The drink isn’t very exotic or overly sweet as many other vodka cocktails. It’s probably not something you would order at a bar, however as a pre-party booze-up drink, the Screwdriver works magic, as it can be mixed very strong and still work as a tasty drink. This could be why it’s among the three drinks that started vodka as a spirit, on the road to world dominance.
Even though on paper, the drink only consists of two ingredients, there are many different opinions on what kind of vodka and orange juice should be used. We recommend that you try different mixes as it depends a lot on whether you like the taste of vodka and how sweet or sour orange you like your orange juice.
A slight warning though, the cheapest vodka will turn this refreshing drink into a bitter beverage. It will have an aftertaste that will kill most of the appeal of the drink, while a medium grade vodka such as the widely accessible Smirnoff or Absolut vodka will do much better. We personally favor the Polish vodkas in our screwdrivers, like the famous Belvedere along with the likes of Sobieski, U’luvka and Wyborowa. But there’s a vodka brand that most people probably have never heard or tasted before – Zubrowka Bison Grass. What is special about this vodka is the bison grass, which is picked by hand in summer then carefully dried and crushed before the distilled vodka is forced through it several times, before it's blended with the base rye vodka. The bison grass gives the vodka a slightly yellow appearance and its signature blade of grass placed in each bottle adds a delicate layer of flavoring. The final result is a fresh vodka with creamy flavor of grass and vanilla with a slight kick of spice in the end, which we find is perfect for the screwdriver.
We always use fresh ingredients and in a screwdriver nothing is better than freshly squeezed oranges with a bit of pulp. When choosing your sort of oranges, go for something you like. If you are in a hurry, a bottle of fresh orange juice can work just as well and will save you a bit of time. We do however emphasize that you stay away from the "concentrated juice". They are very cheap, but you get what you paid for and in this case it's not worth it.
- 5 cl Vodka
- 14 cl Fresh orange juice
- Highball or Balloon glass
- Put ice/crushed ice in to your hurricane or highball glass and leave it for later
- Get your fresh oranges and role them on a cutting board for extra flavor. If you are using a bottle of orange juice, skip the 2 next steps.
- Cut the orange in half.
- Squeeze all the juice out of the orange and add it to your mixing glass. One orange contains about 1½ to 2 oz or 5 cl juice
- Add your choice of Vodka. Remember you can always add more once you have tasted your drink.
- Gently stir the drink in the mixing glass. We use a mixing spoon instead of the original screwdriver.
- Pour it in to the drinking glass and you are ready to enjoy your Screwdriver.
HistoryThe earliest reference to the famous Screwdriver comes from Time magazine who wrote:
"In the dimly lighted bar of the sleek Park Hotel, Turkish intelligence agents mingle with American engineers and Balkan refugees, drinking the latest Yankee concoction of vodka and orange juice, called a 'screwdriver'." - October 24, 1949Based on the above quote, it safe to assume that the drink was born some time in the late 1940's. Even through the Park Hotel was located in New York, there is no evidence that points to the Big Apple as the birth place of this amazing drink. It's original name used to be "Orange-Vod-Juice-ka" and many different bartenders who claim to have invented it. It's difficult to determine which one invented it and where the cocktail got it's catchy name from. Nevertheless, the legend points back to 1945 post second world war, where U.S Marines used the screwdrivers to combine gin and vodka with juice. An alternative version of the story points to American oil businessmen in Saudi Arabia making warm cans of Orange Juice more palatable. Both stories sound a bit too good to be true, but what we do know is that at some point in the 1940's, an ingenious guy used one of his working tools - a screwdriver - to mix and combine the vodka-orange mixture bringing to life a great cocktail.