Following up my article on Basic Drinking, I present to you a basic guide on how to you can upgrade a very basic drink into any of a variety of complex cocktails.
The screwdriver is one of the most basic of drinks. Vodka and Orange juice in some proportion. The drink is so simple that unless you’re actually tending bar even the proportions hardly matter.
This is basic orange juice. Approximately 8 ounces.
From this simple citrus you can expand outwards in an almost infinite number of directions.
For our purposes the screw driver requires only that we add vodka.
After 1.5 oz of vodka and a quick stir you have a screwdriver. Quick morning pick me up, easygoing non-soda party drink etc.
For a slight upgrade there are a plethora of flavored vodkas on the market that can give this a kick into another direction. A personal favorite is Whipped Cream Vodka which turns OJ into a creamcicle in pretty short order. Raspberry, cherry, and even glazed donut vodka could also give you a nice turn on this level.
This picture doesn’t really do the Harvey Wallbanger justice. A basic screwdriver with a float of about half an ounce of Galliano on top.
Galliano has a lot of flavor and when you float it, it becomes the first thing into your mouth. You’re going to get anise, bitter, vanilla and a number of other things. If that’s not your bag, then I would suggest adding it with the vodka and giving it a good stir. You’re not going to notice the delicate flavors much in so much OJ, which might require you to drop the Oj down to 4 ounces or less if you want to get a good idea of the flavors.
At this point you’re looking at three ingredients. Two of them as common as oxygen and one almost unknown.
If you’re looking for a variant here you could substitute anything with a strong herbal flavor. Herbsaint, Benedictine, or Chartreuse would be good substitutes. Alternately you could start looking at amaros things like Campari, Aperol, or Maraschino.
You could also go with flavors that really complement the orange, Triple sec, Grand Mariner, Ginger Liqueur or Curacao.
Once you’ve got a handle on flavors it’s a pretty simple matter to start blending similar ingredients into a more tasty whole.
From humble beginnings the screwdriver gets mouthfeel, tart notes, astringency, sweeter notes and bitter licorice flavors and becomes The Graduate.