Why The Paper Plane Is The Quintessential Modern Cocktail

While some cocktail recipes go back to the 1800s, the Paper Plane was developed by Sasha Petraske and Sam Ross in the mid-2000s and quickly became a contemporary classic. Named after the song "Paper Planes" by M.I.A., it blends American and European spirits and draws on past mainstays to create something entirely new. It's a mix of bitter and sweet and its inherent simplicity made it a fast-moving sensation as it spread out of the Mid Western restaurant scene to become a staple of modern cocktail bars. Well-balanced and sophisticated, its harmonious marriage of bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino, and fresh lemon juice is bold and refreshing.


  • 3/4 oz Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Aperol
  • 3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Twist for garnish

Paper Plane Recipe

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino, and lemon juice to the shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously until well chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe or martini glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist for a touch of citrus zest.

Pro-Tip Choose a high-quality bourbon with a balanced flavor profile, such as our Buffalo Trace MFWYG barrel pick. This will enhance the overall taste of the Paper Plane, adding both complexity and depth.

Hot Remix Substitute strawberry liqueur for Amaro Nonino and garnish with a strawberry and you'll have what's known as an "Airport Bar" cocktail.

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