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Screwdriver Cocktail Recipe

An iconic American cocktail with just 2 ingredients, the Screwdriver is a tangy blend of vodka and orange juice.

screwdriver cocktail with bottle of vodka and carafe of orange juice

The “Screwdriver” Cocktail

The screwdriver is a classic 2-ingredient cocktail consisting of sweet orange juice mixed with vodka. It is a popular drink because it is so easy to make and only requires two common ingredients that every bar should have on hand.

The Screwdriver is one of the International Bartender Association’s official cocktails, recognizing its iconic status. This is a great drink to make with fresh squeezed orange juice and enjoy at brunch! It’s also perfect for beginning bartenders because its so easy to make, you practically can’t mess it up!

close up of a screwdriver drink

Why is it called a Screwdriver?

The Screwdriver cocktail rose in popularity during the mid-20th century, thanks in no small part to an advertising push by vodka producers.

However, the story by the name is actually a bit more interesting! As legend has it, American oil workers living overseas liked to sneak vodka into their morning orange juice. The only thing they had handy to mix their drink with was a screwdriver, and voila! The “Screwdriver” was born.

Related: For a similar flavor that’s not quite as strong, try a Fuzzy Navel instead!


  • 1 1/2 ounces Vodka
  • 4 to 6 ounces orange juice

Note: This drink is intended for readers 21+

Helpful Bartending Tools

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screwdriver cocktail ingredients

Optional Garnishes

  • Orange slice
  • Maraschino cherry

Bartenders Tools Suggested

  • Glass
  • Stirrer
  • Mixing tins
  • Strainer


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the vodka.
  3. Top off with orange juice and stir.
2 photo collage showing how to pour a screwdriver cocktail

Prep Tips

  • The Screwdriver is traditionally stirred, however, you can also add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to create a chilled drink.
  • This drink can be served neat, as well as over ice. It can also be made into a frozen drink with a blender.
  • Optional garnish ideas include: orange slice and/or maraschino cherries.
orange juice and vodka cocktail

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of vodka should be used?

You’re welcome to use your favorite vodka for this recipe!

In addition to taste, price point is worth considering. Obviously, the cheaper the vodka, the more impurities your vodka will have, which may affect the taste. On the other hand, it is not necessary to buy the most expensive vodka either, since it will be mixed with orange juice (which has a strong flavor). Your choice, however, it’s never wrong to treat yourself to the premium stuff every once in awhile.

What type of orange juice should be used?

Fresh squeezed orange juice is usually delicious and it is perfect for making this cocktail. However, you want to make sure that the oranges used for juicing are ripe and sweet!

Using concentrates or store-bought juice is a big time saver. There is also consistency, as they are tested during production to ensure uniform sweetness. You can even use an orange drink, such as Sunny D…shhh… I won’t tell anyone!

Can You Make a Frozen Screwdriver?

Absolutely! My trick for making frozen cocktails is to freeze the juice in an ice cube tray. Using frozen juice instead of regular ice cubes keeps your drink from tasting watered down.

What kind of glass should it be served in?

For this simple drink a regular rocks glass or even a highball class will work just fine. In the end though it’s really just user’s preference.

screwdriver cocktail made with orange juice

More Vodka Cocktails To Try

Grab a Printable Copy of Our Screwdriver Recipe:

Screwdriver Cocktail Recipe

An iconic American cocktail with just 2 ingredients, the Screwdriver is a tangy blend of vodka and orange juice.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: orange juice, vodka
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 149kcal
Author: Stacey
Cost: $10


  • Cocktail Glass
  • Bar Spoon
  • Cocktail Shaker


  • 1 1/2 ounces Vodka
  • 4 to 6 ounces Orange Juice
  • Ice

Optional Garnishes

  • Orange slice
  • Maraschino cherry


  • Fill a highball glass with ice.
  • Pour in the vodka.
    2 step photo collage showing how to make a screwdriver drink
  • Top with orange juice and stir.


Recipe intended for readers 21+
Nutrition information is provided as an estimate only.


Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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screwdriver cocktail, with text overlay of ingredients

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