National Harvey Wallbanger Day on November 8th recognizes a fruity and spirited cocktail made with 3 parts vodka, 1 part Galliano and 6 parts orange juice. Pour it into a highball glass and garnish it with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

In 1968 at a chili tasting in San Diego, hosts served Harvey Wallbangers along with a story explaining the cocktail’s origin. According to the story, all that remained of a Laguna Beach party included vodka, Galliano, and orange juice. When the party-goers left, Harvey remained, banging his head against the wall.

Donato ‘Duke’ Antone

However, accepted lore three-time-world-champion bartender, Donato ‘Duke’ Antone, deserves the credit for the cocktail’s invention. He operated Duke’s Blackwatch Bar on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Over the years, Antone collected quite a few credits for famous beverages. As a bartender, his resume was impressive – inventor of the Rusty Nail, White Russian, and Flaming Russian. According to the bartending wizard, in 1952, a surfer named Tony Wallbanger inspired the cocktail. Perhaps, the party in Laguna Beach is a version of Antone’s. However, no one has been able to identify the inspirational surfer.

Harvey Wallbanger remained a quiet little secret in the San Diego area until around 1968. Then George Bednar, a marketing director for McKesson Imports Company (the maker of Galliano), joined up with graphic artist Bill Young. Their marketing campaign launched a Harvey Wallbanger character that exploded into commercial popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Harvey Wallbanger is the name and I can be made! ~ 1969 Galliano marketing slogan

The drink’s name became a metaphor to describe someone who goofs off or makes mistakes. When politicians or sports figures find themselves in compromising positions, they may earn the name Harvey Wallbanger. And it’s also interesting to note that voters write in Harvey Wallbanger at election time.

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HOW TO OBSERVE #HarveyWallbangerDay

Call some of your friends to get together. Meet them at your local bar, and everyone orders a Harvey Wallbanger. Raise your glasses and toast a Happy National Harvey Wallbanger Day!!  (Remember always to drink responsibly and never to drink and drive). Use #HarveyWallbangerDay to post on social media.