It’s a Bird, It’s a Paper Plane, It’s a Delectable Paper Plane Cocktail
Bar cooking Paper Plane Cocktail

It’s a Bird, It’s a Paper Plane, It’s a Delectable Cocktail

March 8, 2024 at 6:24 PM PST

Every cocktail menu has its standard margarita, whiskey sour and classic martini. But have you ever heard of the paper plane cocktail? This drink was invented in 2007 by New York bartender, Sam Ross, who also invented the penicillin cocktail. Similar to the whiskey sour, this drink is the perfect blend of sweet and sour with a strong alcohol taste. The balance of alcohol and juice in this drink allows for a nice balance of flavors and will leave you wanting more.

This drink has equal parts of each ingredient, making it one of the most perfectly balanced cocktails. Although Ross is a permanent bartender in NYC, he actually created this drink for the menu at a Chicago cocktail bar. At the Violet Hour he garnished the drink with a little paper plane. Following the drink’s success, he brought it back to New York, where the cocktail became extremely popular.

While this cocktail only contains a few ingredients, there’s a science to making the perfect Paper Plane cocktail. Since one of the main ingredients is bourbon, it’s suggested to use a slightly higher-proof bourbon, between 43 and 46 percent ABV, as this adds body and a kick to the drink. While we all love getting to shake the cocktail in the shaker, especially because it’s the most fun part, it’s important not to overshake the drink. Overshaking it can cause it to become too watery, although you do want the drink to be cold.

Here’s how to make a paper plane cocktail.

What You’ll Need

Bourbon is one of the main ingredients in a Paper Plane cocktail. Pictured: three glasses of bourbon

¾ Ounce 100% Proof Bourbon
¾ Ounce Aperol
¾ Ounce Amaro Nonino
¾ Ounce Lemon Juice

The best thing about this drink is that there are equal parts for all ingredients. You have the balance of the bitterness of the bourbon, the orange and citrus flavor of the Aperol, the caramel and vanilla flavor of the Nonino and the sour and fruity notes from the lemon juice. The ice brings this drink to the perfect cold temperature.

How To Make Your Paper Plane Cocktail

Here's how to make a paper plane cocktail using only five ingredients. Pictured: a cocktail with bourbon and orange

To make this unique and simple cocktail that everyone will love, there are only a few easy steps. This is definitely the perfect drink for hosting parties with friends, holiday parties, family events, work parties and more. Or, if you’re a bartender at a cocktail bar or restaurant, consider adding this to the menu or making it for a few of your favorite customers.

To make your paper plane cocktail, start by adding ¾ parts of your bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino and lemon juice in a shaker. Add your ice to the shaker and shake for about 15 seconds. Again, do not overshake, as you don’t want your drink to become diluted. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and enjoy. If you want to dress things up a bit and pay homage to the drink, create a fun paper place to garnish at the edge of your glass.



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