Because of its wonderfully smooth balance of sour, herbal, sweet, and bitter notes, it's very easy to fall in love with the Paper Plane cocktail. Made from bourbon, Nonino amaro, and Aperol, its herbal depth is kept bright and refreshing with the addition of fresh lemon juice.
The delicious cocktail is a modern classic. I find myself going back to it time and time again.
- Bourbon whiskey - I love to use Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon in this cocktail.
- Nonino amaro - This bitter-sweet, Italian amaro is grappa-based with notes of orange zest and thyme. To make this drink authentically, this is the amaro that you must use. There is no exact flavour substitute.
- Aperol - A bright orange Italian bitter apéritif with a bittersweet flavour that tastes of citrus, herbs, and vanilla.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
See the recipe card below for quantities.
Making this cocktail is super easy, and easy to remember too. Use ¾ shot of each of the ingredients: bourbon whiskey, amaro, Aperol, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Simply measure each of the ingredients into your cocktail shaker. Shake it with ice vigorously for about 20 seconds. Pour through a fine strainer into a chilled coupe glass, in order to remove any large pieces of ice. Serve and enjoy immediately.
The traditional glass used is a coupe glass - a stemmed glass, shallow and broad-bowled. Originally the coupe glass was intended for champagne, but it's perfect for serving a drink "up" or "straight up" (shaken or stirred with ice, then strained into a stemmed glass without ice).
You will also need a cocktail shaker, a cocktail strainer, and a Japanese jigger. This cocktail bar set contains all of these pieces and more.
The Paper Plane cocktail was created in 2007, New York, by Sam Ross. This Australian bartender, known for his creation of The Penicillin cocktail, was a long time bartender at Milk & Honey. However, he created it for The Violet Hour bar in Chicago. A new take on the pre-Prohibition drink, The Last Word, he named this drink after the song of the same name by British rapper M.I.A., which was playing on repeat the summer of its creating.
(To see an amazing cocktail from Milk & Honey, London, check out the East 8 Hold Up that is seriously delicious.)
This cocktail is a variation of the classic The Last Word, a pre-Prohibition cocktail. It imitates the cocktail's four equal parts of four ingredients. And the amazing Naked & Famous cocktail is another variation of them both.
To change up the flavour of the Paper Plane, the most common thing to switch up is the amaro. A popular choice is Montenegro amaro, that adds additional notes of floral, cinnamon, and cloves. And to be honest, I love this variation as much or more than the original. So make sure to give it a try!
Have your coupe glasses nice and chilled before pouring this cocktail to make it stay deliciously cool for longer.Print
The Paper Plane cocktail, made from bourbon, Nonino amaro, and Aperol, and fresh lemon juice, is smooth, refreshing, and wonderfully balanced.
¾ oz (22.5ml) bourbon whiskey
¾ oz (22.5ml) Aperol
¾ oz (22.5ml) Nonino amaro
¾ oz (22.5ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, vigorously for about 20 seconds.
Strain into a chilled coupe glass with no ice.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 6
- Sugar: 7.9 g
- Sodium: 0.8 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 21.4 g
- Protein: 0.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: paper plane cocktail