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Everything Old is New and Improved

Harvey Wallbanger

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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. 



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  • User avater
    CamperEnglish | 11/01/2010

    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.

  • BryanSchneider | 10/30/2010

    Tipsy Texan- someone is selling a huge bottle of the giant galliano bottle here-
    Hope that helps to confirm rumors.

  • gazregan | 10/26/2010

    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"?

  • User avater
    Cocktailgogo | 10/25/2010

    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

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