Cocktail Weekends : Smoked Rosemary Screwdriver

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I think it’s safe to say that the Screwdriver is pretty much every kid’s introduction to drinking spirits. You know, that time when you’re old enough to drink beer but your not sure how you’d handle vodka. So you gingerly add in some OJ, sipping constantly to check it’s strength. Like a rite of passage.

Or you know, cannonball into the flaming shots, if that was your style.

For me, the Screwdriver has become ubiquitous with summer colours, ladies playing rummy and the drink you pick up when you’re  hungover, but you’re friends want to party. Simple and effective.

Given that it’s pretty much vodka and orange juice, it could get a tad…boring. And since there’s a good chance you’re not my grandmother, you probably won’t want too many of them Screwdrivers. Cause  we both know it takes a lot more to satisfy you.

So let’s shake things up. In this case, let’s smoke things up! Let’s go herb(al)


As you’ve probably noticed, Rosemary is a popular herb on Globetrotting Cupcake (like this Pomegranate Manhattan or this classic Indian Yoghurt Dessert) There’s two reasons for that – one,  its the Godfather of  bold flavours, and two, I grow it in my garden. Farm to cocktail.

After a few trials and fires, I settled on smoking the herb for a subtle addition to the nose and body of the drink – all without a smoking gun! I found the aroma lasts till the end of the drink. Be careful though, to smoke the herb only a little, it can get overpowering very quickly.

While the Screwdriver seldom needs more, I prefer adding a dash of lime to balance out the acidity and a just a splash of orange bitters to smooth out the mouth-feel.

Don’t forget to juice your own oranges because that is pretty much the difference between a kick-ass drink and a shit-ass drink. Packaged juice is like watching Deadpool on Indian TV : punch-less, cause the censor board cut the jokes and made it suitable for people with no sense of humour. Imagine the torture.

None of that nonsense now, lets move onto prettier pictures. Like this one.


Smoked Rosemary Screwdriver


  • Juice of 2 medium sized oranges
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Few drops of Orange Bitters
  • Good Quality Vodka – 60ml
  • 1 big sprig of fresh rosemary


  • Add ice to a jar or a cocktail shaker and tip in the vodka, two juices and orange bitters. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  • In a small jar or glass, place a tea light and hold the sprig of rosemary above the flame.
  • When it starts smoking (which will take about 30 seconds) hold your glass on top to trap the smoke. Smoke it baby!
  • Strain the drink into the smoking glass and garnish with your most impressive sprig of rosemary.

Enjoy your classy Screwdriver!


Images and video by Ishita Thakur

Music Courtesy Postmodern Jukebox

Special Thanks to Zac Abbott 




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