Everyone loves a cocktail with a great origin story. The Harvey Wallbanger has two different legends, but one is decidedly better than the other. Basically a Screwdriver with some Galliano, the Harvey Wallbanger recipe has been around since the 1950s, but was wildly popular during the 1970s.
- 4 oz orange juice
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz Galliano
- Orange wedge
Mix the orange juice and vodka in a highball, or Collins glass with ice. Float the Galliano on top. Add the orange wedge, or if you’re like me, add some maraschino cherries as well. Serve with a straw, so the Galliano diffuses into the orange juice.
Mixing a drink doesn’t get much easier than this. to prep your alcohol and about of total time is all you’ll need to make your guests happy. Orange juice and vodka is just a regular Screwdriver, but add some Galliano, and suddenly you have magic. Galliano is that super tall yellow bottle you see behind most bars, and it is an herbal liqueur made in Italy. Vanilla is the main ingredient, but the unique blend of other herbs give Galliano a distinct taste.
Origins of the Harvey Wallbanger
There are two theories about who first came up with the Harvey Wallbanger recipe. The first theory says that legendary drag race promoter Bill Doner invented the Harvey Wallbanger while working at a Newport Beach bar called The Office. Some people buy this origin, but the other story is one that feels more like an urban legend, and is the story that people prefer to circulate.
The more publicized version of the Harvey Wallbanger origin states that it was created in 1952 by world renowned bartender Donato “Duke” Antone while working at the Balckwater Bar on Sunset Boulevard. Duke is also known for creating the timeless classics the Rusty Nail and the Freddy Fudpucker. Allegedly, there was a regular patron of the Blackwater, a surfer named Tom Harvey, who used to hang out at SoCal’s Manhattan Beach and ride the waves. One day, after losing a particular grueling surfing competiton, Harvey got deep in his cups. When Harvey finally got up to leave the bar, he kept crashing into furniture and falling into the wall. Duke Antone then christened the surfer’s drink of choice the Harvey Wallbanger.
Recently, Galliano has decided to celebrate the heritage of the Harvey Wallbanger with a clever campaign on Instagram. A series of photos featuring a dude named Harvey, decked out with with 1970s mustache and town car, emerged from various bars across the country. Spreading the word about Galliano and the Wallbanger, Harvey served as an ambassador for Galliano and retro coolness for a new generation.