The Story Behind The Clove Screwdriver

When was the last time you thought about ordering or making a classic Screwdriver? I know it’s been a while since I’ve had one myself. But in planning for Thanksgiving, I’ve been recalling cocktail recipes that can be executed by even the most inexperienced mixologist.

Screwdrivers are the definition of easy: Just mix orange juice and vodka, and voila! In addition to the obvious, another benefit to easy recipes is that they leave room for seasonal twists. In this case, I wanted to make a seasonal version of the Screwdriver that could be consumed during the day, perhaps during Thanksgiving brunch or while watching one of many football games on television that day.

I decided to concoct a simple clove-based syrup to add some flavor and sweetness to the classic screwdriver. Simple syrups are very versatile, and they allow you to add flavor to multiple cocktails without much effort. Any spice or fruit you have offers the perfect opportunity to make syrup. You can also use syrups for non-boozy purposes; try adding them to tea, coffee, or on fruit, and practically anything else that you put sugar on.

The recipe is simple: mix together 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, then add your spice or fruit. In the past I’ve made an array of simple syrups including cinnamon, orange, raspberry, and rosemary. I chose clove for this recipe because it goes really well with orange juice. So if you’re having trouble coming up with a simple cocktail to serve to a large group of friends or family this coming holiday–don’t fret! The Clove Screwdriver promises to be a crowd-pleaser.


  • 2 ounce of vodka
  • 4-6 ounces of orange juice depending on serving glass
  • 1 teaspoon of clove simple syrup or to taste
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Sliced orange, for garnish


  1. Fill serving glass with orange juice, vodka, and clover simple syrup.
  2. Stir mixture to combine.
  3. Serve garnished with a slice of orange.

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Updated: 2020-05-21

The Clove Screwdriver Recipe