The Screwdriver

The Screwdriver

The Screwdriver stands out as one of the most straightforward cocktails ever conceived, with only two ingredients: vodka and orange juice. Its simplicity is so obvious that it almost gives the impression of being a chance invention rather than the product of intentional design.

Despite the global surge in the popularity of gin-based libations, vodka maintains its supremacy as the leading spirit worldwide, gracing one in every three drinks in the USA with its crisp, transparent essence. The Screwdriver stands as a testament to vodka's prominence, being one of the earliest documented cocktails crafted with this alcohol. Deviating from the conventional creation stories set in upscale bars, this cocktail emerged from the resourcefulness of American oil workers stationed in the Persian Gulf during the mid-20th century. Amid their laborious tasks, they surreptitiously blended vodka into their orange juice, ingeniously employing a screwdriver as an improvised stirring implement in the absence of a proper utensil, thus begetting the drink’s distinctive name. Interestingly, a similar narrative surrounds the origin of the term "cocktail" itself, suggesting early versions were stirred with a rooster's tail feather, mirroring the lore around the Rusty Nail, which is believed to have been stirred with, no point for guessing, a rusty nail.

An alternate narrative credits the creation of the Screwdriver to World War II American military personnel, while an intriguing snippet from a 1949 Time magazine note, hints at an unlikely alliance involving Turkish intelligence agents, Balkan refugees, and American engineers at the Park Hotel, as the unique genesis of this cocktail. An additional account of the Screwdriver's origin involves Turkey, specifically Turkish citizens. Supported by a 1949 article in Time Magazine, this story suggests that the cocktail was crafted at New York City's esteemed Park Hotel, becoming a favoured choice among Turkish spies and American engineers, who patronised the hotel bar. 

In spite of its straightforward recipe, or perhaps owing to it, the fundamental blend of vodka and orange has given rise to numerous variations over the years. For example, the Slow Screw substitutes vodka with sloe gin, while a Slow Comfortable Screw incorporates two shots of sloe gin and a shot of Southern Comfort. On the other hand, a Sloe Comfortable Screw Up Against A Wall combines sloe gin, Southern Comfort, and Galliano with orange juice.

Introduce a shot of tequila into the previous recipe, and it transforms into a Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against A Wall Mexican Style. Swap out that Tequila for peach schnapps, and you now have a Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against A Fuzzy Wall.

The Cordless Screwdriver for example utilises the patent orange slice and once the straightforward vodka is replaced with vanilla vodka with a dash of blue curacao, it gives you the Sonic Screwdriver. 

Ingredients

  • Vodka - 60ml
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  • Orange juice fresh - to top up 
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Method

Combine both the ingredients in a tall glass with lots of ice.

Stir well and garnish it with orange slice.

The Screwdriver

Mixologist: Shreya Paul

Ingredients

Method

Combine both the ingredients in a tall glass with lots of ice.

Stir well and garnish it with orange slice.

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The Screwdriver