The Paper Plane

Fly like paper, get high like planes.

The Paper Plane

The Paper Plane is an excellent example of a drink of this wonderful Cocktail Renaissance (c. 2000 – present). Created by Sam Ross, protege of the late great Sasha Petraske (1973 – 2015), the Paper Plane is, in my opinion, well on the way to becoming a modern classic – and those are surprisingly few. Mr Ross is all the more noteworthy for having created a second, and still loftier, modern classic in the Penicillin – more of which very soon. However, we start with the Paper Plane for its simplicity of assembly, assuming, of course, one can get hold of a bottle of its key ingredient Amaro Nonino Quintessentia. The Paper Plane contains equal parts of its four ingredients which doesn’t happen too often – the similarly portioned Last Word seems to have been the inspiration. Of course, this makes the drink easy to remember and easy to make, heck you don’t even need a measure! It’s a real crowd pleaser and a great introduction to bourbon, which barely pokes its assertive nose into this drink. The Paper Plane is beautifully balanced and wonderfully complex – each ingredient playing its part perfectly. Bravo!

The Paper Plane

0.75oz bourbon whiskey (I use Wild Turkey 101)

0.75oz lemon juice

0.75oz Aperol

0.75oz Amaro Nonino Quintessentia

Shake with ice.

Strain into a chilled cocktail coupé.

Toast Sam Ross and the Cocktail Renaissance.


Amaro Nonino Quintessentia may be difficult to find in some places. I hauled a bottle back from Italy only to find it sitting laughing at me in one of my favorite Amsterdam bottle shops (Boorsma, Ferdinand Bolstraat 112). Keep your eyes peeled or speak nicely to anyone you know who likes to holiday in Italia. It also seems to be reasonably available in the USA.

Update: Amaro Nonino is also available at Ton Overmars, Hoofddorpplein 11, Amsterdam.

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