National Harvey Wallbanger Day

Happy National Harvey Wallbanger Day!

Today, November 8, is National Harvey Wallbanger Day. Celebrate by digging out that dusty bottle of Galliano from the liquor cabinet, mixing up a Wallbanger and toasting to a drunken surfer.

harvey wallbanger

Essentially a screwdriver with a splash of Galliano (a liqueur of yellowish hue and sugared herbal notes) theHarvey Wallbanger has a murky pedigree with many versions of its history.  What we know for sure is that it was one of the original party drinks of the 1970s. So get in touch with your hippie side, pull out those bell-bottoms and brush up that ‘fro.  Bottoms up to this classic drink.

The Real Story:

The Harvey Wallbanger was the brainchild of a 1970s Galliano marketing team who needed a cocktail recipe that would put their product on the map in the United States. They devised a party kit complete with a cartoon character named Harvey Wallbanger and a drinking game. The point was; you guessed it– to bang into the wall. Galliano extended their success in marketing by promoting with the Trans World Airlines and placing the Harvey Wallbanger as a featured cocktail on board their flights.

Presidential Elect?

Can we say scandal? The Harvey Wallbanger was not just a popular cocktail, but also a cultural icon. In the much-maligned presidential election of 1972, there were thousands of write-in votes for Mr. Harvey Wallbanger, obviously not a real candidate but a funny story to be sure.

Here are some other variations of the history of the Harvey Wallbanger

Fiction or Fact?

The drink was supposedly named after a California surfer--Harvey--who liked this concoction so much that he had way too many and ran into a few walls, of water and the Harvey Wallbanger was born or so they say…

Fiction or Fact?

This drink was created as one of those "all I have in the bar…" drinks. Supposedly, a host of a party in the mid 60's had only vodka, orange juice and Galliano available. After a couple of these drinks a guest named Harvey was found to be banging his head against the wall and cursing the drink that caused him his misery. As such, the Harvey Wallbanger was born.

Harvey Wallbanger cocktail

Fiction or Fact?

Legend has it that a 1950s California surfer favored the drink and, one day after losing a pivotal surfing contest, walked into his usual Manhattan Beach watering hole, ordered his drink, and banged his head against the wall from the agony of defeat. His name was Harvey – and there you have it.

The Harvey Wallbanger was one of the hippest drinks of the 1970s. It was as easy to make, as it was to drink and had a fun name. Delicious and popular, the Harvey Wallbanger now has several inspired variations.

  • Harvey Wallbanger – 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 4 oz. orange juice, 1/2 oz. Galliano.  In a highball glass almost filled with ice, combine vodka and orange juice. Float Galliano (pour slowly over the back of a spoon) on top and garnish with orange slice.
  • The Wally Harbanger – 1 part bourbon or whisky 1 part lemon juice 1/2 part Galliano 1-teaspoon simple syrup Mix all ingredients with crushed ice in a shaker. Serve in a highball glass, garnished with a sprig of mint.
  • The Freddy Fudpucker – 1 part tequila 1/2 part Galliano 4 parts orange juice. Combine the tequila and orange juice in a cocktail shaker and blend briefly. Strain over ice into a highball glass, and float the Galliano on top. Garnish with an orange slice.

harvey wallbanger recipe

Despite its incredible notoriety, the fate of The Harvey Wallbanger follows that of many other popular cocktails from another era. It’s rarely ordered now, and most people would be hard-pressed to remember the ingredients. Revive one today.


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