A Screwdriver is a popular highball drink made with orange juice and vodka. Sometimes it is referred to as "Vodka and Orange". While the basic drink is simply the two ingredients, there are many variations, many of these with multiple names, that can be found all over the world.
The earliest written reference to the Screwdriver is from the October 24, 1949 issue of Time:
"In the dimly lighted bar of the sleek Park Hotel, Turkish intelligence agents mingle with American engineers and Balkan refugees, drinking the latest Yankee concoction of vodka and orange juice, called a 'screwdriver.'"
Dominic Joseph Palermo dubbed the name screwdriver around 1948 at his bar, The Airliner, on North Broadway in Los Angeles, CA (Lincoln Heights).
The Screwdriver became popular in North America in the early 1950s, when orange juice was available nationally for the first time as a frozen concentrate. Sometimes a dash of Angostura bitters was added to early versions. The name of the drink, Screwdriver, is a wordplay. In bar lingo, the two main ingredients are called screw (orange juice) and driver (vodka).
- Replacing the flat orange juice with a carbonated orange drink produces a cocktail known as a Hi-Fi.
- A Screwdriver in which Tang is substituted for the orange juice is known as a "fuzzy cosmonaut".
- To make the beverage more palatable a sweet liquor is often added such as Amaretto. This is often referred to as a Samerreto.
- Another variation occurs when the ratio of the components is switched. When mixed as 1 part orange juice and two parts vodka, it is referred to as a Drivescrewer.
- The well known Harvey Wallbanger cocktail is a Screwdriver with a splash of Galliano floated on top.
- In some cases, sloe gin is added as part of the drink. It is referred to as a "sloe screw," or if in a tall glass, a "long sloe screw", used as a pun on sexual intercourse. Adding Southern Comfort to this creates a "sloe comfortable screw", and Galliano (as in the Wallbanger) a "sloe screw against the wall".
- A screwdriver in which the orange juice is replaced with blue Gatorade is a "sonic screwdriver", after the blue-lit device from Doctor Who. Another popular term for any Vodka/Gatorade cocktail is "Vaderade".