Table of Contents The world of mixology is a tapestry of creativity, where bartenders and enthusiasts alike weave together new...
The Paper Plane Cocktail owes its existence to the inventive spirit of Sam Ross, a luminary in the world of bartending. In 2007, Ross introduced this cocktail at the Violet Hour, a renowned cocktail lounge in Chicago known for its commitment to crafting exceptional drinks. The Paper Plane quickly gained popularity, not just for its intriguing combination of ingredients but also for the balance it achieved – a quality that has secured its place in the pantheon of modern classics.
The Paper Plane Cocktail is a contemporary reinterpretation of the classic Last Word, a cocktail that dates back to 1915. While the Last Word traditionally features equal parts gin, green Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur, and lime juice, the Paper Plane swaps out these ingredients for bourbon whiskey, Aperol, Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, and fresh lemon juice. This substitution creates a completely distinct profile, giving the Paper Plane its unique identity within the cocktail landscape.
The beauty of the Paper Plane Cocktail lies in its meticulous balance of flavors, each ingredient playing a crucial role in the overall composition. The bourbon whiskey sets the foundation with its rich and robust notes, providing a warm and inviting base. This is complemented by an equal measure of Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, an Italian herbal liqueur known for its bittersweet complexity. The Amaro adds depth to the cocktail, contributing herbal, fruity, and mildly bitter undertones.
Aperol, the third component, brings a burst of citrusy brightness and a hint of orange flavor, creating a contrast to the other ingredients. Finally, the fresh lemon juice acts as the catalyst, infusing the cocktail with a zesty and refreshing quality that elevates the overall drinking experience.
Sam Ross’s ingenuity in creating the Paper Plane Cocktail lies not only in the careful selection of ingredients but also in the precision of their proportions. The equal parts formula demonstrates a masterful understanding of balance, ensuring that no single element overwhelms the others. This commitment to equilibrium is a hallmark of Ross’s approach to mixology and has contributed significantly to the enduring appeal of the Paper Plane.
Over the years, the Paper Plane Cocktail has transcended its origins at the Violet Hour, becoming a staple in cocktail bars around the world. Bartenders and enthusiasts alike have embraced its versatility, appreciating its ability to be both accessible for the novice and sophisticated for the connoisseur.
22.5 ml bourbon
22.5 ml Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
22.5 ml Aperol
22.5 ml fresh lemon juice
Add the bourbon, Amaro, Aperol, and fresh lemon juice into a cocktail shaker.
Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds, until chilled.
Strain into a coupe glass, and serve.