The earliest appearance of this iconic cocktail was in a magazine entitled Journalism Quarterly, where it was called a “Famous Smirnoff Screwdriver”. Six years later in Newsweek Magazine the story behind the name of the drink was published. “A Screwdriver —a half-orange-juice and half-vodka drink popularized by interned American aviators—costs a dollar including the customary barman’s tip.” Still later in the autumn of 1949, Time Magazine had this to say: “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 juice, called a ‘screwdriver'”.
There are as many variations on the simple vodka/orange juice mixture as there are styles of screwdrivers in a hardware store. Here are just a few of the clever names you can find in recipe guides:
Sonic Screwdriver, Double Screw, Sloe Screw, Comfortable Screw, Slow Comfortable Screw, Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against The Wall, Left Handed Screwdriver, Rusty Screw, Cordless Screwdriver and perhaps the most famous, the Harvey Wallbanger.