Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on September 4, 2023

The Harvey Wallbanger is one of the easy-to-make, fruity three-ingredient cocktails.
Harvey Wallbanger cocktail

The Harvey Wallbanger recipe is considered a modern classic cocktail and a riff on the Screwdriver. It is a Highball cocktail made of vodka, Galliano, and orange juice. 

Quick Facts Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail

  • Method: built in glass
  • Flavor profile: slightly sour, fruity
  • How to serve it: over ice
  • Best glassware: Highball glass
  • Alcohol content: ~ 15% ABV, 19.5 grams of alcohol per serving

Adding just one ingredient to the base recipe of vodka and oranges already improves the quality of the original. Half an ounce of Galliano liqueur is enough to bring a symphony of herbal notes with a slight taste of vanilla into the Harvey Wallbanger Drink.

Harvey Wallbanger cocktail

Classic Harvey Wallbanger Recipe

A twist on the classic Screwdriver that incorporates Galliano liqueur.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: galliano, vodka
Servings: 1
Calories: 176kcal
Cost: $2.30


  • 1 Jigger
  • 1 Bar spoon


  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 3 oz Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 0.5 oz Galliano liqueur
  • 1 Orange slice - (for garnish)
  • 1 Maraschino cherry


  • Fill a Highball glass with ice, then add Vodka and orange juice.
    1.5 oz Vodka, 3 oz Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Stir until the ingredients are well-mixed.
  • Float Galliano on top and garnish with a slice of orange and a Maraschino cherry.
    0.5 oz Galliano liqueur, 1 Orange slice, 1 Maraschino cherry


Serving: 5.25ozCalories: 176kcalCarbohydrates: 11.6gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSodium: 7.5mgPotassium: 165.5mgSugar: 10.7gVitamin C: 50mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Ingredients & Tips for the Harvey Wallbanger

To make a perfect Harvey Wallbanger cocktail, you need freshly squeezed orange juice, vodka, and Galliano. 

  • Vodka: To keep it short and sweet: you can use any of your favorite brands. -Only, it should be of decent quality. If you don't have one, our standard choice here is Absolut.
  • Orange juice: To get a drink that deserves the name cocktail, you should squeeze the orange juice from fresh, ripe fruits.
  • The third element -Galliano: This is a traditional Italian liqueur with an intense and distinct flavor, just shy of 43% ABV. It is of bright yellow color and carries notes of herbs and vanilla.

Best Practices

The Harvey Wallbanger is an easy-to-make drink. Unfortunately, this often leads to a lack of effort when mixing it. So, as always with cocktails, we cannot stress enough that freshly squeezed juice is an absolute must. 

With orange juice being the main component in this recipe, it's even more important. -With juice from concentrate, not even the best Harvey Wallbanger recipe will deliver the desired result.

Further, make sure all ingredients are chilled properly. You can keep vodka and Galliano in the freezer and the orange juice in the fridge (in case you squeeze it some time ahead of mixing your drink).

Harvey Wallbanger Variation

The Screwdriver is the closest relative and suffers from the same fate in terms of the lack of attention to detail: it's usually packed orange juice made from concentrate and odd ratios. 

Then there's a more elaborate version of the Harvey Wallbanger because (even with fresh juice), the original recipe still lacks a little body and balance. If you want to improve that, consider adding 0.2oz rich simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water) and two dashes of cocktail bitters to the drink. 

Harvey Wallbanger vs. Screwdriver Cocktail

The difference between the Harvey Wallbanger and the Screwdriver Cocktail is that the first calls for a third ingredient: Galliano liqueur. Also, the measurements of the two elements they have in common - vodka & orange juice - can vary depending on the recipe.

The Harvey Wallbanger tastes a little more complex and a little less sweet, thanks to the herbal notes of Galliano. 

By the way, in the 1970s, this recipe was a popular order in discos. However, it was invented quite sometime before that. So let's have a closer look at Harvey Wallbanger's history.

Origin of the Harvey Wallbanger Recipe

As the legend goes, Donato "Duke" Antone developed the drink in 1952. Antone had been a prominent mixologist and was a three-time world champion. 

The story goes that his Harvey Wallbanger creation got its name from surfer Tom Harvey who was a regular guest at Antone's "Blackwatch Bar" in Los Angeles. Allegedly, he lost a competition, entered the bar, ordered a drink and banged his head against the wall out of frustration.

However, spirits writer Robert Simonson did look closer into this topic and couldn't find any evidence backing the claim above. In fact, he could not even find any historical record mentioning the "Blackwatch Bar" in Los Angeles. 

In addition, Simonson found that Donato Antone had been living in Hartford, Connecticut, during the time in question -quite the distance from LA. So, the roots of the drink remain uncertain.

Galliano Helped Promoting the Recipe

George Bednar played a crucial role in making the Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail popular. During the 70s, Bednar was marketing and sales director at McKesson Imports company. The company also imported Galliano, the key component of the drink. 

Bednar's efforts were crucial in promoting the cocktail and Galliano liqueur, making it one of the most famous drinks of that time. The campaign was a tremendous success. Due to his smart marketing activities, the drink flew off the shelves. 

Bednar even created one of the drink's famous taglines. It goes: "Harvey Wallbanger is the name. And I can be made!".

Related Cocktails

If you want to try more cocktails made with Galliano and discover its unique taste in different ways, how about these:

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