The Harvey Wallbanger is a modern classic cocktail that was reportedly born in the 1950s, when it was first prepared by California bartender Donato “Duke” Antone. It’s basically a Screwdriver with the addition of Galliano, an Italian liqueur.
The Harvey Wallbanger may have been invented in the ’50s (although that origin is debated), but it didn’t become a runaway sensation until the early 1970s. An import company’s marketing director, George Bednar, created an ad campaign that helped the drink fly off shelves as customers began to order it by name.
Galliano is made with vanilla and a medley of herbs and spices, including star anise, juniper, lavender and cinnamon. It clocks in at 42.3% alcohol-by-volume, so it’s no slouch in the booze department, which means it doesn’t get lost in drinks. Still, most people know Galliano more for its tall, slender, bright yellow bottle than its flavor. But with its distinct taste, even small amounts can transform a cocktail. That’s evident in the Harvey Wallbanger, which is notably different from the Screwdriver despite the scant half ounce of Galliano used in the drink.
The Harvey Wallbanger is a breeze to put together. You don’t even need a shaker; just build it right in the glass. The vodka and orange juice go in first, and the Galliano is floated on top. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry, and you can channel the golden days of disco.
- 1 1/4 ounces vodka
- 1/2 ounce Galliano L'Autentico liqueur
- 3 ounces orange juice, freshly squeezed
- Garnish: orange slice
- Garnish: maraschino cherry
Fill a tall glass with ice, then add the vodka and orange juice and stir.
Float the Galliano on top.
Garnish with a skewered orange slice and maraschino cherry.