The Harvey Wallbanger Recipe

Posted in Vodka on March 1, 2014

Harvey Wallbanger

A cocktail with a funny name….Does it sound like it is going to make you bang the walls after having too much of it? This is exactly the point. The Harvey Wallbanger cocktail is basically a Screwdriver with a dash of Galliano. Just like the Screwdriver, there is a funny story behind its name. The cocktail was invented in the 60s by a worldwide famous mixologist: Dotato “Duke” Antone. He had a bar on a Californian beach and someday he prepared a Screwdriver with a dash of Galliano for a surfer named Harvey. In fact, he prepared more such mixes and the surfer had a difficult time in getting home that night. He kept banging on the walls as he was leaving and this is how Antone came up with the idea of naming the cocktail Harvey Wallbanger.


The story is fun, but no one can tell for sure if it’s true or not. The drink was popularized by the Galliano Company in the 70s. Its name was used in their marketing campaigns and its salesmen were actually promoting the cocktail. It is not unusual for bartenders to create drinks for liquor companies which want to make themselves known and to increase their sales. However, admitting that a cocktail was simply invented for marketing purposes is not going to make it popular. Coming up with a fun story is more likely to make people attracted by that drink.


It doesn’t really matter if the Harvey Wallbanger was indeed named after a surfer or it was done for promoting Galliano. What matters is that the cocktail is fun and easy to prepare. Those who like vodka based drinks are sure going to appreciate the subtle flavor in this one.


How to Prepare a Harvey Wallbanger?


You need to get the proportions right if you want the result to be similar with the popular drink.


Make sure you have the following ingredients:


  • 1 ½ oz. of vodka.
  • 4 oz. of fresh orange juice.
  • ½ oz. of Galliano.
  • An orange slice and a maraschino cherry for garnish.


Put the vodka and the orange juice in a shaker with ice. Shake them well and then strain them in a highball glass. Use a tablespoon to put the Galliano on top and allow it to float there. Garnish the glass with the orange and cherry and enjoy.


Popular variations of the Harvey Wallbanger include the Wally Harbanger which uses bourbon and lemon juice instead of vodka and orange juice and Freddy Fudpucker which replaces the vodka with tequila.


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