screwdriver drink recipe: how to make a screwdriver cocktail

The Screwdriver cocktail is probably one of most popular highball drinks with a large number of variations. As with most highballs, the screwdriver drink recipe contains just two ingredients and is a very easy drink to prepare.

The drink gets its unique name because of the preparation process involved in its earlier days. The legend has it that the American engineers in the middle east often added vodka into the orange juice cans and stirred it with a screwdriver to make this drink.

In many parts of the world, this drink is better known as Vodka and Orange. Ideally, you could prepare this drink right in the serving glass, such as a tall Collins or a Rocks glass. You could also use a shaker or a mixing tumbler if you want to either shake or stir the drink first and separately.


  • 2 shots of Vodka
  • 4 shots of Orange Juice
  • Orange slice to garnish


  1. Fill a tall Collins glass or a tumbler with ice cubes
  2. Add 2 shots of vodka into the glass
  3. Add 4 shots of Orange Juice into the glass to top it off
  4. Using a long bar spoon, stir the ingredients well
  5. Garnish with an orange slice
vodka and orange or screwdriver drink

Variations and Similar Drinks

Most variations of the screwdriver drink involves substituting the Vodka with another basic spirit such as Whiskey, Rum, Tequila etc. Almost every region has a variation that involves the locally popular liquor.

  • Mexican Screw: Substitute Vodka with Tequila
  • Comfortable Screw: Substitute the Vodka in the recipe with Southern Comfort which is an American liqueur with Whiskey flavorings.
  • American Screw: Substitute Vodka with Bourbon Whiskey which is an American Whiskey
  • Cuban Screw: Substitute Vodka in the recipe with Cuban Rum. Rum is considered traditionally Cuban and you could either the light or dark rum. I prefer the Light Rum as it pretty much keep the yellow color of the drink.
  • French Screw: Add Cognac instead of Vodka. A lighter Cognac is prefered.
  • Left Handed Screwdriver: Substitute Vodka with Gin to create a left handed screwdriver drink.
  • Rusty Screw: Brandy is used instead of the Vodka in this drink.


  • You can vary the proportions to make the screwdriver cocktail stronger without altering the taste as such.
  • You can also try serving the drink as a martini in a cocktail glass, instead of a highball. Use a martini shaker to stir or shake the ingredients and then strain the contents to a chilled martini glass.
  • Instead of one orange slice for garnish, use multiple slices to garnish the drink. You can use long wedges of orange as well.
  • Use freshly squeezed orange juice if available. This will give the drink the best refreshing taste.