Paper Plane Cocktail
Invented by legendary Aussie bartender Sam Ross in 2007, the Paper Plane cocktail is a beautiful balance between the bitter of Amaro & Aperol, the bright sour & acidity of fresh lemon juice, and the complex sweetness of bourbon.
Classic Paper Plane Cocktail
The Paper Plane has easiest of ratios to remember, it is equal portions of the 4 parts (Amaro, Aperol, Bourbon, and lemon juice). It is hands down one of our absolute favorite bourbon cocktails to drink, and we aren’t the only ones. Often when ordering out, the bartender will give a knowing glimmer in their eye when asked if they can make a Paper Plane. We’ve heard time and time again that it is one of their personal favorites. Thank you Stephen for introducing it to us.
Video: Watch How to Make Paper Plane Cocktail
A few notes on the ingredients. Amaro will vary tremendously in bitterness and flavor profile. The Paper Plane was originally made with Amaro Nonino Quintessetia and that is still the favorite of most. Other good substitutions we’ve tried are Amaro Montenegro, and Cardamaro Vino Amaro. Amaro itself is a fascinating deep dive and if you want a good starting point, check out Brad Parson’s book, Amaro: The Spirited World of … (it has a long subtitle). For the second ingredient, Aperol, it is nearly always the choice in a Paper Plane, but Campari is a proper substitute, however it will be more bitter than Aperol. Campari was actually Sam Ross’ original choice in the Paper Plane, but he later found Aperol to be a better balance in the cocktail. For the bourbon, you can’t go wrong with Buffalo Trace, but feel free to play with your favorites. And please use fresh lemon juice. It makes a huge difference over any bottle lemon juice.
Paper Plane (Bourbon Cocktail)
- In a shaker filled with ice, add the amaro, aperol, bourbon, and lemon juice. Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.
- Strain and pour into a coupe or Nick & Nora glass. Enjoy.
Cocktail Goodies & Barware:
We are obsessed with sexy barware and cocktail supplies. A great bar setup doesn’t need a lot of supplies, but having a few quality tools adds that a classiness and bit of swagger to that evening cocktail. Choose your favorite style and create a set around them. Here’s are a some of our favorites:
- Nick & Nora and Coupe Glassware: Easily our favorite styles of cocktail glassware. Classic & timeless. Beautiful for any shaken cocktail and great to drink out of. If we were forced to only have one style of glassware for a shaken cocktail, give us a Nick & Nora or a coupe. Perfect for any martini or paper plane cocktail.
- Double Old Fashioned Glasses – Especially ones with clean cuts & solid feel like this one
- Japanese Style Ice Pick – Perfect for breaking down large ice
- Bell Jiggers – Easily our favorite style jigger
- Bitters Bottles – If you make bitters, you need a beautiful bottles
- Hawthorne Strainers – Our favorite style of strainers
- Wooden Muddler – A must for using fresh herbs & berries
- Mixing Glass – For muddling magic
Here’s our complete–> Cocktail & Drink Recipe Collection Here.
If you make this drink recipe please share it with us on social media! We’d love to see your creations. Thank you, friends.