Have you ever picked up a bit of seemingly useless trivia and wondered when it was ever going to be useful? Believe it or not, sometimes it actually does.
Case in point: many, many years ago (could be a decade or more) I vaguely remember someone telling me that when a cocktail has the word “wall” in it–like the Harvey Wallbanger, our topic for today–it contains a specific ingredient. Granted, I misremembered one little detail thinking that the ingredient in question was grenadine when it’s actually Galliano.
CHF Harvey Wallbanger
2 oz Vanilla Vodka
4-6 oz Orange Juice
.5 oz Galliano
Fill a Collins (tall) glass with ice. Pour the vodka over the ice, then the orange juice until almost full. Stir with a bar spoon (or iced tea spoon if it’s handier) and then top with the Galliano. Sip slowly, letting the Galliano mix in a bit with each movement of the glass.
It turns out I was out of plain vodka (oops!) but I had plenty of the vanilla variety. Since the Galliano is described as being a anise-flavored herbal liqueur with vanilla notes I figured it would mix well and, oh, it did.
If a Harvey Wallbanger is a Screwdriver with a little something extra, the Hillary Wallbanger is the Mimosa with a kick. She doesn’t get Champagne, instead you use white wine in place of the vodka but all else is equal. Most of the recipes I found for Hillary used a reverse ratio for wine to juice and also called for a dry white, like a Chardonnay. I happen not to like dry whites and, as always, prefer more mix to hooch, so kept the Harvey proportions and used a sweeter white.
Todd’s vote went squarely to the Harvey though I think if I’d used a Pinot Grigio instead of the Sugar Sands (a muscadine-based sweet white that I already had open) the Hillary may have been more to his liking. I thought Hillary was a nice, sweet mix but could have sipped either one with no quibbles. We both agree that the vanilla vodka enhances the Galliano (whose smell makes me think of root beer) so it will be how we make it from here on out.