Your Cocktail Toolkit: How to Make a Screwdriver Drink

Orange you feeling a little thirsty? Boy do we have the easy two-ingredient drink for you.

Updated February 1, 2024
screwdriver cocktail

Hitch up your toolbelts, friends. It's time to get out your screwdriver. By toolbelts, we mean your vodka. And by screwdriver, we mean the drink. A classic two-ingredient highball, the screwdriver is easy and delicious anytime you want a quick drink. 

How to Make a Screwdriver Drink

Pour and stir. That's the short story of how to make a screwdriver drink, which means you can make it as strong or weak as you like (we won't tell if you add some extra vodka). 


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 6 ounces orange juice
  • Ice
  • Orange wedge for garnish


  1. In a highball glass, add ice and vodka.
  2. Top off with orange juice.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with an orange wedge.

Screwdriver Drink Variations

Feeling fancy and want a drink to match? You've got options.

  • A flavored vodka makes for an easy way to add flavor without extra ingredients. Vanilla, coconut, cranberry, honey, or strawberry are all great infused vodkas to start with.
  • Make your screwdriver a little sweeter by including a splash (up to three-quarters of an ounce) of simple syrup.
  • Use a little less orange juice and top off with a fizzy soda. You can keep with the theme by using an orange soda or orange club soda. Alternatively, plain club soda or flavored club soda, including raspberry, vanilla, or lemon, are tasty options.
  • Don't overlook the different types of orange juice. You can use extra pulp, a little pulp, a pineapple-orange juice mix, or a splash of blood orange juice.

Screwdriver Cocktail Garnishes

An orange wedge is a classic option for a screwdriver cocktail. Consider a few of these ideas if you want to change it up.

  • Add an orange peel to the orange wedge or use the orange wedge on its own.
  • Pierce several raspberries on a cocktail skewer for a bit of color.
  • Give your screwdriver a spicy garnish. Rub the rim of the glass with an orange wedge and then dip the rim into chili powder.
  • Use a blood orange instead of a regular orange to add a bit of color.

The History of the Screwdriver

The name of the screwdriver is a bit of lore and history all rolled together. Legend tells us that construction or even oil workers would spike their orange juice with vodka. The mix would slowly start to separate, and to re-mix their combination, and they would use a screwdriver to mix it all back together since there aren't spoons on tool belts.

History finds a few more solid details in American soldiers mixing spirits with orange juice while deployed during World War II. Whatever the source, a screwdriver has most certainly been a staple in the cocktail toolbox since the 1940s. Famous in its own right, the screwdriver paired with Galliano liqueur has gone on to inspire the tasty Harvey Wallbanger as well as a slew of scandalously named cocktails.

Vitamin C for Cocktail

Dip your toes into the classic vodka and orange juice cocktail known as the screwdriver. One of the most underrated brunch drinks, you can get ahead on your daily dose of vitamins with a refreshing and juicy cocktail. Better yet, don't open that bottle of prosecco — just to let it go flat so you can get that brunch cocktail fix. Problem solved.

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Your Cocktail Toolkit: How to Make a Screwdriver Drink