Harvey WallbangerWhen looking into the history of the Harvey Wallbanger the realization hit that it would make a great "made for t.v." movie with mystery and politics involved; or it's just a great urban legend. Although there are many different stories on how this cocktail got it's name this story is the most believable, well, parts of it at least.
Donato "Duke" Antone was a master mixologist who started the first mixology school in California, building many more through out the United States and at the time of his retirement he was the headmaster at the Bartending School Of Mixology in Hartford, Connecticut. He also owned several restuarants in California, one of which was "Duke's Blackwatch Bar" on Sunset Boulevard.
The story begins in 1952 where Duke had a regular customer by the name of " Harvey" at Duke's Blackwatch Bar. One particular evening Harvey who was a competive surfer had lost a competition and proceeded to drink his sorrows away with Duke's special cocktail. After a few to many cocktails of course, Harvey tried to leave, fumbling and stumbling on his way out, even hitting a couple of walls. That is how both the cocktail and Harvey got their names, but that is only one part of the story here is the rest.
Duke had a good friend by the name of George Badnar, who was a legendary NFL great turned Galliano salesman and this is where the politics come in. It is believed that George brought the cocktail to the attention of the Galliano company to boost sales. No where does it say if there ever was a surfer or if the cocktail, when introduced to the company was already named the Harvey Wallbanger.
Either way the Harvey Wallbanger did go on to be the cocktail of the 1970's, in fact November 5th is Harvey Wallbanger Day. In 1972 the company even produced t-shirts encouraging Americans to vote for Harvey Wallbanger as president and thousand actually did. All though fact sometimes can be stranger then fiction one thing is true; both the stories and the cocktail goes down smooth.