Screwdriver (cocktail)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Base spirit
ServedOn the rocks: poured over ice
Standard garnishorange slice
Standard drinkware
Highball glass
Commonly used ingredients
PreparationMix in a highball glass with ice. Garnish and serve.
Commonly servedAll day

A screwdriver is a simple and popular alcoholic highball drink made with orange juice and vodka. In the UK, it is referred to as a "vodka and orange".[1] While the basic drink is simply the two ingredients, there are many variations. Many of the variations have different names in different parts of the world.


The drink originated during World War II, when Americans in China and Turkey mixed neutral spirits with orange juice.[2] The origin of the name "screwdriver" is less clear, but the name appeared in Ankara, Turkey, in 1943[2] and 1944[3] and later in Istanbul.[4] Variations on the recipe were present in 1948 in Turkey and also called screwdrivers, such as a mixture of one-third vodka and two-thirds gin,[5] and another recipe adding gin, cognac, bitters, and other ingredients to orange juice and vodka.[6] An unattributed but popular story for the name is that the Americans lacked a spoon and instead used a screwdriver as a stirring stick.[7][8] Another unattributed story is that auto workers in the USA used to pour vodka in their breakfast orange juice before starting the shift and used screwdrivers to stir the glass.

Starting mid-1950, vodka rose rapidly in popularity in America, and mixed drinks such as the screwdriver rose with it.[9] Advertising campaigns in the 1950s[10] and 1960s[11] by vodka brands such as Smirnoff cemented the screwdriver as a vodka favorite.[2]


The screwdriver served as the foundation of the Harvey Wallbanger.[2]

A screwdriver with two parts of sloe gin, one part of Southern Comfort, and filled with orange juice is a "sloe comfortable screw" or "slow comfortable screw".[12]: 153 

A screwdriver with one part of sloe gin, one part of Southern Comfort, one part Galliano, and filled with orange juice is a "sloe comfortable screw up against the wall".[12]: 155 

A screwdriver with one part of sloe gin, one part of Southern Comfort, one part Galliano, one part tequila, and filled with orange juice is a "sloe comfortable screw up against the wall Mexican style".[13]

A "virgin screwdriver" is a mocktail (non-alcoholic variation), usually made with orange juice and tonic water.[14][15][16]

A screwdriver with apple juice instead of orange juice is an "Anita Bryant cocktail".[17] Bryant was an American singer and spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission during the 1960s and 1970s.[18] Starting in 1977, she became an anti-gay-rights activist.[19] Because Bryant promoted orange juice, the gay community retaliated by boycotting it in the 1977–1980 Florida orange juice boycott.[20] Gay bars across North America stopped serving screwdrivers[21] and invented this cocktail to replace it.[17] The sales and proceeds of the cocktail went to gay rights activists and helped fund their work against Bryant.[17] The campaign was ultimately successful, as Bryant's activism damaged her musical and business career.[19][18] Her contract with the Florida Citrus Commission was left to expire in 1980 after they stated she was "worn out" as a spokesperson.[18][22]


  1. ^ Greater: Britain After the Storm. Biteback. May 20, 2021. ISBN 9781785906107.
  2. ^ a b c d Simonson, Robert (October 21, 2021). "Screwdriver". In Wondrich, David; Rothbaum, Noah (eds.). The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-931113-2. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  3. ^ Crawford, Kenneth (February 21, 1944). "Turkey and the War: Neutrality Pays Big Dividends—and Anyway, Turks Love Peace". Abroad. Newsweek. Vol. 23, no. 8. p. 36. A Screwdriver—a half-orange-juice and half-vodka drink popularized by interned American aviators
  4. ^ "Turkey: Wild West of the Middle East". Time. October 24, 1949. Archived from the original on November 14, 2006. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 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.'
  5. ^ White, Leigh (January 13, 1948). "Turks Worrying About Great Increase in Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages". Corpus Christi Times. Retrieved January 2, 2022. American visitors, I regret to say, have popularized an insidious cocktail called a screwdriver. It consists of one-third vodka and two-thirds gin.
  6. ^ McLemore, Henry (August 2, 1948). "Turkish Bath, in Istanbul, is Vast Understatement". Panama City New Herald. Retrieved January 2, 2022. A 'screwdriver' is a drink. It was created by the American Navy during the past war. It consists of vodka, gin, orange juice, cognac, bitters, and three or four things which have yet to be identified. I am quite sure that remnants of sultans are part of the mixture.
  7. ^ DeGroff, Dale (May 2007). "Screwdriver". In Smith, Andrew F. (ed.). The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-530796-2.
  8. ^ Macias, Amanda. "Here's the origin of the screwdriver cocktail". Business Insider. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
  9. ^ Perham, John C. (July 26, 1954). "What'll It Be?: Competing Distillers Put More Variety in Their Summer Drinks". Barron's National Business and Financial Weekly (1942-1987). Vol. 30. p. 3. ProQuest 350358536. More and more people are asking for a vodka-and-tonic, or for a Bloody Mary (...), or for a Screwdriver (vodka and orange juice).
  10. ^ "Image 12". Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Allegheny, Pa.: Zajedničar ("Fraternalist"). February 29, 1956. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
  11. ^ "Image 6". Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Washington, D.C.: The Evening Star. October 24, 1961. p. A-6. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
  12. ^ a b Foley, Ray (2006). X-Rated Drinks: More Than 250 of the Hottest Drinks Ever Made. Sourcebooks. ISBN 9781402249907.
  13. ^ Hutchinson, Dan; et al. "Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against The Wall Mexican Style #1". Bar None Drinks. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  14. ^ Selke, Lori A. "Non-alcoholic drinks with tonic water". Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Charming, Cheryl (July 18, 2010). "Mocktails". The Everything Bartender's Book: Your complete guide to cocktails, martinis, mixed drinks, and more!. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781440503849 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Demovic, Angela R. (May 11, 2018). Bourbon Street, B-Drinking, and the Sexual Economy of Tourism. The Anthropology of Tourism: Heritage, Mobility, and Society. Lexington Books. p. 36. ISBN 9781498531337 – via Google Books.
  17. ^ a b c Marcus, Eric (2002). Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights. New York, US: Harper. ISBN 978-0-06-093391-3.
  18. ^ a b c "Notes on People: Orange Juice Contract Runs Dry for Anita Bryant". The New York Times. September 2, 1980. p. B6. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Tobin, Thomas C. (April 28, 2002). "Bankruptcy, ill will plague Bryant". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on January 23, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  20. ^ Bryant, Anita; Green, Bob (1978). At Any Cost. Grand Rapids, Michigan, US: Fleming H. Revell. ISBN 978-0800709402.
  21. ^ "Anita Sucks [Oranges] – Documented". The History Project. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  22. ^ "Tarnished images: Publicity's great – up to a point". The Press Democrat. May 26, 1981. p. 36. Retrieved March 25, 2020 – via

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