Amaro and Aperol star in this Paper Plane cocktail

The Paper Plane cocktail has been called a modern classic cocktail.

The Paper Plane cocktail is another one of these recipes to emerge from the 2000s and pop up on cocktail lists around the world. It’s also another of these modern classics to come from the hand of Sam Ross, the Australian expat bartender who also created the ever popular Penicillin.

Created in 2007 by Ross for Chicago bar, The Violet Hour, it originally featured Campari as the bittering ingredient. The version we have here, however, comes from a Ross tweak in 2008 at Milk & Honey in New York, which saw Aperol take the place of Campari alongside bourbon, lemon and Amaro Nonino.

If you can’t get your hands on Amaro Nonino, we’ve seen versions of the drink made with the more available Amaro Montenegro that do quite fine, but it's not the same drink.

The real beauty of the Paper Plane cocktail is that it is an equal parts drink, so it doesn’t matter if you have a proper jigger handy.

Make them by the bowlful, we say.

Paper Plane Cocktail


  • 20ml bourbon
  • 20ml Aperol
  • 20ml Amaro Nonino
  • 20ml lemon juice


  1. Shake all ingredients to with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist.
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