The Long Hello

This elegant sipper is the creation of Damon Boelte, who is the head bartender and co-owner of Grand Army bar and restaurant in Brooklyn. Not only is Damon a great bartender, but he has a particular knack for naming cocktails. This one is based on an experimental music album (Damon is also a musician), although I like to think it got its name because it’s so good…you don’t want to say goodbye to it!

I was tipped off to this luscious cocktail by spirits writer Brad Parsons, who included it in his book, Bitters. The lush apple-flavored Calvados pairs remarkably well with the fragrant elderflower liqueur, topped off with a pour of sparkling wine, which makes things more festive.

The Long Hello
Print Recipe
1 cocktail
From a recipe by Damon Boelte of Grand Army bar and restaurant I used Calvados but feel free to use another apple brandy or Applejack. The original recipe calls for Fee Brothers Whiskey barrel-aged bitters, but I found a tiny dash of apple, apple blosson, or aromatic bitters (such as Angostura) is nice. Although another complimentary-flavored bitters would work. Sparkling (hard) cider could also be used in place of the sparkling wine or Champagne. Elderflower liqueur is sold under several brand names, including Vedrenne and St. Germain.
3/4 ounce Calvados, or another apple-flavored brandy (see headnote)
3/4 ounce elderflower liqueur
1 dash bitters, such as apple or aromatic
Champagne or dry crémant, or another dry sparkling wine
dash freshly grate nutmeg
1. Pour the Calvados, elderflower liqueur, and bitters into a cocktail mixing glass. Fill partially with ice and stir until well-chilled, about 15 seconds.
2. Strain into a chilled coupe of Champagne glass, add sparkling wine or Champagne, and top with a very small dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.

The Long Hello

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  • May 6, 2020 11:43am

    Will this work with elderflower cordial? Can’t find the liqueur and also tried making my own cordial, but can’t find citric acid in France. They think I’m mad when I say I want it for alimentaire reasons, they use it for cleaning glass from what I can tell and it’s not for consumption. Have tried pharmacies, bio shops and North African stores.. Reply

    • May 6, 2020 12:34pm
      David Lebovitz

      Elderflower cordial is sweeter than elderflower liqueur so you’d want to use less. Not sure how much, but if you try it, let us know what you use and how it works out. I find citric acid at North African or Arabic markets but I know that pharmacies either have it, or can order it. Reply

  • May 6, 2020 4:26pm

    Nuts, this will be when I’m at work…

    Have just picked up your book and am gradually introducing l’apero into my life as a concept. (Although only 50% of the time with alcoholic drinks, I’ll admit.) I think if you can arrange your life so that you can allow yourself an hour of just chillin’ after work, you’re doing something right; prior to this I was either on a lengthy commute home or on my way to a rehearsal (I used to work in theater). Reply

  • Shell
    May 6, 2020 10:21pm

    This looks so lovely.
    Its funny. I find I prefer Apple Jack over Calvados. It has a more pronounced apple-ness to it where the Calvados is more refined. Reply

  • Andrew Lage
    May 7, 2020 1:01am

    The long goodbye is what the family members of Alzheimer’s sufferers call the disease. Reply

  • gs
    May 7, 2020 2:55am

    I think the reference is to Raymond Chandler’s classic noir novel “The Long Goodbye,” in which the gimlet plays a starring role.

    For Chandler, the gimlet “beats martinis hollow.” He wrote some of the best descriptions of drinks, drinkers, and drunks you’ll find in fiction or anywhere else. Reply

  • PZ
    May 7, 2020 3:00am

    I made this for me and my friend Carie. We had a little happy hour tonight.

    This drink was fabulous and I think we should have it again for Mother’s Day!

    So good. Reply

  • Susan
    May 7, 2020 11:38pm

    eBay for a metal mouli julienne! Reply

  • Eloise
    May 13, 2020 1:56am

    You mentioned substituting hard apple cider was that subbing for the Calvados?? Reply

    • May 13, 2020 10:56am
      David Lebovitz

      No, the sparkling hard cider would be a substitute for the sparkling wine. Reply

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