The Harvey Wallbanger is so simple, and thanks to a great name, it’s become a modern classic cocktail. Don’t forget that one ingredient that lifts this orange juice and vodka cocktail recipe to its heights!
The story of the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail recipe goes back to the early 1970s. we really don’t know when it was invented, although Duke Anton, a famous bartender at the Blackwatch Bar in the Golden State (California) claimed it as his own.
It was most likely invented in the boardroom. The now infamous George Bednar, working for McKesson Imports company, was given the job of shifting the relatively unknown herbal Italian liqueur, Galliano L’Autentico. So like any good marketer, he invented a simple three ingredient cocktail and created a perfect advertising campaign around it.
According to Wine Enthusiast magazine, “the drink is named for Tom Harvey, a Manhattan Beach surfer, California. Supposedly, after too many bad days on the waves, Harvey consoled himself with so many Galliano-spiked screwdrivers that he staggered into the walls.” Who knows if this is true – but it makes a great story!
Galliano liqueur might have been a staple in Italy, but it’s original recipe of vanilla and herbs had yet to make it in the USA. Only float Galliano on the classic Screwdriver cocktail and the rest is history!
What goes into a Harvey Wallbanger?
- Vodka: Although you can use regular vodka for this recipe, if you prefer a strong citrusy flavor, you can also use citron vodka.
- Orange juice: I only use fresh orange juice. Of course, you can use pre-made orange juice as well.
- Galliano l’Autentico: You can’t make the Harvey Wallbanger recipe without this gorgeous, sweet herbal liqueur.
- Orange slice or Lime Slice: Garnish this drink with an orange slice or lime slice, orange peel, orange twists, or maraschino cherry for a pop of color.
What tools you need to make Harvey Wallbanger
Here is how you can make this simple drink effortlessly:
- Step 1: Start by filling your tall glass with ice cubes.
- Step 2: Pour the fresh orange juice into the glass.
- Step 3: Add the vodka.
- Step 4: Now add Galliano by slowly pouring it over the back of a spoon or a bar spoon. This way, it creates a layer on top!
- Step 5: Garnish the drink with a fresh lime slice and serve! Bottom’s up!
- 🍸Top Tip(le): Here are some variations to the Harvey Wallbanger
- Gin: You can replace vodka with gin as well.
- Lime juice: Add a hint of lime juice to adjust the sweetness of this drink.
Where to find more vodka recipes
Here are a few of my favorites:
- The classic of classics: The Classic Gin Martini
- The super popular: The Espresso Martini
- James Bond’s go-to Martini: The Vodka Martini
- Try the Vesper Martini if you love Vermouth
- The Naughty Porn Star Martini
- The Martini of the Moment: The Gibson Martini
- My absolute fave: The Dirty Martini
Plus more orange juice recipes here
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Where to find ingredients for Harvey Wallbanger cocktails
Here is the recipe!
- 1 ½ oz vodka
- 3 oz orange juice
- ½ oz Galliano L’Autentico
- Orange slice
- Add the vodka and orange juice to a highball glass filled with ice
- Add the Galliano on top by pouring it slowly over the back of a bar spoon to layer it
- Garnish with the orange slice
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