Today (11.08) is National Harvey Wallbanger Day! If the holiday sounds like a marketing play from Galliano, that because it probably is. However, the Wallbanger is delicious and we’re happy for any excuses to drink one (or three.) Fortunately, a host of bars nationwide will be offering drink deals on the classic tonight.
Some watering holes like Mandarin Hide in St. Petersburg, Florida and Mini Bar in Hollywood, California are offering the cocktail at a special price. Others like Poor Red’s in El Dorado, CA are serving up multiple takes on the lively libation. Of course, Bobby Heugel’s Anvil will also be mixing the recipe the provided much needed light during Houston’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey.
The Harvey Wallbanger was the epitome of the Fern Bar Era, brightly colored, easy to make, and easier to drink. Essentially, a riff on the Screwdriver, the Banger was inspired by a Manhattan Beach, California surfer named Harvey according to legend. The story goes that after a bad wave day at a surfing competition, ol’Harvey got himself so tanked on the concoctions that he drunkenly walked into the bar’s wall over and over again. Truth be damned, the tale was embraced and the cocktail enjoyed great popularity into the 70’s. In fact, “the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail became so popular that the character got 1500 write-in votes in the 1972 presidential election, the most all-time for a write-in candidate,” explained Galliano Brand Manager Tanya Cohn.
However, drinks of this sort garnered a stigma of shame and all but disappeared during the first waves of the Cocktail Renaissance. Then, in the 20-teens, the fun and refreshing appeal of the Wallbanger was embraced as a foil to the formality of the previous decade. “These days, we’re seeing bartenders playing with the Harvey Wallbanger by using different spirits like mezcal or whiskey as a base or, as is the case with #Hashtag in Denver, serving up frozen Harvey Wallbangers,” noted Cohn.
Regardless of your hometown, there is ample opportunity to sip on a Harvey Wallbanger tonight. Check out the list of events below…
- #HashTAG (Denver, CO) Fro-J cocktail with Tito’s vodka, fresh squeezed orange juice, sunny delight, Galliano L’Autentico; serving at 70’s throwback prices for the day ($3)
- Buffalo & Bergen at Union Market (Washington DC) – Harvey Wallbanger
- Mandarin Hide (St. Petersberg, FL) – Harvey Wallbanger ($6)
- Whitechapel (San Francisco) – Hippie Wallbanger ($14)
- Poor Red’s (El Dorado, CA [Sacramento]) – Three twists on the Harvey Wallbanger based on mezcal, gin, and rye ($8); traditional Harvey Wallbanger ($7)
- The Kitchen Step (Jersey City, NJ) – Harvey Wallbanger
- The Rising (Cambridge, MA) – Harvey Wallbanger
- Harbor Bar & Grill (Metarie, LA [New Orleans]) – Harvey Wallbanger ($7)
- Mini Bar (Hollywood) – Harvey Wallbanger ($15)
- Hand in Hand (Atlanta) – Harvey Wallbanger ($8)
- Screwdriver Bar (Seattle) – Three twists on the Harvey Wallbanger based on mezcal, gin, and rye ($10); traditional Harvey Wallbanger ($12)
- Anvil (Houston) – Harvey Wallbanger ($9-12)
- The Honeywell (New York City) – Superfly Swizzle ($13)