Thursday, May 30, 2024

Paper Plane Cocktail Recipe | Bon Appétit

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Named after M.I.A.’s hit song, the Paper Plane cocktail was created for the opening of the Violet Hour in Chicago by bartender Sam Ross circa 2007. (FYI, Ross also developed the Penicillin). Now considered a modern-classic cocktail, early iterations of the drink balanced the bittersweet Italian liqueur Campari with nutty Amaro Nonino, bourbon, and lemon juice, explains Robert Simonson in The Encyclopedia of Cocktails, but Ross swapped out higher-proof Campari for its more delicate sibling Aperol when he put it on the menu at New York City bars Milk & Honey and Little Branch. Since then the drink’s popularity has spread across North America.

If you’re new to mixing drinks, this aperitif is a good place to start since it’s an equal-parts cocktail recipe (and there’s no complicated garnish to master…unless you want to shape cute little orange or grapefruit zest airplanes). While a coupe is the traditional cocktail glass for serving it, a Nick and Nora glass (or even a rocks glass) would work if that’s what you have on hand.

Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is still the amaro of choice for this drink recipe, but you can play around, swapping it out for Montenegro, Averna, Sfumato, or another bottle that looks enticing.

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