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15 Best Vodka for a Screwdriver: Top Picks in 2024

Best Vodka for a Screwdriver

Looking for the perfect vodka to elevate your Screwdriver cocktails? Drawing from our blind-tasting experiences, we’ve explored various options and discovered some real gems for you to try.

We suggest opting for vodkas, offering a smooth, clean profile that can enhance the vibrant notes of orange juice. But what’s the best vodka for a Screwdriver?

Let’s elevate this classic cocktail with our top vodkas below for more refreshing flavors.

Top 15 Vodkas To Use In A Screwdriver Cocktail

1. Barr Hill Vodka

Barr Hill Vodka

Average Price: around $60.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Distinctive honey, floral

Palate: Refine, rustic flavor

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Barr Hill vodka breaks the mold with its honey-based distillation. Distilled only twice to preserve natural aromatics, it boasts wild yeasts and nectar for unique secondary flavors.

“Sip, savor, and let the perfect vodka elevate Screwdrivers.” – Liquor Laboratory

Unlike the pursuit of extreme smoothness, Barr Hill embraces rustic charm, which shines in cocktails like Screwdrivers. Its flavor-forward profile, complexity, and depth enhance the classic drink. But do you know what’s the best vodka?

2. Hangar 1 Makrut Lime Vodka

Hangar 1 Makrut Lime Vodka

Average Price: around $43/1L (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Vibrant citrus

Palate: Zesty, intriguing

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Hangar 1’s Makrut Lime vodka redefines our screwdriver experience. We like how it’s infused with Thai makrut lime leaves, boasting an aromatic, concentrated citrus flavor.

The mix of lime’s bright character and a subtle spicy note adds depth to the cocktail drink. We always try Hangar 1’s Fennel vodka for a different spin on an herbal spice.

3. Neft Vodka (Black Barrel)

Neft Vodka (Black Barrel)

Average Price: around $49.99/1L (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Subtle allure

Palate: Smooth, clean

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Neft vodka stands out for its unique barrel-shaped packaging and exceptional quality. Beyond aesthetics, Neft impresses us with its clean, medium-bodied profile.

Perfect for Screwdriver cocktails, it blends seamlessly with fresh orange juice (or lemon juice) and an orange slice garnish. It elevates simple drinks, delivering a smooth and refreshing drinking experience.

4. Amass Vodka

Amass Vodka

Average Price: around $50/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Floral, fruit, lemon drop

Palate: Complex, zesty flavor

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Top-shelf vodka like Amass brings a unique twist if you seek variety. Distilled from wheat and infused with chamomile, marigold, and lemon zest, it delivers a layered, floral experience.

The soft, full-bodied profile shines in Screwdrivers, where lemon juice and citrus harmonize. Floral undertones add depth beyond the orange and lemon, giving a delightful spectrum of flavors.

5. Hangar 1 Buddha’s Hand Citron Vodka

Hangar 1 Buddha's Hand Citron Vodka

Average Price: approximately $43/1L (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Citrusy bouquet

Palate: Complex, balanced

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: This vodka marries sweet and bold grape notes seamlessly. We enjoy its unique citrus splash, enriching the vibrant citrus profile of a Screwdriver or any mixed drinks.

This vodka elevates Screwdriver cocktails into an exceptional experience, letting us savor the symphony of flavors that delight our taste buds.

6. Kalak Vodka (Single Malt)

Kalak Vodka (Single Malt)

Average Price: around $40/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Earthy, creamy, fruit, vanilla flavor

Palate: Rich, dark chocolate, biscuit

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Kalak vodka stands out with its earthy aromas and layers of richness on the palate. When combined with orange juice, it creates a signature Screwdriver.

Serve it with ice as the cocktail’s fun layers of flavor emerge, showcasing Kalak’s unique and full-bodied profile. We must say that it’s one of the most interesting vodkas in the market today, so it’s worth the try.

7. Square One Cucumber Vodka

Square One Cucumber Vodka

Average Price: roughly $34.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Fresh herbs, spice flavor

Palate: Bold, crisp

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: This rye-based vodka (from North Dakota) is infused with organic cucumbers. The base vodka’s nutty, spicy profile complements the infusion perfectly.

Nutty rye and herbs intertwine in the aroma, while bold cucumber notes with a hint of salt grace the palate. The finish is refreshingly cool with a touch of black pepper, adding a twist to classic Screwdriver cocktails.

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8. Supergay Vodka

Supergay Vodka

Average Price: around $37.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Ethereal notes

Palate: Silky, balanced

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Supergay vodka impresses us with its organic, ethically sourced corn and coconut charcoal filtration. It’s remarkably smooth and full-bodied, versatile for sipping or mixing.

Its hint of sweet notes and slight saltiness blend harmoniously with tangy orange juice when used in a Screwdriver. It can transform a simple drink into an experience that embraces taste and values.

9. Green Hope Organic Vodka

Green Hope Organic Vodka

Average Price: approximately $29.99/750ml (K&L)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Subtle sweetness

Palate: Smooth, balanced

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Beyond the altruism, Green Hope boasts impressive flavors. Notably, we’ve tried their corn-based vodka, which stands out for Screwdrivers, boasting a light yet textured profile.

This pour offers a smooth, well-crafted experience. Overall, Green Hope vodkas transform the ordinary Screwdriver into a conscious, satisfying choice.

10. Haymaker’s Vodka

Haymaker's Vodka

Average Price: around $30/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Subtle fruit flavor

Palate: Balanced, vibrant flavor

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: We like this vodka’s unique blend of apples and potatoes [1]. Besides, this bottle is distilled six times, delivering sweet neutrality while exuding brightness and energy.

