This study presents a novel means of rapidly determining benzodiazepines in various drinks. Electrospray mass spectrometry with a direct probe design is used as the analytical instrument. Samples are treated only by a simple liquid-liquid extraction prior to direct electrospray probe/mass spectrometry (DEP/MS) analysis. The proposed method provides a relatively easy and efficient means of identifying the drugs in a very short time interval. On average, sample analysis is completed in less than five minutes including sample pretreatment. It is especially useful in forensic science since the technology can provide a rapid identification for unknown samples. Thus, the method proposed herein is highly appropriate for rapidly screening a large number of samples. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.