National Harvey Wallbanger Day is celebrated on November 8 every year. The day celebrates the alcoholic drink made with vodka, Galliano liqueur, and orange juice. The drink used to be quite popular in the 1970s, however, it can still be readily found on bar menus. It is quite easy to make at home too and you can always experiment with the type of liqueur or switch up the variety of orange. The day is celebrated by mixologists and everyone who enjoys a good drink. Harvey Wallbangers have also been referenced in various TV shows and films.
History of National Harvey Wallbanger Day
Legend has it that the drink was invented by mixologist Donato “Duke” Antone at the Blackwatch Bar on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, in 1952. He supposedly named the drink after a Manhattan Beach surfer named Harvey, or Tom Harvey, who would often visit his bar. The story goes that Harvey got tipsy after an evening of drinking, so much so that it was enough to make him bang into the wall upon his exit. This story is questionable as evidence shows that Antone was in Connecticut when the drink was supposedly invented! Another similar story claims that the drink was created at a bar called Pancho’s Bar in Manhattan Beach.
However, the drink did not gain in popularity until the 1970s, when George Bednar of McKesson Imports Company promoted it as a way to sell Galliano, which was a trademark of his company. In late 1969, Bill Young created a Harvey Wallbanger cartoon figure that was featured on posters and other forms of advertising. Some believe that Bednar used the story of Antone inventing the drink as a way to market the drink. Either way, this catapulted Galliano’s sales and it became the number one imported liqueur in America. Harvey Wallbangers were served on flights and also by Amtrak. The drink has since become a favorite amongst Americans. The 1982 American League pennant-winning Milwaukee Brewers were nicknamed “Harvey’s Wallbangers” after the team started hitting better. So, even though the origins of the drink are dubious, the stories associated with it are quite colorful!
National Harvey Wallbanger Day timeline
The Chinese ferment rice, grapes, honey, and millet in clay pots, making alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol, called spirits, is used largely for medicinal purposes.
America prohibits the manufacture, sale, import, and export of intoxicating liquors.
The illegal alcohol trade booms and so the prohibition is canceled.
National Harvey Wallbanger Day FAQs
Why do they call it a Harvey Wallbanger?
The drink made with vodka, orange juice, and Galliano was created by bartender Donato “Duke” Antone at his Los Angeles bar, the Blackwatch, for a surfer named Tom Harvey. Harvey supposedly got so drunk he started running into the walls, hence the drink’s name.
What does Galliano taste like?
Galliano liqueur is sweet with a very complex flavor. It has strong notes of vanilla and anise, and a subtler tone of juniper, peppermint, lavender, and cinnamon.
What is the recipe for a Harvey Wallbanger?
- One 1/2 oz (three parts) vodka
- 1/2 oz (one part) Galliano
- Three oz (six parts) fresh orange juice
National Harvey Wallbanger Day Activities
Raise your glass
Toast to a great cocktail invention. Celebrate National Harvey Wallbanger Day by enjoying a glass of the famous drink at your favorite bar.
You can also celebrate National Harvey Wallbanger Day by experimenting with your drink. Switch up the type of orange or replace Galliano liqueur with something else.
Try the non-alcoholic version
You can observe National Harvey Wallbanger Day even if you don’t drink. Replace the alcohol with soda or tonic water and enjoy the teetotal version of the drink.
5 Facts About Vodka That Will Blow Your Mind
Vodka can be gluten-free
Vodka made from corn or potatoes is gluten-free.
Vodka means ‘little water’
The word ‘vodka’ is the diminutive of the Russian word ‘voda’, which means water, so it means ‘little water’.
Vodka is a low-calorie alcohol
A shot of vodka contains only 90 calories.
Vodka comes in strange flavors
Bacon, PB&J, and blueberry pancake are only some of the strange flavors that vodka is available in.
It’s good for your skin
Applying diluted vodka to your skin can make it firm and spotless.
Why We Love National Harvey Wallbanger Day
It’s an American favorite
Harvey Wallbanger is one of America’s favorite drinks. That’s reason enough to celebrate the day.
It’s a day to spend with friends
National Harvey Wallbanger Day means you get to hang out with your friends. Spend quality time together enjoying drinks.
People celebrate National Harvey Wallbanger Day because it’s fun. The drink is delicious, the stories associated with it are funny, and now the drink is a star of many shows and movies.
National Harvey Wallbanger Day dates