Vodka and Orange Juice. That was my first introduction to the world of alcohol - yes - even before beer.
While I was growing up - beer did not hold the same appeal for us - that spirits did. Beer seemed like a drink that only boys drank - or even more ridiculously - old people drank.
But the vodka and orange juice was a favourite for everyone.
Especially as people who were drinking alcohol for the first time - it seemed like the easiest introduction. Vodka - a well-known spirit - and orange juice - a breakfast favourite.
This drink - which is also called a screwdriver - is still so popular. You will find it at almost every brunch, lunch or dinner event. It is as refreshing as it is intoxicating.
The history of this particular drink is complicated. There are so many stories out there about where it came from.
1. One story says that the American marines - around World War II - would mix in cheap vodka with their juices. In particular, orange juice.
2. Another story says that people who worked on oil rigs in the Persian Gulf would mix their vodka with orange juice. However, because they did not have the tall spoons required to mix the drink together - they would use their screwdrivers!
1. Slow Screw
A mixture of orange juice and Sloe gin
2. Slow Comfortable Screw
A mixture of orange juice and Sloe gin and another liqueur
3. Harvey Wallbanger
A mixture of orange juice, vodka and Galliano
4. Sonic Screwdriver
A mixture of lemon soda, vanilla vodka and Blue Curacao
5. Sonic Screwdriver
This is a shot. And it is simply a shot taken with a slice of orange.
First things first - no alcoholic drink is really that good for you. Except for the red wine.
The calorific count of a vodka and orange juice really depends on the ingredients that you choose.
Typically vodka has about 97 calories per shot - but has no carbs! Whereas orange juice really differs from brand to brand - and even fruit to fruit!
If you use any additional sweeteners - then that would add up when you start counting the calories.
However, orange juice has a lot of vitamin C - so it does have a few nutritional benefits!
A screwdriver is a sneaky drink. It seems like it is the easiest thing to make. However - there are so many things that you could do wrong!
If you follow these steps - and take these precautions - you will be good to go!
1. You could use old or expired orange juice
2. The quality of the vodka determines the quality of your drink. So make sure you do not end up using cheap vodka when trying to impress your guests
3. Mixing the drink in incorrect proportions
4. You forget the ice
5. Use the wrong liquor
6. Add too much sugar
7. Add too little sugar
8. Serve it in the wrong glass
9. You make it too sour
10. You make it too salty
Like I said before - the kind of vodka you use - will either make the drink taste incredible - or supremely bad.
And this is so applicable in this scenario - because this drink only has two ingredients. So the difference in taste is definitely noticeable.
I like to use:
2. Grey Goose
3. Ketel One
Refrigerate all the ingredients - including the vodka.
Yes - it does make a difference. If you make sure all the ingredients that you use are ice-cold - it makes the drink delicious.
If you have ever drunk freshly squeezed orange juice - you know the difference between fresh-squeezed and packaged.
Freshly squeezed orange juice is much more tart and fresh than the packaged variety - which tends to be way too sweet.
While this drink is basically just two ingredients - a splash of lemon makes a big difference to the taste of the drink.
Lemons provide a tartness and freshness to the drink - so even if you are not able to get your hands on the freshly squeezed juice - the lemon will save the drink.
This recipe is good for 4 drinks.
1 cup Vodka - Cold
1 1/2 cups Orange Juice - Cold
2 tsp Lemon Juice
Orange or Lemon Slices - for the garnish
Ice - Crushed
1. Mix the vodka and the orange juice together with a cocktail shaker
2. Equally distribute the crushed ice into four, highball glasses - to about a quarter way up the glass. Pour the lemon juice over the crushed ice.
3. Pour the vodka and orange juice mixture over the crushed ice
4. Garnish and serve!
In case you do not want to drink - or serve - this drink in its original format - here are a few, easy changes you can make to upgrade this drink for yourself.
1. Make it Sparkly!
You could swap in some sparkling water or soda in place of about a half of the orange juice that you use.
This makes the drink seem fancier somehow
2. Add Bitters
In case you find that your orange juice is too sweet - and the lemon is not working its magic - add in some bitters to the mix.
This also works if you want your screwdriver to pack an extra punch!
3. Add Fruit
4. Flavour the Ice
Instead of using plain old crushed ice - you could flavour your ice with some lemon juice or even vodka!
5. Freeze it beforehand
6. Add mint or basil
7. Spice it Up!
Add in some chilli to make your drink spicier
8. Use flavoured vodkas
9. Add in some pineapple juice
10. Make it into jello shots!
11. Mix in another spirit
12. Add in extra orange pulp
13. Upgrade the garnishing
14. Serve it in a fruit!
1. More Water, Less Juice
If you want to lower the calorific count of the drink - replace half of the amount of orange juice with plain water.
2. Drink Less
Have only a couple of drinks - and sip them throughout the party or evening - and you would have consumed fewer calories!
3. Cut Down on the Booze
You can always reduce the amount of vodka that you use in your drink
4. Replace sugar with stevia
5. Use a low-calorie juice
I firmly believe that not every drink is suitable for every place and occasion.
You would not necessarily drink a beer at a black-tie event - nor would you drink champagne at a dive bar.
Try having a screwdriver at:
1. At a summer barbeque
2. At any summer party really!
3. On the beach
4. On vacation - to a warm, tropical region
5. At brunch
6. As an aperitif before dinner - at a dinner party
8. A springtime party
9. Tropical themed parties
10. Relaxing at home!
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