At the ripe old age of 23, I was unaware that the Harvey Wallbanger (the featured drink at our last KegWorks Happy Hour) could also be dubbed “That 70’s Drink.” This cocktail was as much a part of the decade as polyester and bell-bottoms. One of the drink’s 3 ingredients, vanilla-scented Galliano (the others being vodka and orange juice) was the top selling imported liqueur during the 1970’s. Harvey Wallbangers were all the rage, in a way that makes the cosmo-craze of the 90’s seem like a minor, short-lived fad.
I did a little bit of research on this classic cocktail (which is also very delicious, by the way). I learned that the drink was actually first concocted in the 1950’s by the renowned two-time world champion mixologist (and Dean of Bartending School of Mixology, Inc.) Donato “Duke” Antone. According to legend, the drink was named after a patron of Duke’s Hollywood Blackwatch bar. Harvey was a California surfer who consoled himself with one of Duke’s “special” screwdrivers (a screwdriver with a dash of Galliano) after losing an important contest. After several of these, Harvey tried to leave the bar but kept bumping into the furniture and walls. Harvey “the Wallbanger” became his nickname and thus, the famous drink was named. The advertising manager of 21 Brands, the importer of Galliano, caught onto the drink’s popularity in California and decided to market the Harvey Wallbanger. They put together some design concepts, threw in the tagline “I am Harvey Wallbanger and I can be made,” and watched the birth of a national cocktail phenomenon.
I can understand why it gained popularity so easily. The drink goes down very smoothly and the Galliano definitely brings a texture to the glass that an ordinary screwdriver just doesn’t have.
Enjoy a blast from the past and bring back this groovy drink at your bar:
The Harvey Wallbanger
2 oz citrus-infused vodka
4 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ oz Galliano
1 orange slice, for garnish
[techtags:HARVEY WALLBANGER, COCKTAILS, DRINK RECIPES]