The Ultimate  …

9th May 2023

By Sharmini Jayawardena

This vodka and orange juice cocktail came into existence when in the mid-20th century, American oil rig workers in the Persian Gulf, secretly poured vodka in their orange juice and in the absence of a spoon, would stir their drinks with a screwdriver – hence the name !! It’s a truly hands on drink we should say. 

“Another possible story attributes the drink to American marines during World War II, while a note in Time magazine in 1949 suggests the cocktail was first invented by an unlikely combination of Turkish intelligence agents, Balkan refugees and American engineers in the Park Hotel.

Whichever story is true, it seems that somewhere along the line, an American was involved in its conception!”

Instead of vodka you could use tequila and it becomes a Tequila Sunrise🍸 🌅 But that wouldn’t be the Ultimate Screwdriver 🙂

And here it is:


2 parts Vodka (optional)

3 parts freshly squeezed orange juice (Valencia or Navel oranges)

Lots of ice

Garnish with a small orange slice/ lime wedges and/ or herbs like rosemary

Glass – You can serve your cocktail in tumbler glasses or highball glasses. They come in a variety of  shapes and sizes. You can choose your glass.


1. Top up the glass with ice cubes.

2. Pour 2 parts vodka over it.

3.Squeeze fresh orange juice with your hands if you do not have a juicer, and pour 3 parts straight into the glass. You could strain it if you don’t like the pulp.

4.Alternatively, you can combine all ingredients in a pitcher, and pour it over the ice into the glass. Or add all ingredients including the ice into a shaker and shake for 10-20 seconds before straining into the glass.

5.Finally, you can garnish your vodka orange cocktail with a small orange wedge and a rosemary sprig, like I’ve done here.

Enjoy !

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