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Harvey Wallbanger

Harvey Wallbanger

  • Harvey Wallbanger
  • Galliano LAutentico
  • Harvey Wallbanger

By Camper English, contributor

October 22nd, 2010


Due in part to the liquor companies telling us their formulas have never changed throughout their several-hundred year histories, many people believe liquor flavors never change throughout their histories. That’s just not true, but it’s not always a bad thing.  

You remember Galliano, of course, the liqueur that was in the Harvey Wallbanger and was trendy a few decades ago. It comes in the inconveniently-tall bottle and is made with 30 herbs and spices including anise, juniper, peppermint, and vanilla. (Galliano was also in the Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against a Wall, but perhaps that’s a drink best forgotten.) After its popularity waned, the brand owner changed Galliano’s formulation, upping the amount of vanilla and lowering the amount of alcohol. Most bartenders would say it was not an improvement. 

A couple of years ago, they changed the formula again and decided to call it Galliano L’Autentico. Naturally they claim it is now made according to the original recipe. Whether that is true or not is no matter: The stuff is tasty and the anise and other flavors aren't dominated by the vanilla.

Galliano and the Harvey Wallbanger were brought to my attention again recently by Martin Cate, the bar owner we profiled for a recent story on tiki cocktails in Fine Cooking magazine. Cate has taken to studying the history of the circa-1970’s “fern bar” best exemplified by the Regal Beagle on the television show Three’s Company, and he serves the Wallbanger at his seminars.

It is surprisingly tasty when fresh orange juice and the new Galliano are used. And the best part is you no longer have to go to a fern bar to have one.  


Harvey Wallbanger

4 fl. oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1.5 fl. oz. Vodka
.75 fl. oz. Galliano L’Autentico

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and pour contents into a Collins or juice glass. 


posted in: Blogs, drinks, cocktails, camper english, vodka, harvey wallbanger, galliano
Comments (9)

CamperEnglish writes: gaz- I always heard that it was the "Sloe Comfortable Screw" that would become "Up Against a Wall" if you added Galliano to it. It has vodka and OJ in it, so add some Galliano and you've got a more Wallbanger-esque drink. Posted: 8:44 pm on October 31st

BryanSchneider writes: Tipsy Texan- someone is selling a huge bottle of the giant galliano bottle here-
Hope that helps to confirm rumors. Posted: 6:38 am on October 30th

gazregan writes: Damn it, Camper! I was just going to write about this. I actually believe that the new bottling is the original formula, or at least its the formula they were using prior to upping the vanilla. Galliano is now owned by Bols, and they seem to be a reliable company with good ethics.

I'll link to this in Thursday's newsletter, but meanwhile, do you know why that drink was called "up against the wall"? Posted: 5:54 am on October 26th

Cocktailgogo writes: So simple and totally tasty.

A word on fresh-squeezed orange juice: Do it when you can get good oranges, but tasty, sweet ones aren't always easy to get, especially in Fall and Spring. In Summer you can get them from Chile and in Winter you can get them from Florida, but don't be afraid to use Odwalla if you strike out, it's not perfect but it's often a lot better than what you can get from your store.

TraderTiki: A Galliano float is "against the wall" because that's where they always kept the tall bottle, right?

How about a Naked Girl Scout Against the Wall? :D Posted: 7:40 pm on October 25th

TipsyTexan writes: A am an unrepentant fan of Galliano. When I first got the bottle of the "authentic" formulation, I went binging on Galliano drinks, much to the chagrin of my cocktail colleagues, who were mostly still nursing those decade-old bottles they had since their bars opened.

There is a Galliano rumor that I would love for someone to confirm or dismiss: a friend of mine claims that in the heyday of the fern bar, Galliano made a 1.75 l bottle. Given the already ridiculous proportions of their standard bottle, the natural conclusion is that this bottle would be obnoxiously long. My friend insists that it was so big it was toted around horizontally in the dining room, cradled in a custom basket with handles, and that the ritual of "floating" the Galliano tableside was part of the performance at a restaurant he worked at, and required two people to execute. Anybody want to ship me one of these vintage Galliano obelisks? I would greatly appreciate it! Posted: 4:15 pm on October 25th

cocktailnerd writes: I wonder if they're going to phase out the non-L'Autentico version over time. It seems to me there are enough vanilla-heavy liqueurs on the shelf (Tuaca, Licor 43) or have been released in the past decade or so (Navan) that putting itself in a less crowded category might be useful.

I agree that I'd like to see more specifics around changes made to liqueur recipes when they are reformulated or regress to an "original" formulation.

Posted: 1:46 pm on October 25th

ColonelTiki writes: I'm glad Martin is finally getting around to promoting Fern Bars and their history: He's been talking about it forever!

How does the new(old) formula compare to say, Strega?
Posted: 1:01 pm on October 25th

LushAngeles writes: Hehe, I've got a drink incentive at one of the bars I visit: anytime someone orders a Harvey Wallbanger within earshot of me, I buy that drink. Posted: 11:22 am on October 25th

TraderTiki writes: Brilliant!

It'd be great to have even more transparency from liquor companies when they talk about re-formulating, or in this case, de-re-formulating.

One of the few ideas that remains from my first stint at bartending school was the idea that a float of Galliano was "Against the wall". Sex on the Beach against the wall? There have to be a few more drink names made funnier. Posted: 11:14 am on October 25th

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