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Monday, November 8, 2010

Hey Bro, It's Harvey Wallbanger Day

Posted By on Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 3:11 PM

At this year's Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, the Harvey Wallbanger (right) went  up against Sex on the Beach. The Wallbanger came out on top. - EDITOR B/FLICKR
  • Editor B/Flickr
  • At this year's Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, the Harvey Wallbanger (right) went up against Sex on the Beach. The Wallbanger came out on top.

Classic cocktails from the 19th to early 20th centuries ― like the Sazerac ― have become standards on Bay Area bar menus. They're quickly being joined by their opposites, unfussy, accessible cocktails from the 1960s and '70s. The champion of the movement is the Harvey Wallbanger, a simple yet surprisingly tasty drink, basically a screwdriver dressed up with Galliano, a bright yellow Italian herbal liqueur made with juniper, anise, mint, and vanilla.

Given the reformulation of Galliano back to its original recipe (higher alcohol, less vanilla, more restrained sweetness) and since that today happens to be National Harvey Wallbanger Day, you have every reason to try one (again). Burritt Room is serving up a whisky variation, while both Thermidor and Hog and Rocks plan to mix up the originals all day.

The exact origin of the drink is a little sketchy (as most stories involving memory and liquor are), but the tale goes that after losing a competition, a surfer named Harvey kept drinking the combination of vodka, OJ, and Galliano until he couldn't walk without running into a wall. We don't know how the Freddy Fudpucker ― a tequila variation of the drink ― got its name, but we're pretty sure that started off with a few Harvey Wallbangers.

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.

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