We noticed it tastes great with lemon or orange juice in a Screwdriver, as it’s not overpowering. We suggest adding a touch of Haymaker’s strawberry brandy for added flair to elevate the experience further.

11. Belvedere Vodka

Belvedere Vodka

Average Price: approximately $35/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Subtle sweetness, grainy

Palate: Beany, kernel-like flavor

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Belvedere vodka is a pinnacle of premium quality for its superb balance. While perfect for sipping or when mixed in Martinis, it thrives in a simple mixture like a Screwdriver.

When paired with lemon or orange juice, its excellence truly shines in a cocktail. We suggest elevating it with a lemon wedge or soda (club soda), or you can even add sparkling wine for a touch of luxury.

12. Grey Goose Vodka

Grey Goose Vodka

Average Price: approximately $24.09/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Subtle wheat

Palate: Smooth, rounded

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Grey Goose vodka bottle displays elegance. Crafted from soft winter wheat and spring water (from the Cognac region), it gives a full, rounded texture, perfect for a classic Screwdriver drink.

This vodka and orange juice create a balanced and delightful cocktail [2]. Trust us, Grey Goose adds an innovative touch to the timeless Screwdriver, an excellent choice for any occasion.

13. Flavored Stoli Vodkas

Stoli Cucumber

Average Price: roughly $20/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 37.5%-40% ABV

Nose: Fruity notes

Palate: Creamy, lively

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Stoli’s diverse flavored vodka brings a unique twist to Screwdrivers. While Citros and Ohranj offer classic citrus flavors, Cucumber adds a fresh, lively element.

Blueberi introduces dessert-like richness, transforming the cocktail. The variety lets us explore and customize the Screwdriver experience.

14. Wheatley Vodka

Wheatley Vodka

Average Price: roughly $16.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 41% ABV

Nose: Subtle wheat

Palate: Smooth, clean

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Wheatley vodka showcases its quality through meticulous distillation. Since it’s distilled ten times, it provides a refined experience.

“We know what it does each time, each distillation, and we felt like the ten times was just right for it.” Harlen Wheatley, Master Distiller

We like its slightly higher proof, enhancing the vodka’s character, creating balanced Screwdriver cocktails [3] that let the vodka and fresh, squeezed orange juice shine.

15. Sobieski Rye Vodka

Sobieski Rye Vodka

Average Price: around $14.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 37.5%-40% ABV

Nose: Subtle vanilla sweetness

Palate: Smooth, neutral

Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Why We Like It: Sobieski’s pure rye vodka boasts unparalleled silkiness. With a clean nose and a palate of sweet vanilla and cream, it delights our taste buds.

Its rich, buttery texture with hints of caramel seals the experience. Sobieski’s affordability and quality make it our go-to for shots and cocktails, enhancing any mixed beverages, especially Screwdrivers.

*Note: The star rating was determined based on a blind test, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Each product was evaluated on its overall quality, flavor profile, complexity, smoothness, and overall enjoyment.

FAQs

What alcohol is used in Screwdrivers?

The alcohol used in Screwdrivers is vodka. It’s a two-ingredient cocktail, simply blending orange juice and vodka, creating a refreshing flavor.
It is best served over ice in a cocktail glass with an orange or lemon garnish.

Is the Screwdriver just orange juice and vodka?

Yes, Screwdrivers consists of just two main ingredients: orange juice and vodka. It’s a simple and popular mixed drink with a refreshing citrus flavor, which began when American oil workers worked in the Persian Gulf.

What is a Screwdriver drink made of?

A Screwdriver drink comprises two main ingredients: orange juice [4]and vodka. It’s a simple cocktail that combines the flavors of vodka and citrusy OJ, resulting in a refreshing and enjoyable beverage served over ice in a glass.

Can you recommend a specific vodka brand that pairs well with a screwdriver?

Some popular vodka brands that are frequently recommended for screwdrivers include Absolut, Smirnoff, Ketel One, and Grey Goose. These brands offer smooth, clean-tasting vodkas that blend seamlessly with orange juice.

Does the price of vodka affect the taste of a screwdriver?

While there are excellent vodkas available at various price points, higher-priced vodkas often undergo additional distillation and filtration processes, resulting in a smoother and cleaner taste. However, many mid-range vodkas also work well in screwdrivers.

Are flavored vodkas suitable for making screwdrivers?

Flavored vodkas can add an extra layer of complexity to a screwdriver, but they may alter the traditional flavor profile of the cocktail. For a classic screwdriver, it’s best to use unflavored vodka to allow the orange juice to shine.

Should I use fresh-squeezed orange juice or store-bought orange juice in a screwdriver?

Both fresh-squeezed and store-bought orange juice can be used in a screwdriver, depending on personal preference and convenience. Fresh-squeezed orange juice may provide a more vibrant and natural flavor, while store-bought juice offers convenience.

In Summary

When it comes to elevating Screwdrivers, the options are almost limitless. However, based on our blind tastings, one vodka truly shines above the rest: Barr Hill Vodka.

Its unique honey-based distillation delivers complexity and depth that elevate this classic drink. For those seeking distinct twists, consider Hangar 1 Makrut Lime Vodka for its vibrant citrus infusion or Neft Vodka (Black Barrel) for its rich and smooth profile.

But for an ultimate experience, explore each bottle to determine which vodka captures your palate. Cheers!

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/vodka
  2. https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/5-things-you-didnt-know-cocktails-bartending.htm
  3. https://www.businessinsider.com/the-origin-story-of-the-screwdriver-cocktail-2015-3
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/orange-juice#
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