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Old Fashioned Cocktails

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When was the Harvey Wallbanger Invented

The exact origin of the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail is uncertain and there are different stories about how it was invented. However, it is generally believed to have been created in the 1950s or 1960s.

One popular story attributes the cocktail’s invention to a California bartender named Donato “Duke” Antone. According to this story, Antone created the Harvey Wallbanger in the 1950s at his bar in Manhattan Beach, California. The cocktail was named after a surfer who frequented the bar and was known for banging into walls after having one too many drinks.

Another story attributes the cocktail’s invention to a New York City bartender named Harvey. According to this story, the cocktail was named after Harvey, who was a regular customer at a bar where the drink was first created.

Regardless of its origin, the Harvey Wallbanger became a popular cocktail in the 1970s, particularly among the disco crowd. It is made with vodka, orange juice, and Galliano liqueur, and is typically served in a tall glass with ice.

What You Need

orange juice
Liquore Galliano L’Autentico

How to Make a Harvey Wallbanger

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add the vodka and orange juice to the shaker.
  • Shake the mixture until it is well-chilled.
  • Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice.
  • Float the Galliano liqueur on top of the drink.
  • Garnish with an orange slice or wedge, if desired.

Tip For Making a Harvey Wallbanger

  • Use fresh-squeezed orange juice for the best flavor. If you don’t have fresh oranges, look for high-quality bottled orange juice without any added sugar.
  • Chill your ingredients and glassware beforehand. The cocktail should be served cold, so make sure your vodka and orange juice are well-chilled before mixing. You can also chill your highball glass in the freezer or fridge beforehand.
  • Shake the cocktail vigorously. To ensure that the ingredients are well-combined and the cocktail is properly chilled, shake the mixture vigorously in a cocktail shaker for at least 10-15 seconds.
  • Float the Galliano liqueur on top of the drink. To achieve the signature “float” of Galliano on top of the cocktail, pour it over the back of a spoon held just above the surface of the drink.
  • Experiment with the proportions to find your perfect balance of flavors. If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, you can adjust the ratio of orange juice to vodka, or add a little simple syrup. If you want a stronger drink, increase the amount of vodka.

Enjoy your Harvey Wallbanger and feel free to customize it to your taste preferences!

Frequently asked questions

What does Galliano liqueur taste like?

Galliano is a sweet, herbal liqueur with notes of anise, vanilla, and other botanicals. It has a distinct yellow color and is often used in cocktails to add depth and complexity of flavor.

Can I make a Harvey Wallbanger without Galliano liqueur?

While Galliano is an important ingredient in the Harvey Wallbanger, you could try substituting another sweet herbal liqueur or even triple sec. However, this will change the flavor profile of the cocktail.

How strong is a Harvey Wallbanger cocktail?

The strength of a Harvey Wallbanger depends on the amount of vodka used and the size of the cocktail. Typically, a Harvey Wallbanger contains 1 1/2 oz of vodka, which is about the same as a standard shot. The other ingredients, including the Galliano, orange juice, and ice, will dilute the cocktail somewhat.

What are some variations of the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail?

There are many variations of the Harvey Wallbanger that incorporate different flavors and ingredients. For example, some recipes call for adding a splash of grenadine or replacing the orange juice with grapefruit juice. Others may use flavored vodkas, such as vanilla or citrus, to add additional depth of flavor.

Old Fashioned Cocktails

Harvey Wallbanger

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 2 minutes

Harvey is said to be a surfer in California
He lost (and some say won) an important competition
So, he went to a bar to drink away his sorrows
He saw that the Galliano liqueur was shaped like a trophy
So he asked the bartender to put it in a screwdriver cocktail
The taste suited him, so he drank a lot of it
When he was leaving the bar, he couldn't even find the door
, and ran headlong into a wall
Since then, Harvey hit the wall has become his nickname
And the cocktail has become famous ever since.


  • 1½ oz vodka
  • orange juice refill
  • ½ oz Liquore Galliano L'Autentico


Fill a Colin glass with ice, stir to cool it down and strain the water, then add the vodka and the orange juice to an eighth full, stir well and pour over the Galliano, just float with the surface.

Did you make this recipe?

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About Robin Lee

Robin is author, photographer, and cocktail enthusiast. He has a passion for life, love of mixology, and enjoys exploring the great outdoors. Robin’s cocktails are both visually stunning and bursting with flavor. He’s always pushing the boundaries of mixology and loves to experiment with unique ingredients and techniques. With Robin’s guidance, you can learn the art of mixology and create cocktails that are sure to impress.

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