It’s hot outside. I don’t really need to tell you this though as we are all experiencing it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Here in Colorado, we have had mid 90 degree temperatures all week, and that lead me to thinking I needed to put down the darker liquors and find a cocktail perfect for a refreshing afternoon on the patio. And while it is national mojito day, I felt it was time for something different than a rum based drink. So after heading out to grab some Crystal Head Vodka and Galliano liqueur, I decided to perfect my Harvey Wallbanger recipe, a drink invented in the 1950’s and at one time gave the Bloody Mary a run for its money at brunch. The mixture of citrus and sweet notes, highlighting the crispness of the vodka, was exactly what I have been in the mood for on the patio. While you could give some of the other vodkas a try, I actually enjoyed Crystal Head the most, which says a lot as the clear liquor and I have a very storied, difficult history from my college days. It really does have a clean finish that I feel is necessary for this drink to work well. Plus, it becomes a piece of art on the shelf next to all the standard bottles. So give it a shot, tell me what you think, and enjoy those hot days with me.
In a mixer milled with ice cubes, combine the vodka and orange juice and shake for about 15 seconds. Pour through a strainer into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice. Gently float the Galliano on top and garnish with orange slice. Sit back, enjoy, and take in the summer warmth.
Now, if this all seems a bit bland to you, then you might enjoy the Peppered Harvey Wallbanger, which brings a kick of peppercorn into the drink. In this case, we recommend making your own peppered vodka (Alton Brown’s recipe is best) and splitting the vodka into 1 ounce clear vodka, 1 ounce peppered vodka. You could pick up pre-made, but we think the homemade peppered vodka would look perfect in the Crystal Head bottle and you also have the pride in knowing you made that flavor profile.