A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 17, 2006
Screwdriver (vodka + orange juice cocktail)

The “screwdriver” cocktail (vodka + orange juice) seems a natural for Florida. Early citations show that the screwdriver was popular in 1950s California, but probably originated in the 1940s, during World War II.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
A cocktail made of vodka and iced orange juice. orig. U.S.
1956 House & Garden Feb. 112/2 Screwdriver. This has become the most popular drink the West Coast has seen in years. Merely add 2 ounces of vodka to a tall glass of orange juice. Ideal for Sunday brunch.

21 November 1940, Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, pg. 9:
Volga Cocktail:
Two parts Vodka, one part orange juice, one part lemon juice, dash of bitters, two dashes of Grenadine and shake.

2 August 1948, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, “Nothing Like a Turkish Bath in Turkey” by Henry McLemore, pg. 4:
My guide, who was parked outside in a taxi, heard me.

He answered my distress signal by relaxing in the back seat, and ordering a “screwdriver.” Yes, a “screwdriver.”

A “screwdriver” is a drink.

It was created by the American navy during the past war. It consists of vodka, gin, orange juice, cognac, bitters, and three or four things which have yet to be identified. I am quite sure that remnants of Sultans are part of the mixture.

Posted by Barry Popik
Florida (Sunshine State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, July 17, 2006 • Permalink