The throwback cocktail is enjoying a moment in the sun—and it's doing a lot of good, too.
Chefs around the country have risen to the occasion in the wake of Hurricane Harvey—now add mixologists to the mix. Hundreds of them, actually. In the process, they're bringing a classic cocktail long poised for a comeback, to the forefront—the so-'70s Harvey Wallbanger.
"That there is a cocktail called a 'Harvey Wallbanger' that could help people recover from a hurricane named ‘Harvey' to me seems like fate," says Bobby Heugel, the owner of six bars in Houston, including Anvil Bar and Refuge and The Pastry War.
And how is this disco-era favorite helping? Easy. Heugel has launched an informal fundraiser, encouraging bars and restaurants around the country to serve Harvey Wallbangers, donating the proceeds to the Mayor of Houston's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, managed by a 501(c)3 non-profit, The Greater Houston Community Foundation. Heugel says he chose the fund based on the foundation's reputation, and the fact that donations are guaranteed to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey directly.
“There are no rules—just donate what you can," says Heugel—he estimates that more than 500 bars around the country have already signed on to participate. This includes Dante in New York, Lost Lake in Chicago, Sweet Liberty in Miami, and ABV in San Francisco.
And just what is a Harvey Wallbanger? Chances are, anyone not of drinking age during the cocktail's 1970's heyday will be trying one for the first time. This simple variation on your basic Screwdriver was reportedly invented to get Americans to buy more Galliano, that old-school Tuscan liqueur known for a unique blend of vanilla, anise and other natural flavors. It worked, and rather magnificently, at that—Galliano went down in history as the most-imported foreign liqueur of the decade, reportedly to the tune of half a million cases.
Further sweetening the deal, Lucas Bols, the company that owns Galliano, has announced that they will be donating 100% of all Galliano profits during the month of September to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. This means you don't have to go find a bar to help out—it can be as simple as picking up a bottle and making a batch at home and calling a few friends over.
Here's how Bobby Heugel makes a Harvey Wallbanger:
1.5 oz Vodka
1.5 oz Orange Juice
.25 oz Lemon Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
.5 oz Galliano
Shake the vodka, orange juice, lemon, and simple syrup together with ice, then strain into a highball glass. Float the Galliano on top, and garnish with an orange slice. "No fucking straw," says Heugel—"it messes with the float." Oh, and if you end up posting your creations to social media, show your support by using the hashtag #hurricaneharveywallbangers.
To donate to the fund directly, visit ghcf.org