Day 100 – National Harvey Wallbanger Day

This is not the post I wanted to write today.  My vision for this post was going to be one of great celebration, hope and joy.  It represented my 100th day of celebration.  Yep, I’ve celebrated something for the last 100 days straight.  It’s been a bit of a journey and I wanted to talk about hitting this milestone and my plans for the next 265 days.  I was excited.  I didn’t plan for this day to fall on Election Day, it just worked out that way.  But I felt it seemed almost appropriate that my 100th day was a day of national celebration.  I thought our nation would be abuzz with the hope of the first woman president and what that means for our future.  It was going to be epic.

I usually write these posts the day after the National Day, so I celebrate on the actual day but recap it all on the morning after.  It’s just easier for me.  So here I am, the morning after my 100th day of celebration, and I just don’t know what to say.  I’m scared.  Confused.  Angry.  Worried.  Disappointed.  How could this have happened?  How can this be?

My celebration started out just fine.  There were a few holidays today and one was National Cappuccino Day.  I had an early afternoon eye appointment in Providence so on my way there I stopped at a little coffee shop in Tiverton that overlooks the Sakonnet River called Coastal Roasters (which I can’t say without singing it to the tune of the Ohio Players song “Love Rollercoaster”).  It was actually a Barry Mellow hangout where he’d stop for a quick cup of coffee while out on his motorcycle ride and talk politics with his pals.  We sometimes will go there via our kayaks, rowing across the river and then pulling the boats ashore and rewarding ourselves with a warm cup of coffee.  It’s a great spot and today was a particularly gorgeous autumn day.  The sun was warm and bright and the foliage surrounding the shores of the Sakonnet were full of vibrant colors that reflected into the calm waters of the river.  I ordered my double cappuccino and then sat down with it in an Adirondack chair on their outside patio in the sun.  It was a pretty nice way to enjoy a cappuccino.

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Today was also National Harvey Wallbanger Day and this was intriguing to me.  I’ve never had a Harvey Wallbanger, although I’ve always been curious.  If you don’t know, and there’s really no reason you should know, a Harvey Wallbanger is basically a screwdriver (vodka and orange juice) with some Galliano L’autenico floated on top.  Galliano is an Italian liqueur made from a variety of spices like anise, juniper, musk yarrow, star anise, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon and vanilla.  It’s a complex taste but I would say the anise flavor is most prevalent.  It used to be a standard at every bar and you could always identify it by the bottle – a long, thin monstrosity that would stand above all the other bottles.  At some point, bar owners realized that it’s not a fast moving item, so it started disappearing off their shelves.  It’s still readily available, but I imagine most bartenders today aren’t that familiar with it and are even less familiar with a Harvey Wallbanger.

I had to pick up a bottle of Galliano so I could make these at home.  I thought about going to a bar and having a Harvey Wallbanger but the thought of asking a bartender for one was kind of embarrassing.  I played the scenario over in my head and there was no outcome I could see that would make me not look creepy or weird.  Having one at home would be just fine and would also allow me to watch the election results in the comfort of our family room.  I just had to buy the Galliano.  I now have a supply of Galliano that will likely last me until the end of days (which may be sooner than I think).  I filled a pint glass with ice, poured in some Grey Goose vodka and then filled the glass with orange juice.  I then poured the Galliano in over the back of a spoon so it would float on top.  I had made my very own Harvey Wallbanger.

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I was sad to find out that there is no person named Harvey Wallbanger.  The origin of the drink is under some scrutiny.  It was thought to have been invented by a famous bartender named Duke Antone who was also said to have invented the Rusty Nail and the White Russian (the dude abides).  However, there’s a lot of folks that think that the Harvey Wallbanger story is false.  Most people trace the drink’s origins to the marketing department of the company that imported Galliano.  It came one the scene in the early 1970’s and thanks to well-spent marketing dollars spent on a great name and a bartender favorite, the drink started to take off.  It had it’s run of popularity for a few years as most cocktails do but then faded into the background.  But it’s still part of pop culture as a funny named drink and for other reasons too.  For Milwaukee Brewer fans, you will remember that the 1982 team was nicknamed the Harvey Wallbangers after their new manager Harvey Kuenn guided the power-hitting team team to their first and only American League title.  Also, for all our CB radio fans out on a convoy, a Harvey Wallbanger is CB language for a drunk driver; specifically, one who continually drifts across the road from one shoulder to the other and back.

All in all, it wasn’t bad.  I’m not a huge fan of anise flavor (think black licorice), but it melded particularly well with the orange juice and vodka.  It was one of those things that when I would take a sip, I’d cringe, but as I sipped it down, it found a happy place on my tongue and wasn’t that bad at all.  Dare I say it was even good?  It surprised me, but I liked it.  Maybe these deserve to make a comeback.

Then I watched the election results.

I’m genuinely depressed this morning.  I just don’t understand.  I feel like Slytherin won the House Cup.  The long term ramifications of yesterday are just plain frightening to me.  I don’t even know how to express what I’m feeling outside of that.  It’s just too much and I find myself for the first time in 100 straight days without the words to express joy and celebration.  I don’t know what to do.  I’m just going to listen to Pete Seeger songs today and hope that this is all a very bad dream.

Next Up: National Scrapple Day  

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