Refreshingly uncomplicated - an icon for simplistic and straightforward serves.

The Screwdriver is a contemporary classic.

A beloved beacon, a simple serve and something you don’t have to overthink, as the bottom line is that for all the fancy cocktail names – it's just a vodka-orange.

1 serving
  • 50 ml Vodka
  • Top up with Fresh Orange Juice
  1. Fill a highball with cubed ice and pour in the vodka
  2. Fill with orange juice and garnish with orange wedge


Like all citric-centred cocktail, we can’t say this enough – fresh ingredients will only elevate a simple serve beyond belief. A two-ingredient cast always benefits from quality ingredients - freshly squeezed orange juice, rather than wrangling in packaged concentrate - and good Vodka.

There is no point arguing with the fact that ultimately, this is a vodka-orange. However, there are little tweaks and twists to tailor this serve for a more discerning palate. 

Consider a drizzle of sugar syrup and a dash of orange bitters, and this harmonious duo can comparatively become more a little more complex, while choosing blood oranges rather than good old Valencia's can present a whole different dimension. (Without forfeiting its easy-going nature). 

With a simplistic base, you can always find variations on the classic too. An effortless float of Galliano Liqueur and you have yourself a Harvey Wallbanger! Or quick tap out of vodka for peach schnapps and a Fuzzy Navel will grant you a less-potent, fruitier cocktail.  


Similarly, to a Mimosa (sparkling wine and orange juice), a popular two-component cocktail will always have multiple claims to the origin, as a pairing of vodka and orange juice wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think up on the spot. The etymology of the Screwdriver, though proves to be a little more interesting.

Loved and recited many a time by bartenders and enthusiasts alike, the story behind the name has been echoed for decades. It is said to derive from American oil workers in the Persian Gulf, who would discreetly spike their OJ with vodka. When there was nothing but a finger or more favourably, a screwdriver to mix the drink with, the name inevitably caught on.  

Author, Victorino Matus, of ‘Vodka: How a colourless, odourless, flavourless spirit conquered America’ elaborates that with a spirit that pours $20 billion in annual sales, it is unsurprising that this accessible concoction became so widespread.  

The Yankee concoction of vodka and orange juice has dipped in and out of fluctuating fashions between the 70s and 80s. With some preferring a more herbal and peppermint refreshment that a Harvey Wallbanger serves, or the simplicity of the classic Screwdriver. But due to changes in demand of packaged juice and even Galliano Liqueur itself, both cocktails remain equally as popular as each other.  

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