Here's the thing about those three drinks—I only like them when the mixers are fresh, meaning straight from squeezed lemons, grated ginger, or juiced oranges. If it's from a bottle (or even worse, a bar fountain), just give me a splash of water and a lime and call it a day. I've already shared my Peach Vodka Lemonade on the internet, and until I get a SodaStream I can't post the recipe for a perfect Moscow Mule. So I give you my usual, instead. It's the drink most often waiting for me when I come home from a late night at work. It's bubbly, sweet, tart, and refreshing, and somehow I feel the vitamins from the orange juice balance out the negative hit from the vodka. Maybe. Or maybe not. Considering how much I dislike the actual cocktail labeled a "screwdriver"—or at least the subpar versions made with canned orange juice, often found at overpriced brunches and bars—I really didn't want to include that name in the title. Except for the fact that, technically it's what a drink containing vodka and orange juice is. But for the record, I think this "recipe" (or lack there-of) should be considered a gold standard of the classic.
Juice from one orange
2 ounces good-quality vodka (or gin)
Splash of soda
Thin orange slices, for garnish
Combine the fresh orange juice and vodka in a double rocks glass. Fill with ice and finish off with a splash of soda. Garnish with orange slice.
Related: Cocktail Recipe: Peach Thyme Bellini (Images: Nealey Dozier)