The Paper Plane

This little cocktail’s been on my radar for a while now, so when I stumbled across it on Bar Clementine’s “Cocktails to Try Before You Die” menu, I decided I should work on that. But first some totally unverified info brought to you by the Internets: Invented by a New York bartender named Sam Ross, the Paper Plane has crossed the border and inked its way onto so many cocktail menus in Toronto that it’s become the city’s official drink. As for the name, it’s a nod to a song on British rapper M.I.A.’s album Kala, which Sam was apparently listening to whilst wrangling the cocktail. Here’s how we made ours…


  • 3/4 oz Amaro
  • 3/4 oz Aperol
  • 3/4 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3-inch strip of mandarin orange zest, to garnish

Place a martini glass in the freezer to chill. When it’s cocktail time, pour all the booze and the lemon juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, secure the lid, and shake it. Carefully strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass, garnish with a strip of mandarin orange zest, and serve.

The verdict: The words “I think I’ve found my drink” were heard. And repeated. One of us even licked our glass when it was empty. So, yes, it was really good. The bitterness, booziness, and tartness were all pronounced yet so unfathomably complementary that they may as well have been singing in three-part harmony. And what the mandarin orange zest brought out in the Amaro was equally ridiculous. Pretty sure this is a fool-proof recipe. We plan to find out.

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