The Harvey Wallbanger Done Right

A classic Harvey Wallbanger at Herbs & Rye. | Photo by Jon Estrada

A classic Harvey Wallbanger at Herbs & Rye. | Photo by Jon Estrada

It’s been a long time since anyone has reached for a Galliano bottle for anything other than to break up a bar fight. But there was a time when it was all the rage, and it was owed almost entirely to one drink. A screwdriver with a kiss of that unnervingly yellow Italian artisanal herbal liqueur, the Harvey Wallbanger was, according to Galliano rep Anthony Pullen, created by renowned bartender Donato “Duke” Antone and branding mastermind George Bednar. Heard the one about 1950s pro surf legend Tom Harvey allegedly downing them to soothe a loss, then banging into walls? Yeah, it didn’t happen. Bednar cooked up the legend, and later a cartoon character, Harvey Wallbanger, both of which went global, making Harvey’s eponymous drink the “it” cocktail of the ’60s and ’70s, featured in first class on transatlantic TWA flights. Harvey was even a write-in candidate in the 1972 presidential election! The Wallbanger’s popularity, however, also contributed to its demise, with Galliano’s recipe being altered for a time. The formula has since been restored to its original glory; just look for “L’Autentico” on the label. November 8 is Harvey Wallbanger Day, so pop into Herbs & Rye, Atomic Liquors, the Peppermill, Echo & Rig or anywhere with fresh orange juice—other than Galliano, that’s the make-or-break element.

Harvey Wallbanger
As served at Herbs & Rye, 3713 W. Sahara Ave., $11

In a 12-ounce Collins glass filled three quarters of the way with quality ice, combine 1½ ounces vodka, ¾ ounce Galliano L’Autentico and top with fresh orange juice. Give it a quick stir and garnish with an orange flag (orange slice and cherry).


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