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date: 26 February 2024


The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails
David WondrichDavid Wondrich, Noah RothbaumNoah Rothbaum

is a highball composed of orange juice and vodka. The drink is a product of World War II, when American troops and civilian technicians in theaters such as China and Turkey, where whisky and other well-known potables were scarce, took to cutting neutral spirit—whether it was military ethanol or Turkish vodka—with orange juice. The name “Screwdriver” for the practice first turns up in Ankara, Turkey, in 1943, where it was apparently coined by interned American airmen, but its etymology has never been adequately explained. When the Screwdriver drinkers returned home, they brought the drink’s recipe with them, and just in time for the nascent vodka boom. The drink enjoyed great popularity in the postwar years as American drinking habits skewed simpler and stronger, and vodka came to be favored. The fact that it was featured prominently in the advertising for Smirnoff, the leading American vodka brand, did not hurt that popularity. In the 1960s, the Screwdriver went on to serve as the foundation of later highballs such as the Harvey Wallbanger and Sloe Comfortable Screw. See ... ...

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