How to Make a Screwdriver Drink

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Cocktail Type


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Bright orange Screwdriver cocktail

We love a classic cocktail here at The Mixer, and the Screwdriver cocktail recipe is precisely that. Made with only two ingredients, it’s an iconic drink because of its simplicity. Perfect as a cheeky start to brunch, served poolside on a hot day, or as an aperitif, this anytime cocktail will be a hit with your crowd. 



Add some grenadine for an extra touch of sweetness.


Top with club soda for a lighter drink that’s lower in alcohol.


Always use freshly squeezed orange juice! And make sure they’re at room temp before juicing them.



1 Person

1.5 Oz

45 Ml

1.5 Parts

Freshly squeezed orange juice
Slice of orange for garnish



Add ice to a chilled highball glass 


Add the vodka 


Add the orange juice


Stir, garnish and serve 

Screwdriver Cocktail recipe

Now that you know the only two ingredients you need are orange juice and vodka, all that’s left is getting to grips with the right quantities and knowing how to mix a screwdriver cocktail. Told you this was easy!

The three golden rules of Screwdriver cocktail ingredients:

  1. Use good vodka. A bad quality vodka will ruin the drink and leave you with a headache after. Reach for a premium brand, like SKYY Vodka.   
  2. Use fresh orange juice, or better yet, juice your own! Store-bought orange juice is often overly sweet, and that’s not what this classic cocktail is about! You want that fresh tartness you can only get from the real stuff.   
  3. Make sure all the ingredients are chilled. The orange juice, the vodka, and the glass. 

If you want to add a twist to the traditional Screwdriver cocktail ingredients, here are a few you can try: 

  • Use a flavor-infused vodka. Vanilla, berry, and citrus vodkas all work well with fresh orange juice 
  • Add grenadine for an extra touch of sweetness, while still keeping the freshness of the orange
  • For a spritzer version, add less orange juice and top it off with club soda. Refreshing and lower in alcohol 

A brief history of the Screwdriver cocktail

This golden cocktail comes with a few origin stories. One of our favorite versions is that the Screwdriver cocktail recipe originated long ago when oil workers (who worked long hours in a dangerous job) started mixing vodka into their daily orange juice. Because they didn’t have a spoon or swizzle stick in their toolkits, they settled for the next best thing: stirring the vodka into their orange juice using a screwdriver. Absolute genius!  

We love this story because, if we had to work a dangerous job, we’d also want a well-deserved drink to make it worth it. But we’d pour ours at the end of the day after successfully completing dangerous oil-rig type jobs. And we’d use a spoon! 

What vodka is best for a Screwdriver cocktail?

While a top-shelf vodka will no doubt do the trick, there’s no need to splash out on this drink. We suggest using SKYY Vodka for the best Screwdriver cocktail. This famous Campari brand is the number one premium vodka in the US, elegant and synonymous with quality and refinement. 

What’s the difference between a Mimosa and a Screwdriver?

While both of these orange juice cocktails use only two ingredients, a Mimosa is made with Champagne and is one of the best brunch cocktails you can serve. The Screwdriver cocktail is made with vodka and is a great drink to serve just about any time. .  


Screwdriver cocktail ingredients include orange juice and vodka, served on ice.

Legend has it that oil workers used to sneak vodka into their orange juice and stir it using a screwdriver.

A Screwdriver tastes of fresh orange with hints of vodka.

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