Recipe Remix: The Cool and Creamy Cocktail You’ll Crave This Summer
A classic cocktail travels south of the border for a grown-up summer cooler.
By Christina Barrueta | Photography by Debby Wolvos
“I think the Harvey Wallbanger is so interesting because it’s like a unicorn in the cocktail world,” says mixologist Maxwell Berlin of Quartz bar and The Cave, its reservation-only cocktail lounge, in downtown Phoenix. “While people know the name, most have probably never ordered one.”
A triumvirate of vodka, orange juice and Galliano (an Italian vanilla-scented herbal liqueur), the Harvey Wallbanger saw its heyday in the 1970s due to a successful ad campaign. Marketed by McKesson Imports Co., importer of Galliano, its cartoon surfer mascot proudly proclaimed, “Harvey Wallbanger is the name, and I can be made.”
Although the exact origin of the cocktail itself is disputed, the most widely circulated story attributes its creation to a California bartender in the 1950s named Donato “Duke” Antone, who crafted the concoction for a surfer patron named Tom Harvey. Colorful folklore has it that Harvey, after imbibing a few too many drinks, would stumble around the bar, earning him the nickname “Harvey Wallbanger.” While cocktail historians have their doubts, it’s an entertaining anecdote for a nostalgic throwback to the cocktail culture of the ’70s and the era of discos and leisure suits.
“It was simple and fun, and I always look for those kinds of cocktails that bring you back to a certain time,” Berlin explains. “I wanted to take this classic drink and put a Phoenix summer spin on it with Mexican flavors.” For his inventive interpretation, he was also inspired by the mangonada, a frozen Mexican treat crafted by combining mango and Chamoy, a sweet and savory condiment made from fruit, citrus and chiles. “This cocktail is an ice cream float akin to a mangonada, but with the classic orange and vanilla flavors of the Harvey Wallbanger,” continues Berlin. “It’s reminiscent of a Creamsicle, but the Chamoy, with its sour notes and chile spice, is the perfect complement to the sweet and creamy citrus.”
Berlin also encourages swapping out components for your own frosty concoction. “While the Mexican mandarin orange soda is perfect, you can play around with other flavors such as guava or lime,” he says, “or use a fruit sorbet such as mango or strawberry.
“This is fun, summery, cold and refreshing,” Berlin continues, “and it’s the perfect base to create your own version. The sky’s the limit.”
They Call Me Señor Harvey
For an extra-festive presentation, tilt the glass at an angle, and turn as you drizzle Chamoy around the inside. Dip the rim in Chamoy and then Tajin before proceeding with assembly.
Tajin Clásico seasoning
1½ oz. mezcal
½oz. Galliano L’Autentico liqueur
½oz. fresh lime juice
Vanilla ice cream
1 12.5-oz. bottle Jarritos Mandarin soda
Pour mezcal, Galliano and lime juice into the glass. Stir to combine. Place 2-3 scoops of ice cream into the glass. Slowly pour orange soda over the ice cream, leaving space at the top as the drink will foam. Garnish with a drizzle of Chamoy.
Mixologist: Maxwell Berlin, Quartz, quartzphx.com.