Writers’ Tipples: ‘The Screwdriver’ Recipe – Truman Capote

?????????????????????????????????????This is the first in a little series based on my favourite writers and their favourite drinks.  Yes, I know, terribly arduous a job I have, what with the mixing, the photographing, and yes, the drinking 😉

Here goes, hic, nothing….

The word ‘powerful’ gets bandied about a lot these days, allocated to everything from a Lady Gaga song to a TV advertisement.

I think it should only be used for something so moving, so shocking and so ground-breaking that there simply is no other word you could use to describe it.

For me, that was the book ‘In Cold Blood’, by Truman Capote.  I read it in my first year at university, about ten years ago.  To me it not only vividly and disturbingly portrayed the victims – the real, living, breathing people –  but also interestingly, the writer’s relationship with the murderers, and the grey area that emerged between what was ostensibly very black and very white.

In an age of twenty-four hour news, we’ve become somewhat numbed to even the most horrific headlines, preferring to wring our hands, tut-tut and then switch channels quickly.  ‘In Cold Blood’ forces the reader to look beyond the headline, to feel the pain of the victims, to examine the face behind the evil.  It’s a necessary although painful reminder of the truth of the worst of the human character.

Capote was also the author of a great many other lighter works including the novella made even more famous by the iconic Audrey Hepburn, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.

Here is a tiny excerpt, a line I think is even more apt today than when it was written, some fifty-six years ago;

“Certain shades of limelight wreck a girl’s complexion.”

So today’s cocktail is a little homage to the effervescent, witty, and indisputably talented Truman Capote.

And, like one of his trademark acerbic barbs, its beauty lies in its simplicity.  You got vodka? You got OJ? Then you’ve got you a Screwdriver.


  • 1 part vodka
  • 2 parts orange juice
  • Highball glass with ice

1. Chill the glass with ice.

2. Pour over ingredients

3. Mix well and garnish with an orange slice


Ps.  I chose to start this little series with Truman Capote’s favourite tipple because this week a great actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman – who played Truman Capote brilliantly – sadly passed away.

If you get a chance one of these rainy evenings, rent / stream this movie, you won’t regret it.

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