I had resigned myself to not having anything to write about. Besides, the after-work-weather was primo, so I decided to make myself a cocktail to drink on the deck of the House by the Parkway. My cocktail of choice tonight was a screwdriver. That’s when it occurred to me that I make truly outstanding screwdrivers, and I should share my wisdom with the world.
I know, you’re thinking, Yo, Jimbo. Gimme a break. It’s vodka and orange juice. What’s the big deal?
Of course that is not unlike saying that the Mona Lisa is just some paint on a hunk of canvas.
Pay attention, because I am going to tell you how to make a good screwdriver, and how to turn a good screwdriver into an excellent screwdriver not known by many.
Da Glass: You should use a nice glass, and it should have some size to it – not one of those little bullshit glasses that you get in the run-of-the-mine saloons. I use a 12 oz. Sasaki, perfectly cylindrical glass tumbler. I also have used the clear part of a cocktail shaker for mondo, seriously-thirsty drinks.
Da Ice. One never uses milky ice cubes. They look like shit and invariably taste like a refrigerator. Your refrigerator’s fancy-schmancy ice-maker might be handy, but use the stuff it makes for something other than mixed drinks. One should always keep a bag of commercially made clear ice in the freezer.
Da Ice in Da Glass: Put lots of clear ice in the glass. The ice should reach the top of the glass.
Da Vodka: Use decent vodka. It need not be the designer stuff at thirty bucks a bottle, but it should be vodka, of the caliber of Ketel One, Stoly or Finlandia (I’m not an Absolut fan – It tastes like it has vermouth in it). I know, you’re thinking, Yo, Jimbo, vodka is pretty much tasteless and, besides, you’re mixing it with orange juice. Why not use cheap vodka? The answer is simple. Life is just too gott-damned short to drink cheap booze. ‘Nuf said.
Da Pour: Pour a jigger (maybe a bit more – I free pour, but I have a good eye) over the ice. You’ll know you’re on the right track if you can hear the ice crackle as you pour the booze over the cubes. (If you keep your vodka in the freezer as I do, you probably won’t hear the crackle.)
Da Secret: I’ll bet you thought the next step would be to pour the orange juice over the ice and vodka. Wrong! This is the step that makes the difference between a good screwdriver and an excellent screwdriver. Take a quarter of a fresh lime and squeeze it over the ice and vodka, then drop the lime into the glass.
Da Juice: Do not use juice made from concentrate. Feh. Spring for some good orange juice that is not made from concentrate. Pulp is optional. Now, pour the juice over the ice, vodka and lime. Give it a quick stir and enjoy.