The Weirdest Cocktail Name Explained

Why is it Called a Harvey Wallbanger?

The Harvey Wallbanger has an extremely funny name, and that should be a feat in its own right considering the ridiculous names given to some drinks. This cocktail is in essence a screwdriver—a combination of vodka and orange juice—with Galliano, a yellow liqueur, added to the mix. The drink was probably invented in the 50s by a world-champion mixologist by the name of Donato Antone. However, according to the legends it has a much different origin.

The stories say there was a dude named Harvey who liked to surf and he would drop into the bar for a couple of quick ones after work pretty much every day. Apparently the guy liked to add Galliano to his screwdriver and would sometimes stumble around the bar smashing into things, especially the wall. The legends say that the drink thereafter became known as a Harvey Wallbanger, quite literally because of Harvey’s drunken antics. It has become associated with the summer months, presumably because of the surfing connection.

The Harvey Wallbanger was wildly popular back in the 1970’s but disappeared for three plus decades as cocktails evolved. It’s making a bit of a comeback now and is finding its’ way back onto respectable drink menus around the country. Clearly, the origin of the drink is unique, the name is unique and if you order one in the near future – you’ll see the taste is unique too!


Video by: Howcast


1.25 oz Vodka
3 oz Orange juice
.5 oz Galliano L’Autentico
Garnish: Orange slice
Glass: Tall
Add the vodka and the orange juice to a tall glass filled with ice. Stir, and float the Galliano on top. Garnish with an orange slice.


You can make a close cousin of the Harvey Wallbanger, known as the Freddy Fudpucker, by using tequila instead of vodka.

Did You Know?
“Harvey Wallbanger” was a popular write-in vote during the 1968 presidential election.

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