The Harvey Wallbanger is helping to restore some of what Hurricane Harvey swept away.
At bars throughout Houston, and across America, the well-known cocktail—made up of vodka, orange juice and Galliano—is being used an avenue for fundraising, with a percentage of drink sales being contributed to Houston Mayor Turner’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
The nationwide program was launched by Bobby Heugel, a well-known Houston bar owner, whose properties include Anvil Bar & Refuge, The Pastry War, Better Luck Tomorrow and Tongue-Cut Sparrow. Some of his bars were closed for up to a week and a half, but none were significantly damaged, allowing him to lead the way on the campaign.
There are no specific rules. Bars can participate to the extent they wish, donating whatever percentage of Harvey Wallbanger sales they can. Liquor brands have also pitched in. Lucas Bols, the company that owns Galliano, has agreed to donate 100 percent of all Galliano profits to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund during the month of September. Additionally, in the case of Heugel’s bars, Grey Goose vodka is matching the bars’ donations in Houston up to $5,000.
Heugel estimates that roughly 500 bars are now taking part in the effort, from Portland to New York, and that donations have already passed the $100,000 mark. But he hopes that, with the help of the #HurricaneHarveyWallbanger(s) hashtag, words spreads and more bars join in.
“Ideally, this bleeds over into the non-cocktail world as well and generates more $100-ish donations from small bars [in] Middle America to dives in great cities,” says Heugel. “After all, that’s the beauty of drinks like [the] Harvey Wallbanger—everyone knows them and anyone can make them.”