Screaming Viking: The 'Cheers' Cocktail No One Knows

Screaming Viking Cocktail
Bill Cahill / Getty Images
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
189 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 36mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 11mg 53%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 179mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's the screaming viking cocktail that may have appeared on the '80s sitcom "Cheers" and then there's the one now being served at the actual bar in Boston. They're entirely different drinks and the story behind them is interesting.

The screaming viking is one of those drinks that didn't exist until a TV character ordered it, exactly like the Flaming Homer/Moe. In this instance, it was the first episode of the sixth season of "Cheers" and the drink was created as a prank.

The plot is that Sam Malone wanted to win his job back after selling the bar. The new bartender, Wayne, claimed to know every drink ever made, but he was quickly challenged. When Norm walks into the bar (pretending not to be the beer guzzling regular he was) and orders a screaming viking, Wayne is stumped. Woody, on the other hand, knows exactly what to do. 

We never actually see the drink being made and there is only the mention of a bruised cucumber. If you look closely, you will see Norm with a neat, semi-clear drink in an old-fashioned glass that is garnished with a cucumber.

Somewhere along the way, someone created the following recipe and gave it the screaming viking name. Is it the one Woody mixed up? Probably not... it's TV! However, it is a decent drink and really not much different than an April rain.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the vodka, dry vermouth, and lime juice.

  3. Stir well.

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  5. Garnish with a celery stalk and cucumber spear. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • To thicken the plot on this fictional cocktail, the real Cheers bar in Boston has a screaming viking on its drink menu. It looks nothing like what was in Norm's glass. According to the menu, it's a mix of Bacardi Tangerine Rum, amaretto, and pineapple and cranberry juices, with a Bacardi Black float. While the exact recipe is unknown, it sounds like a tasty mix worthy of experimentation.
  • To further complicate matters, there is yet another screaming viking drink. It is nothing more than a shot of Drambuie with a half pint of cider served on the rocks as a back (separate glass on the side).

How Strong Is a Screaming Viking?

The vodka-vermouth screaming viking is not a light drink, instead, it falls right in line with other vodka martinis. On average, it should mix up to an alcohol content around 21 percent ABV (42 proof).