National Screwdriver Day: A Brief History & Screwdriver Recipe to Celebrate With

Do you love vodka and orange juice? Then you’ll love National Screwdriver Day! The Screwdriver is a simple but delicious cocktail made with just two ingredients. In this blog, we’re going to take a brief look at the history of the Screwdriver drink, a traditional Screwdriver recipe, and some ways to improve upon the original Screwdriver cocktail. So, raise a glass and shout a few cheers to National Screwdriver Day!

What Is the Screwdriver Drink?

The Screwdriver is a simple and popular alcoholic highball drink made with orange juice and vodka. If you try this cocktail, you’ll find that it’s a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. It is often served as a breakfast drink, but it can also be enjoyed at any time of day. 

Generally, Screwdrivers are served in highball glasses (where it gets its category from) with or without ice. There are several variations of the Screwdriver cocktail, and you can garnish with whatever you like.

What’s the History of the Screwdriver Drink?

While the exact origin of the drink is unknown, it is thought to have originated in the United States during World War II.

One story claims that the Screwdriver was invented by American oil workers in the Middle East. The workers, who were often away from home and looking for a way to enjoy a drink, started mixing vodka with orange juice. They didn’t have any bar tools, so they used screwdrivers to stir the drinks.

Another story claims that American soldiers in North Africa came up with the idea for the Screwdriver. They didn’t have any ice, so they drank the drinks warm.

Regardless of which story is actually true, we do know that the Screwdriver very quickly became a popular drink among American soldiers and workers during World War II. After the war, the drink became popular with the general public. 

Fun Fact: The Screwdriver is one of the most popular cocktails in the world.

When Is National Screwdriver Day?

National Screwdriver Day is celebrated on December 14th each year. It’s not a holiday that is tied to any others, so it occurs every year on the same day. In 2023, National Screwdriver day is on a Thursday, and in 2024 it will be on a Saturday. 2025 will find National Screwdriver day on a Sunday, and in 2026 National Screwdriver will be on a Monday.

How to Celebrate National Screwdriver Day

The obvious choice is to mix up a screwdriver drink and enjoy it on National Screwdriver Day! However, if you’re looking for some other fun ideas, you could try some of these suggestions:

  • Host a breakfast or brunch with your family or friends. Screwdrivers are a great drink to go with breakfast foods like eggs benedict, waffles, or finger foods.
  • Learn a bit more about the Screwdriver cocktail! Then, spread the knowledge with your friends and family.
  • Visit a local bar or restaurant with a friend or family member and order Screwdrivers.
  • Find a local brunch buffet that offers Screwdrivers as a drink.
  • Experiment with different flavored vodkas and different types of orange juice at home to find your favorite way to enjoy a Screwdriver.

How Do I Make a Screwdriver Cocktail?

The Screwdriver drink is typically made with equal parts orange juice and vodka, but the ratio can be adjusted to taste. The Screwdriver can be garnished with an orange slice or a cherry. Some people prefer a ratio of one part vodka to two parts orange juice. It all depends on how strong you like your drink and how good your orange juice is!

Traditional Screwdriver Recipe

To make yourself a traditional screwdriver cocktail, grab a highball glass and fill it with ice. Next, add 2 oz vodka and 2-4 oz orange juice. Stir to combine, garnish with whatever you like (popular choices are cherries and orange slices), then enjoy!

Are There Variations on the Traditional Screwdriver Recipe?

Aside from the adjustment of the ratios to produce a stronger or weaker drink, there are several changes that you can make to the traditional Screwdriver recipe to suit your tastes. For example:

Add Other Fruit Juices to Your Screwdriver Recipe

You don’t have to stick with just orange juice – some popular adjustments to the traditional Screwdriver could use cranberry, grapefruit, pineapple, or passion fruit juice to add another layer of tropical, tart flavor!

Add Liqueurs to Your Screwdriver Recipe

Flavored liqueurs like melon liqueur and orange liqueur can add a special flavor to your Screwdriver. We recommend starting with a ½ oz per drink and adjusting based on how it tastes.

Use Flavored Vodka in Your Screwdriver Recipe

Since the base liquor for a traditional Screwdriver cocktail is vodka, you’ve got a huge opportunity to experiment. You can buy pre-flavored vodkas or infuse your own with any number of fruits – the sky’s the limit!

Top Your Screwdriver Recipe With Fizzy Add-Ins

If you’d like a more “bubbly,” effervescent mouthfeel, try topping your screwdriver off with some club soda or sparkling water – which also come in multiple flavors, by the way.

Tweak Your Screwdriver Recipe With Fresh Fruit

Keep in mind that you can also muddle and steep things in fresh fruit. Try muddling your vodka with fresh orange or another citrus to give your Screwdriver a bright, fresh flavor. This can especially work to enhance dull orange juice from concentrate.

Tips for Making the Best Screwdriver Cocktail:

If you’re going to make a Screwdriver, why not make it the best Screwdriver you’ve ever had? Especially on National Screwdriver Day, going the extra mile will ensure that you get the most out of this holiday! Here are a few tips to help you mix up the best Screwdriver cocktail possible:

  • Use fresh orange juice. The fresher the juice, the better the drink will taste.
  • Use good quality vodka. A good vodka will make a big difference in the taste of your Screwdriver.
  • Use a local vodka. Supporting small businesses helps your local economy and contributes less to climate change.
  • Don’t over-stir. Over-stirring will make your Screwdriver cloudy.
  • Garnish with something bright and delicious. A garnish adds a touch of color and flavor to your Screwdriver.

Distillery Nearby: Your Source for Delicious, Local Spirits for Mixing Up a Screwdriver Cocktail

As we saw, the quality of your vodka is essential in making a delicious Screwdriver. Here at Distillery Nearby, we recommend that you get your vodka from a local distillery – for multiple reasons. Local distilleries use fresh, high-quality ingredients to make their vodka, and you can taste the difference. They also tend to use traditional methods to make their vodka – this ensures that the end product is smooth and flavorful.

You can find local distilleries near you by using our location directory. If you’re looking for a delicious, local vodka to make your next Screwdriver cocktail, be sure to check out a local distillery. You won’t be disappointed.

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