Harvey What?! The Harvey Wallbanger is a glorified Screwdriver. Not to say it isn’t delicious because it is.
It’s origins are speculated by many but really unknown.
Three-time world champ mixologist, Donato Duke Antone claims to have invented this drink in 1952. He named the drink after a surfer, Tom Harvey, who frequented his bar, the now-defunct Black Watch Bar in Los Angeles.
Or perhaps it was George Bednar, an employee of McKesson’s Imports Company, who promoted Galliano. Bednar hired an artist, possibly one, Bill Young, to design a surfer caricature with the slogan, Harvey Wallbanger is the name. And I can be made!”. They also promoted another slogan, “Fond of things Italiano? Try a sip of Galliano.”
Lucky for whoever invented it, the drink caught on for beach goers.
An interesting tidbit of information, not necessarily related to the Harvey Wallbanger, finds John McKesson and Charles Olcott as the founders of McKesson’s in 1833 New York City. It began in the production of therapeutic drugs and chemicals then merged in the 1960’s, introducing alcoholic beverages, drugs and chemicals.
In 1988, an article announced that McKesson’s would cease the production of alcohol and would maintain their pharmaceutical-only status.
In my opinion, the Harvey Wallbanger is the perfect example of the naming of wild cocktails during the psychelic era.
What Makes The Wallbanger So Different?
The one ingredient that makes this drink different from a Screwdriver is Galliano, a vanilla-anise flavoured Italian liqueur now owned by Lucas Bols.
If there’s anise in it, wouldn’t it taste like licorice? Well, the vanilla prevents the strong taste of anise to take over the liqueur. Like most popular liquors and liqueurs, the company protects its secret ingredients. Galliano is no different. The only spicing they divulge is Mediterranean Anise, Juniper, Musk Yarrow, Star Anise, Lavender, Peppermint, Cinnamon and Vanilla.
With the distillery situated in the Netherlands, Bols International is still run by the Bols family. Their first liqueur, in 1575, a blend of cumin, cardamom and orange was produced in the small Amsterdam distillery called tlootsje.
Lucas Bols, the grandson of the founder, played a key role in growing the company by shipping their product all over the world.
The design of their bottle is distinctively unique and ergonomic for bartenders to pour from.
In 2007, Bols opened their doors to those who wished to learn the craft and for tours. They offer courses, seminars and contests to bartenders and consumers. Visit their website for some cool how-to videos too!
The Official Harvey Wallbanger
- 2 ounces vodka
- 4 ounces orange juice, freshly squeezed is best
- 3/4 ounce Galliano
Over ice, pour the vodka and juice. Float the Galliano over the back of a spoon.
Other drinks made with Galliano:
Galliano + root beer
Galliano + bourbon + bitters (orange or angostura)
Golden Russian: Galliano + vodka + lime juice
Titanic: Galliano + vodka + blue curacao + dry vermouth
A layered shot called Tummy Boom: Galliano + Campari (campari on the bottom)
I’m quite partial to The Kim: Galliano + triple sec + brandy + sugar
I know what my next liquor purchase will be so I can make some of these great looking cocktails!
Enjoy your Harvey Wallbanger! Cheers!
Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on November 8, 2017