. The name supposedly comes from American oil workers in the Persian Gulf who used to sneak vodka into their orange juice and stir it with their screwdrivers. The 'Sunny' part of the name comes from the addition of Sunny Delight, a popular orange-flavored drink. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy fruity, refreshing drinks with a bit of a kick.

How Sunny Screwdriver Tastes?

The Sunny Screwdriver has a sweet, citrusy taste with a slight tang from the vodka. The Sunny Delight adds a unique, fruity flavor that makes this cocktail incredibly refreshing and easy to drink.

Interesting facts about Sunny Screwdriver

  • The Sunny Screwdriver is a popular brunch cocktail, often served alongside mimosas and bloody marys.
  • Despite its sweet taste, it's a fairly strong cocktail due to the vodka.
  • The Sunny Screwdriver is often garnished with an orange slice or cherry to enhance its fruity flavor.


A few good options for Sunny Screwdriver are:

  • Khor Platinum
  • Absolut

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


Vodka serves as the foundation of this cocktail, providing a clean and neutral alcohol base that allows the Sunny Delight to shine. 2 oz is just enough to give that kick without knocking your socks off. If you're feeling adventurous or have had a particularly tough day, you could crank it up to 3 oz, but remember: this might shift your sunny day to a cloudy one.

Mary Mitkina

Sunny Delight

The main attraction here, its tangy orange flavor gives the Sunny Screwdriver its signature zest and sweetness. 6 oz creates a balanced blend with the vodka; too little and you'll just taste the vodka, too much and you might as well be drinking breakfast juice. If you swap it for fresh orange juice, expect a less sweet and more tangy cocktail.

Mary Mitkina


A necessary chiller in our sunny story, it keeps the drink cool and refreshing. But remember, nobody likes a watered-down tale, so use just enough to chill the drink. No ice at all? You're stepping into lukewarm territory, my friend.

Alex Green

Orange slice

This little ray of sunshine isn't just a pretty face; it adds a hint of fresh citrus aroma that complements the drink's flavor profile. Without it, you'd still have a delicious drink, but with it, you'll have a ray of sunshine in your glass.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino cherry

This is the cherry on top, quite literally. Adding a touch of color and a hint of sweet flavor, it's like the happy ending every sunny story deserves. If left out, you'll miss its subtle sweet touch that dances with the tanginess of the orange.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Sunny Screwdriver Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour 2 oz of vodka over the ice.
  3. Top with 6 oz of Sunny Delight.
  4. Stir well to combine.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use a chilled glass for a more refreshing cocktail.
  • Always use good quality vodka for the best taste.

Perfect Pairings


  • Fried Calamari: The zesty citrus flavor from the cocktail complements the light batter of calamari.
  • Cheese platter with mild cheeses: The sweetness of Sunny Delight pairs well with milder cheeses, without overpowering them.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Chicken: The fresh, vibrant nature of the Sunny Screwdriver cuts through the savory flavors of grilled chicken.
  • Seafood Pasta: The citrus notes can help to accentuate the fresh seafood flavors.


  • Fruit Tarts: Complement the sweetness and citrus of the Sunny Screwdriver with a fruit tart.
  • Light Lemon Desserts: The mix of vodka and Sunny Delight will blend nicely with lemon-flavored desserts.

Non-Alcoholic Pairings

  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips and bites.
  • Iced Tea: For a complementary refreshing and slightly bitter contrast.

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What you could change in Sunny Screwdriver

  • If you don't have Sunny Delight, you can substitute it with regular orange juice.
  • For a less strong version, you can reduce the amount of vodka.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Tropical Screwdriver

  • Substitute vodka with coconut rum.
  • Add 1 oz of pineapple juice to the mix.
  • Garnish with a pineapple wedge instead of an orange slice. This twist transforms the Sunny Screwdriver into a beach vacation, creating a sweeter and more tropical-tasting cocktail that'll make you feel like you're sipping under a palm tree.

Spicy Sunset Screwdriver

  • Add half an ounce of chili-infused simple syrup.
  • Garnish with a small chili pepper on the rim. Expect this variation to add a bold kick that sneaks up on you, creating a warm sensation that pairs with the orange sweetness for a sunset of flavors.

Greenhouse Screwdriver

  • Replace Sunny Delight with equal parts fresh orange juice and cucumber juice.
  • Garnish with a thin cucumber slice. The Greenhouse Screwdriver is a fresher, less sweet, and garden-inspired version of the cocktail that'll make you feel like you've got a green thumb just by holding the glass.

In case you forgot basics how to make Sunny 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 Sunny Screwdriver

What type of vodka is best for making a Sunny Screwdriver cocktail?

Any good quality vodka can be used. However, for an elevated flavor you may consider using a premium vodka.

Can Sunny Screwdriver cocktails be prepared in advance?

Yes, you can pre-mix the vodka and Sunny Delight, but it's best to add the ice and garnish just before serving for maximum freshness.

What are some variations of this cocktail?

You can add a splash of cranberry or pineapple juice for a different flavor. Alternatively, try adding a dash of grenadine for a sweeter version.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail?

Absolutely, you can simply omit the vodka for a non-alcoholic version. Add a bit of club soda for a fizzy touch if desired.

Why is it called a Sunny Screwdriver?

The 'Sunny' refers to the use of Sunny Delight in the cocktail, and 'Screwdriver' is a traditional term for a vodka and orange juice cocktail.

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