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Blood Orange Screwdriver

This Blood Orange Screwdriver Cocktail recipe makes the most out of bright red winter citrus! This super-simple base recipe includes a nonalcoholic option to please everyone at your next brunch. 

seltzer pouring into a glass of blood orange screwdriver cocktail

What is in a screwdriver?

Traditionally, a screwdriver consists simply of orange juice and vodka. It is a popular option for brunch and very easily prepared for a crowd. 

The origins of this famous cocktail are debated, but many tie its birth to the late 1940s in the United States, when vodka was becoming a more prominent part of drinking culture.

 Some say it was coined by American aviators – the name stemming from the fact that a real screwdriver was used to mix when a spoon was not available. But how much stirring do we think was really needed when combining just two ingredients?! 

Frankly, it is not my favorite brunch cocktail (in the citrus juice category, I much prefer a mimosa, which was around a couple of decades before the screwdriver’s inception). 

However, today’s recipe expands upon the traditional motif with a few of my favorite cocktail add-ins. It’s the perfect drink to add some fun color to your brunch spread, but you could technically enjoy it at any time of day.

sliced blood oranges and grapefruit on a marble slb

Details for This Recipe

To give this drink a bit of Garlic Head flair, we’re adding bright red blood orange juice alongside some spicy fresh ginger and refreshing mint. Because blood red oranges are often not as sweet as navel oranges, a touch of maple syrup helps to offset this. 

Vodka can be fairly sharp, so these mix-ins help to create a more well-rounded flavor profile. This cocktail is also easily made in a large-batch recipe, so feel free to mix everything together in a pitcher and pour over ice just before serving. 

sliced mixed citrus on a table

How to Make a Non-Alcoholic Screwdriver Cocktail

With such a short ingredient list, there are a number of ways to make this recipe alcohol-free. My favorite is to include a 1:1 substitution of nonalcoholic ginger beer in place of vodka

If you do not like ginger beer, ginger kombucha also works well. 

If you are less ginger-obsessed than me, I would recommend subbing sparkling water (maybe something flavored, like Spindrift) or your favorite juice. 

How to Make Blood Orange Screwdriver Punch

The below recipe is written for a single cocktail, but if you’re looking to serve a crowd, this recipe is easily scaled up. To do this:

  • Add 6 oz of vodka to a large pitcher.
  • Top with 2 cups of blood orange juice.
  • Add 2 TBS maple syrup.
  • Stir and portion across 6 ice-filled glasses, topping with sparkling water just before serving. Garnish with mint and orange wedges. 
hand squeezing blood orange juice into a cup

Options to Customize

If you can’t find blood oranges (or if they’re out of season where you live), feel free to substitute regular orange juice or even grapefruit juice.

To amplify the red color of this drink, add pomegranate juice. 

If you are looking for an alcoholic option that is not vodka, I recommend champagne or sparkling wine (this technically turns the drink into a mimosa, but I won’t tell anyone). 

To make a “Fuzzy Navel,” substitute peach schnapps for the vodka. This will be a much fruitier variation, so you may consider lessening any additional sweetener. I do not love overly sweet drinks myself.

a side view of a blood orange screwdriver cocktail

Other Drink Recipes with Ginger and Citrus for Brunch

Extra Ginger Moscow Mule 

The Complete Guide to Making Mimosas

Carrot Bloody Mary

Sparkling Rose French 75

The Garden Party Cocktail

Lavender Haze (Aviation) Cocktail

Print
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a side view of a blood orange screwdriver cocktail

Blood Orange Screwdriver


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Blood Orange Screwdriver Cocktail recipe makes the most out of bright red winter citrus! This super-simple base recipe includes a nonalcoholic option to please everyone at your next brunch. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 oz vodka (or ginger beer/ginger kombucha for non-alcoholic)
  • 1/3 cup blood orange juice (from about two oranges), plus orange wedge for garnishing
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 TBS grated fresh ginger, optional
  • 1 spring mint, optional
  • Sparkling water, to top

Instructions

  1. Add one cup of ice to a cocktail shaker or large, sealable jar. Next add vodka (or ginger beer/ginger kombucha), blood orange juice, maple syrup, ginger (if using), and mint (if using).
  2. Seal the container and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, until your hand gets pretty cold.
  3. Strain into your glass of choice (I like a coupe or flute), and top with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with a thin orange wedge.

Notes

To make a blood orange screwdriver punch that serves 6 people: Add 6 oz of vodka to a large pitcher.Top with 2 cups of blood orange juice. Add 2 TBS maple syrup. Stir and portion across 6 ice-filled glasses, topping with sparkling water just before serving. Garnish with mint and orange wedges. 

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirring
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 recipe
  • Calories: 146.6 calories
  • Sugar: 10.7 grams
  • Sodium: 11.2 milligrams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 12.4 grams
  • Fiber: 1.3 grams
  • Protein: 0.7 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Portrait of Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Emily (Frigon) Meyers is the founder of Garlic Head, a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets while saving time and money. She is a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan. Garlic Head does not focus on labels - it focuses on creating food that everyone can enjoy.

Emily earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University along with degrees in Economics, Spanish, and Global Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and websites including The Food Institute, VegNews, Buzzfeed, and the Boston Globe.

Meet Emily here.

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