November 8th is National Harvey Wallbanger Day, and we’re going to help you bang one out after a little history on this rather interesting name.
What Is National Harvey Wallbanger Day?
A story circulating at a chili tasting in 1968 in San Diego where Harvey Wallbangers were served explained the origin of the cocktail as the result of a party in Laguna Beach where the only remaining supplies were vodka, Galliano and orange juice. When the party goers left, Harvey remained, banging his head against the wall.
However, accepted lore credits the invention of the cocktail to the three-time-world-champion bartender, Donato ‘Duke’ Antone who operated Duke’s Blackwatch Bar on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Antone over the years collected quite a few credits for famous beverages. The bartender’s resume’ speaks volumes as the inventor of the Rusty Nail, White Russian and Flaming Russian. According to the bartending wizard, in 1952, a surfer named Tony Wallbanger inspired the cocktail. Perhaps, the party in Laguna Beach is a version of the Antone’s, but no one has been able to identify the inspirational surfer.
Harvey Wallbanger remained a quiet little secret in the San Diego area until around 1968 when William Young and George Bednar launched him (or it) onto the international scene. Marketing director for McKesson Imports Company (maker of Galliano), Bednar alongside graphic artist Bill Young, developed a successful marketing campaign around the Harvey Wallbanger character that exploded in late 1969 and the early 1970s.
“Harvey Wallbanger is the name and I can be made!” – 1969 Galliano marketing slogan.
With it’s interesting origin and colorful past, the Harvey Wallbanger deserves a spot in your list of easy to make cocktails.
Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail
- Shake the vodka and orange juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Strain contents of shaker into an ice-filled highball glass.
- Pour Galliano on top.
- Garnish with orange wedge and serve.