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Paper Plane Cocktail Recipe

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The Paper Plane cocktail is a contemporary, well-balanced drink featuring equal parts bourbon, Aperol, amaro, and lemon juice. Created by Sam Ross in 2007, this vibrant cocktail offers a harmonious blend of sweetness, bitterness, and citrus tang, making it a popular choice for both casual sipping and more sophisticated cocktail hours. Its light, orange-red hue and approachable flavor profile have earned it a spot as a modern classic in the cocktail world.

Tasting Notes

Tasting the Paper Plane begins with a bright, citrus-forward aroma, inviting you to explore its nuanced flavors. The first sip reveals the smooth warmth of bourbon, which quickly melds with the bittersweet notes of Aperol. The amaro adds depth and complexity with its herbal undertones, balancing the sweetness and providing a subtle, lingering bitterness. The fresh lemon juice ties everything together with its crisp acidity, making each sip refreshing and perfectly balanced.

As you continue to savor the Paper Plane, the interplay of flavors becomes more pronounced. The bourbon’s caramel and vanilla notes emerge, adding richness and a comforting warmth. The Aperol and amaro create a sophisticated bittersweet dance on the palate, while the lemon juice ensures the cocktail remains lively and invigorating.

This harmonious blend makes the Paper Plane a delightful experience, perfect for those who appreciate a well-crafted, balanced cocktail.

Tips & Tricks

Substitute the amaro with another type, like Averna or Montenegro, to explore different herbal and bittersweet nuances.

Infuse the bourbon with complementary flavors such as vanilla beans, orange peels, or spices to enhance its depth.

Recipe Card

Paper Plane

Paper Plane


  • 0.75 oz bourbon
  • 0.75 oz Aperol
  • 0.75 oz amaro
  • 0.75 oz lemon juice


  1. In a shaker add ice, plus all of your ingredients.
  2. Shake very well to chill and combine.
  3. Strain into chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a paper plane and serve.

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