Classic (Game) Cocktail of the Week: Samus's Screw Attack

Taking a spinning leap and destroy your liver with this Metroid-themed punch.

Some people like to unwind over the weekend by listening to favorite podcasts; others prefer to relaxing with an alcoholic libation. We figure: Why not both? With the Classic (Game) Cocktail column, we'll offer weekly recommendations on cocktail recipes to accompany our most recent podcast episode.

Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly, and only if you are of legal age (or have permission). 

Classic (Game) Cocktail #6: Samus's Screw Attack

Our podcast this week was a bit scattershot, so rather than focus on any single theme from a loose look at arcade culture of the ’80s, I decided instead to key this latest cocktail to the week's major retro game remake — Metroid: Samus Returns, out today. This drink's a bit boozy, and Samus Returns is a bit unforgiving. You may want to wait and imbibe after a play session rather than during…

This drink, of course, plays off the ol' vodka-and-orange-juice classic, the Screwdriver. Since this drink is themed around Samus, of course, I've named it for her ultimate aerial skill, the deadly Screw Attack. And since Samus wears yellow-orange armor, not dissimilar in color to orange juice, the principle behind this drink is to try and make it look like her.


  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 5 oz. orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. Aperol
  • 1 green cherry for garnish

Yes, the green cherry — specifically green — is important. It's all about aesthetics, friends, and Samus's green arm cannon is an iconic part of her visual identity.


  1. Stir vodka and orange juice over ice
  2. Strain into a rocks glass with ice
  3. Slowly drizzle Aperol over mix through a cocktail spoon — take care to let the colors remain separate.
  4. Garnish with the cherry

It's a quick and simple punch drink, with the vodka serving as a neutral base, the orange juice providing sweetness, and the Aperol balancing the fruit juice with a slight hint of herbal bitterness. And the cherry pretending to be an arm cannon, of course.

As most college kids learn their freshman semester, the fruit juice in a beverage like this overpowers the flavor of the alcohol and makes it entirely too easy to overdo this drink. Also, I've read that the presence of high sugar content (as in, fruit juice) causes the body to absorb alcohol more quickly. So, please sip cautiously.

Alternate recipe #1: Varia Suit Screw Attack

  • Replace Aperol with equal measure of port wine.

This will give the drink a deeper, redder hue — not unlike the Varia suit with its dark orange trim. The flavor of this variant changes into something reminiscent of sangria, so your feelings on this take will vary according to your feelings on sangria.

Alternate recipe #2: Gravity Suit Screw Attack

  • Replace Aperol with equal measure of creme de cassis.

The deep purple of the creme de cassis might call to mind the violet tones of the Gravity Suit upgrade. (Creme de violette would probably provide a more appropriate shade of purple, but it wouldn't pair well with orange juice.) The mix of orange and blackberry flavors makes this the fruitiest and sweetest of the three options.

Family portrait:

Some notes:

  • For those who don't do liquor, this can easily be made into a virgin drink. Ditch the vodka and replace the Aperol with your choice of fruit juice — grapefruit juice makes a good Aperol replacement, and blackberry juice will put you within firing range of creme de cassis.
  • The orange juice can be either pasteurized or fresh-squeezed. I went with store-bought for convenience. Impress your friends by juicing your own oranges, you show-off.
  • I used a neutral vodka for this project, but those who like flavored vodkas could also sub in an orange vodka (Charbay's Blood Orange vodka is quite good and lacks the perfumed, fake aftertaste you get with most flavored vodkas).
  • There's probably a Jell-O shooters idea to be explored that involves making a booze-soaked metroid larva. I assume you'd start with a hemispheric gelatin mold, lime green Jell-O, and red maraschino cherries… 
  • Next week: It is pitch dark. You are likely to be chugged by a grue.