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January 16, 2011

EV Grieve has been updating the renovations of bar/restaurant 7A (creatively located at the corner of 7th and A).

When I think about 7A I think about Galliano. Not John Galliano, but the nasty yellow Italian liqueur that comes in that tall bottle at the end of the bar that you’ve never seen anyone pick up.

The only drink of note that Galliano is used to make is the Harvey Wallbanger. What is a Harvey Wallbanger? It’s a screwdriver with Galliano in it. What does the Galliano add? it makes the whole concoction taste like St. Joseph’s Baby Aspirin (which I adore in its original chalky form) from hell. It is, quite frankly, undrinkably disgusting.

So what does any of this have to do with 7A? Well somewhere between say 1989 and 1992 I happened to be hanging out with my good friend JJ on or about Avenue A, perhaps at Sophie’s, perhaps at Vayzac’s, who knows. But we ran out of cash money. And cash money wasn’t that easy to come by in those days, both because we had little, and because there wasn’t an ATM in that area. But someone had been stupid enough to issue one of us a credit card. But almost no bar in that neighborhood took credit cards (and I have a vague recollection that we might only have had an American Express, and people sure as hell didn’t take that). So we wandered around until we came upon 7A, which was still open and happy to serve us cocktails.

Now having opened a credit card tab, we were going to make good use of it. And as we drunkenly chatted up the bartender the question arose of what anyone possibly did with that big dusty yellow bottle in the corner of the bar. We were duly informed of the existence of the Harvey Wallbanger, and being loaded and with a running credit card tab we duly ordered one.

Most disgusting concoction ever. We were not two guys who tended to leave half-drunk cocktails on the bar, but let me tell you, we couldn’t get through that nasty yellow crap. So that’s my 7A story. And if anyone ever offers you a Harvey Wallbanger, I say: run away.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2011 8:22 pm

    You’re right, Galliano seems to be behind every bar in a too-tall bottle that rarely gets opened. Sort of sweet black licorice flavor to it. It’s expensive and it’s 85 proof, a little stronger than your average spirit.

    The Harvey Wallbanger isn’t a terrible drink if it’s made right. Try it again! The Galliano ideally gives the vodka-orange juice (a Screwdriver) an extra edge. Just don’t use too much of it.

    • Fat Al permalink*
      January 17, 2011 12:25 am

      While I do sincerely appreciate the input (and thanks very much for stopping by), I have to say I’d have to be pretty desperate to partake in a Harvey Wallbanger again. I can imagine two possible scenarios. One, I may have lost a bet. Two, I may be in a bar that has only OJ, vodka and Galliano, and they’ve already been mixed together, and there are no other bars in town. Or the next town.

  2. January 17, 2011 9:06 am

    What I’m curious about is how did the cocktail get the name, “Harvey Wallbanger?” I’ve never had one, but now I have to try one for the hell of it. I’d prefer a drink called the “Harvey Korman.”

    • Fat Al permalink*
      January 17, 2011 10:48 am

      For what it’s worth, here’s what’s on Wikipedia:

      “The Harvey Wallbanger is reported to have been invented in 1952 by three-time world champion mixologist Donato ‘Duke’ Antone (Paolantonio), the brother-in-law of New York state Senator Carlo Lanzillotti. The Harvey Wallbanger was brought to international prominence by then Galliano salesman, George Bednar. Legend has it that the drink was named after a Manhattan Beach surfer who was a regular patron of Duke’s ‘Blackwatch’ Bar on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood during the early 1950s.”

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