Created in 2007 by Sam Ross of New York’s Milk & Honey and Chicago’s The Violet Hour, the Paper Plane has become a modern classic. Named after the M.I.A. song of the same name that was popular at the time. The drink is composed of equal parts bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino, and lemon juice.
The original Paper Plane recipe was first served at The Violet Hour and used Campari instead of Aperol. Ross made the switch because he found “It was slightly too bitter and the sweetness wasn’t there. I subbed in Aperol and was immediately satisfied with the result.” The drink is a riff on the classic Last Word which also inspired the modern classic by Joaquín Simó, the Naked and Famous (mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse, Aperol, and lime juice).
The cocktail rivals Ross’s other famous drink the Penicillin in popularity. He says “I still think the Penicillin is more popular, but I’m actually prouder of the Paper Plane because of its simplicity, deliciousness and its uniqueness,” says Ross. “I had never had anything that tasted like that before this drink.”
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