For a drink with such an odd name this is actually a very simple cocktail, practically only a step up from a Screwdriver (vodka and orange juice.) The story goes that the drink was created by a Los Angeles bartender named Donato “Duke” Antone in the 1950’s, who at one point had a regular customer named Harvey, who was a professional surfer. Harvey came into Duke’s bar one evening depressed about losing an important competition, and consoled himself with the cocktail. He had enough of them that at evening’s end, when he tried to make his way to the exit, Harvey stumbled and bumped into everything, even the wall. Harvey the Wallbanger became his new nickname, and the name was given to the cocktail as well.
Whether it’s true or not is, like many cocktail creation myths, hard to verify. Other stories suggest the drink was created by Galliano salesmen. Regardless, the drink reached it’s peak in popularity in the 70’s, many of which consider to be the low point of cocktails, where many a drink were made with cheap cordials and sour mixes. It’s popularity was enough that in the 1972 US Presidential election, thousands of people wrote in to vote for Harvey Wallbanger. There’s even a Harvey Wallbanger day – November 5th.
Here’s how you make one.
A Harvey Wallbanger
3 parts vodka
1 part Galliano
6 parts Orange Juice
Stir the vodka and orange juice together in a tall glass, then carefully float the Galliano on top. Garnish with a wedge of orange and serve.