Updated: May 11
It’s time for another throwback drink of the past: make way for the Harvey Wallbanger!
The Harvey Wallbanger is a mixed drink made with vodka, Galliano, and orange juice. It is a variant of the screwdriver and was very popular in the United States in the 1970s.
The Harvey Wallbanger was a successful marketing campaign engineered by George Bednar of the McKesson Imports Company and designed to drive sales of their primary product, Galliano. Bednar commissioned a colorful cartoon character from graphic artist William J. "Bill" Young to create a fun, recognizable image associated with the drink.
The cocktail was invented by the three-time world championship mixologist Donato "Duke" Antone, who ran a bartending school in Hartford, Connecticut, and consulted for the company. Antone has also been credited with the Freddy Fudpucker, a similar drink made with tequila instead of vodka, but the cocktail did not become as popular as the Harvey Wallbanger. Nevertheless, the campaign was so successful that it is often cited as the first successful consultant-created cocktail to take the country by storm.
Galliano is an Italian herbal liqueur that has a bright yellow color and a sweet taste. It has been made in Tuscany, Italy since 1896. If you're wondering what it tastes like, it has a smooth and complex flavor with prominent vanilla notes, along with subtle hints of anise, juniper, peppermint, cinnamon, and citrus. If you're interested in purchasing Galliano, keep in mind that a 375ml bottle typically costs between $17 and $20, while a 750ml bottle costs between $30 and $35. We recommend buying a smaller size as you usually only need a few at a time.
Why is it called a Harvey Wallbanger?
According to 1970s folklore, the Harvey Wallbanger was invented by Los Angeles bartender Donato “Duke” Antone for Tom Harvey, a surfer, and then-regular at his bar, the Blackwatch. Harvey allegedly got so intoxicated after drinking a few of the concoctions that he started banging into walls, thus giving the drink its name.
What does a Harvey Wallbanger taste like?
The Harvey Wallbanger is an easy, sweet cocktail that almost tastes like an orange creamsicle thanks to the addition of the light vanilla flavor of Galliano liqueur.
1 1/2 ounces vodka
4 ounces orange juice
1/2-ounce Galliano L'Autentico Liqueur
Orange slice, for garnish
Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Pour the vodka and orange juice into your favorite glass with ice cubes.
Layer the Galliano on top by pouring it slowly over the back of a bar spoon.
Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry. Serve and enjoy