Serious Eats: Drinks
How to Make the Wally Harbanger from 1534 in NYC
More Cocktail Recipes from NY Bars
Sometimes, an adaptation is a sad thing. Other times, as with 1534's Wally Harbanger, it's a happy departure from the original. The cocktail holds little in common with its nominal muse, aside from a dyslexic take on the name, and the ingredient without which the Harvey Wallbanger would be a mere Screwdriver: Galliano.
Americans aren't big on Galliano, which is why 1534 bartender James Lombardino was excited to sneak a splash of it into this bourbon-based smash. "Galliano's kind of viscous and thick," says Lombardino, "so it gives the cocktail a really nice mouthfeel."
A sweet Italian liqueur, Galliano is an herbaceous mix of some thirty herbs, spices and plant extracts, heavy on the anise, vanilla, mint, lavender and juniper. I'm not one for anise—I want to love absinthe but find the flavor overwhelming—but here its presence is just gentle enough for me to enjoy. In fact, I found this cocktail dangerously drinkable, and could easily go from zero to tipsy after thirty minutes with Wally.
What makes this drink work for fall? Fresh mint and lemon juice work with Galliano to bring a lively sunniness to autumn's favorite couple: bourbon and maple. "Dark spirits always work nicely with a dark sugar," says Lombardino, "and the lemon juice brightens it up."
Lombardino gives the ingredients just a quick, light shake, careful not to over-dilute the drink before pouring it over crushed ice. He doubles up on straws, and garnishes with a mint sprig, first slapping the leaves over his hand to release their oils.
"This is one I'd drink in the afternoon," he notes. "Or with lunch. Now that I think of it, it would be great with brunch."