The Bizarre Origin Story Of The Screwdriver Cocktail

Vodka remainsĀ a popular liquor, with one in three drinks in the U.S. made with the spirit (via Make Me a Cocktail). One of those mixed drinks is the humble Screwdriver. There aren't many cocktails that are more basic or easier to make than a Screwdriver. This simple concoction merely requires the procurement of 2 ingredients: vodka and orange juice. Even fruit garnishes are optional.

One of the purported origin stories surrounding the invention of the Screwdriver, however, is bizarrely fascinating. Author Victorino Matus explores the history behind the Screwdriver in his book, "Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America."

As discussed by Business Insider, his book cites a time in the mid 20th century when American oil rig workers in the Persian Gulf yearning for the breakfast of champions covertly added a little vodka to their orange juice, perhaps to help take the edge off a grueling workday. Lacking access to a spoon or any bartender's tools of the trade, they improvised and used their own implements, mixing the drink with a screwdriver from their utility belts.

Other reputed Screwdriver origin stories

The invention of the screwdriver has also been linked to American Marines in World War II (via The Nosey Chef). Countless websites also reference a 1949 Time magazine article as one possible clue to the Screwdriver's origins: "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, called a 'Screwdriver.'"

If you want to make your own Screwdrivers in the comfort of your home, consult our list ranking the most popular vodka brands and pick whichever selection matches your taste preferences and price point. Once you have chosen your Vodka, check out Inspired Tastes' recipe and tips for creating the perfect Screwdriver, which recommends using a combination of quality vodka and fresh-squeezed orange juice, served chilled.

Whichever way you decide to fashion your Screwdriver, just remember to use a spoon to stir your beverage.