History and background
Many bartenders consider the Harvey Wallbanger to be the cocktail that does the most justice to the herbal liqueur Galliano. This legendary cocktail with just three ingredients has been served around the world for decades and remains incredibly popular today. In the 1970s, it was one of the most popular cocktails in America. The origins of this cocktail are not known for sure but one legend takes us to the American surfing paradise of California in the 1950s.
Tom Harvey was a famous surfer, a local hero if you will. The story goes that he strolled onto Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills one evening looking to quench his thirst. His favourite cocktail was a mix of vodka, orange juice and a dash of Galliano. Here,the legend splits into two versions. The first version has him walking along the Boulevard, a surfboard under his arm. Outside of every bar he went to, he banged his surfboard against the wall to let the bartender know he wanted his usual Harvey Wallbanger cocktail. The second version tells of a difficult day in his surfing career after which he drowned his sorrows in Harvey Wallbanger after Harvey Wallbanger. As it always goes when you try to drink your problems away, Harvey became more and more angry at himself the more he drank and started banging his head against the wall – hence, the Harvey Wallbanger.
Flavour Harvey Wallbanger cocktail
The Harvey Wallbanger is an uncomplicated cocktail, an easy drinker with a Screwdriver as the basic recipe, i.e. Bols Vodka and orange juice. When you add Galliano L’Autentico liqueur, the cocktail becomes a whole lot more interesting. In addition to a hint of sweetness, Galliano provides a nice, smooth flavour of vanilla, aniseed and other herbs and spices. It's a delicious cocktail. So much so, that there's an official international Harvey Wallbanger Day on the 8th of November!
Variation 2: Infusing vodka
There's one sacred part of the Harvey Wallbanger that is irreplaceble: that's the Galliano L’Autentico. However, if you want to add more herbal notes to the Harvey Wallbanger, it's nice to experiment with infusing your Bols Vodka. The infusion method capitalises on the fact that the fast-moving alcohol molecules can easily penetrate the cell walls of herbs, vegetables and fruit, where the flavour molecules are found. The alcohol draws the flavour out of the ingredient that is being infused. For example, you can use this method to infuse Bols Vodka with a vanilla flavour. You do need a bit of patience to infuse vodka with vanilla. Place two vanilla pods into a bottle of vodka and allow it to infuse for around six weeks. Bob's your uncle! Mint infuses faster. You only need to let it sit for 24 hours, and with cucumber it's just one hour. Tea is another great ingredient to infuse. And you only need to leave it for an hour. A Harvey Wallbanger variation with Earl Grey-infused Bols Vodka tastes delicious and is a unique, yet simple version to make at a party.
Variation 3: Herbs
The orange juice in the Harvey Wallbanger makes up a large component of the cocktail. Preferably use freshly squeezed orange juice in the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail. However, sometimes it's easier, when mixing at home, to grab a bottle of orange juice. If you're going to do this, choose the one with the least amount of sugar so the Harvey Wallbanger doesn’t become too sweet. If you want to give your Harvey Wallbanger an interesting twist, blend some fresh mint in your orange juice. The flavour of the mint combines well with the aniseed and vanilla notes in the Galliano L’Autentico and the Bols Vodka.