Harvey Wallbanger cocktails burst on the American scene in 1968. The general locus of origin is southern California. Harvey personnified the newly emerging youth drinking market. The Harvey Wallbanger cake surfaced in 1973.
The “classic” legend:
“An apocryphal tale surrounds the origins of the name of this well-known cocktail. Harvey was the name of a surfer who wiped out wildly in surf championship and then soothed his wounded ego by drinking too much vodka and Galliano at Pancho’s Bar, Manhattan Beach, California. At which point he banged his head against the wall…This was in the 1960s when Smirnoff was in the midst of creating a young market for vodka in the USA, so whether it is a true tale or an urban myth–who knows?”
—Classic Cocktails, Salvatore Calabrese [Sterling Publishing Co.:New York] 1997 (p. 120)
“‘A Harvey Wallbanger…consists of two shots of vodka, one shot of Galliano (an Italian liqueur) ice and orange juice. As to its origin, there was supposed to be a guy in Laguna Beach who ran out of everything at a party except vodka, Galliano and orange juice. When everybody left, Harvey was banging his head against the wall.'”
—“Ninety Chili Aficionados Chow Down,” Los Angeles Times, August 22, 1968 (p. I14)
“The Yodeler, Home of the Original Harvey Wallbanger.”
—display ad, The Yodeler Restaurant, Mammoth Mountain Ski Rsport, Mammoth Lakes, California, Los Angeles Times, March 2, 1971 (p. I23)
“Special promotions help some alcoholic beverages. Having created the Harvey Wallbanger drink (orange juice, vodka, Galliano) over a year ago, McKesson Liquor Co. keeps plugging it with gimmicks such as Harvey Wallbanger T-shirts. As a result, McKesson says Galliano liqueur sales are up 40% this year.”
—“Business Briefs: A Special Background Report on Trends in Industry and Finance,” Wall Street Journal, December 23, 1971 (p. 1)
“In real life, a Harvey Wallbanger is a cocktail. In legend, a Harvey Wallbanger is any person who has mastered the noble art of the foul up.”
—“Goof of the Year,” John Hall, Los Angles Times, August 1, 1972 (p. F3)
“The Harvey Wallbanger trophy is up for grabs. More precisely, it is the Harvey Wallbanger Sports Goof Trophy, already the favorite is obvious. Vice Presisdent Agnew is one of six nominees for the award. Indeed, the very first Harvey Wallbanger award will probably be his after the ballot from…Sports Illustated…In Agnew’s cakse, however, the Harvey Wallbanger ballot does not make clear which of his fauz pas qualifies him. He has been nominated on a number of them, which makes him such a strong candidate.”
—“On Today’s Scene: It’s Not Easy to Vote Against Agnew,” William Gildea, Washington Post, Times Herald, April 3, 1971 (p. C1)
[NOTE: “Goof of the Year,” John Hall, Los Angeles Times, August 1, 1972 (p. F3)confirms Mr. Agnew won the 1971 “award.”]
“In the early 1970s, the makers of Galliano liquer decided to promote their product by suggesting it be mixed with vodka and orange juice to make a new drink: The Harvey Wallbanger. As a part of the advertising campaign the company created a fictional surfer by the same name. Today, reputable cocktail books duly note that the drink was named after a Californian named Harvey who tended to bang into walls after having had a few too many.”
—“Through a Glass, Darkly,” William Grimes New York Times, August 25, 1991 (p. SM14)
Harvey Wallbanger Cake
1 box orange cake mix (about 18 1/2 oz.)
1 box (3 3/4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 oz. Liquore Galliano
1 oz. Vodka
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbl. Liquore Galliano
1 tbl. orange juice
1 tsp. Vodka
Combine cake mix and pudding in a large bowl. Blend in eggs, oil, 4 oz. Liquore Galliano, 1 oz, vodka, and 4 oz. orange juice. Mix batter until smooth and thick. Pour into a greased and floured 10″ Bundt pan.* Bake at 350 degrees F, for 45 minutes. Let cook in pan 10 minutes, then remove and place on rack. Have glaze ready to spoon on while cake is still warm.
Glaze: Combine confectioners sugar, Liquore Galliano, vodka and orange juice. Blend until very smooth.
* Or use two greased and floured 9″ cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
—“Culinary SOS: A Novelty for Cake Fanciers,” Los Angeles Times, May 10, 1973 (p. J9)
[NOTE: Also reprinted in The Italian Classics recipes by Galliano [21 Brands Inc.:New York] 1978 (p. 23).]