Laptops Down, It’s Cocktail Time: Exploring the History of the Paper Plane Cocktail

Laptops Down, It’s Cocktail Time: Exploring the History of the Paper Plane Cocktail

Welcome to “Laptops Down, It’s Cocktail Time” brought to you by Branding & Buzzing, where we celebrate the art of mixology and all things cocktail-related. As passionate cocktail fans, we invite you to visit our clients Cheers! American Spirits website for more cocktail inspiration to elevate your home bartending game.

Let’s embark on a journey through the history and flavors of one of mixology’s modern marvels – the Paper Plane cocktail.


The Paper Plane cocktail took its maiden flight in 2007, crafted by the skilled bartender Sam Ross at Milk & Honey in the bustling metropolis of New York City. Ross, known for his innovative concoctions, sought to create a drink that would captivate the senses with a harmonious blend of flavors. Thus, the Paper Plane was born, quickly ascending to the ranks of contemporary cocktail classics.


Crafting a Paper Plane requires finesse and precision. Here’s the blueprint for concocting this delightful libation:

  • 3/4 ounce bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce Amaro Nonino
  • 3/4 ounce Aperol
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol, and lemon juice to the shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously until well-chilled, about 15-20 seconds.
  4. Strain the mixture into a coupe glass, ensuring a smooth and elegant pour.
  5. Optionally, garnish with a twist of lemon for a touch of sophistication.

Ingredient Highlight: Bourbon – A Whiskey with a Story

  1. Made in America: Bourbon, America’s native spirit, must be made in the United States. This quintessentially American whiskey has a rich heritage dating back to the late 18th century, with Kentucky being particularly renowned for its bourbon production.
  2. 51% Corn Mash Bill: To be classified as bourbon, the mash bill must contain at least 51% corn, lending it a sweet and mellow flavor profile. The remainder of the mash bill typically consists of barley, rye, or wheat, each contributing unique characteristics to the final product.
  3. Aged in Charred Barrels: One of the defining features of bourbon is its aging process in charred oak barrels. This imparts rich caramel and vanilla notes to the whiskey, adding depth and complexity over time.

Ingredient Highlight: Aperol – A Brief History

Before we delve further into the Paper Plane’s story, let’s take a moment to appreciate one of its key ingredients: Aperol. This vibrant Italian liqueur traces its origins back to the early 20th century when brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri founded it in Padua, Italy, in 1919. Aperol’s refreshing flavor profile, boasting bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb, and a medley of botanicals, quickly made it a darling of the Italian aperitivo scene. Over the years, it has become a beloved component in numerous cocktails, including our beloved Paper Plane.


The Paper Plane deserves nothing less than the finest presentation. Serve it in a classic coupe glass to showcase its vibrant hue and allow the aromas to unfurl gracefully. The wide bowl of the coupe provides ample space for the aromatics to mingle, enhancing the drinking experience.

Where to Find Them:

For those seeking the perfect Paper Plane experience beyond their home bar, we recommend visiting these esteemed establishments:

The Russ & Co. (Prince Eward County, Canada): Nestled in PEC’s charming landscape, The Russ & Co. offers an inviting ambiance and expertly crafted cocktails. Savor a Paper Plane amidst the cozy surroundings for an unforgettable evening.

Mrs. Robinson (Toronto, Canada): Located in Toronto’s vibrant Queen West neighborhood, Mrs. Robinson exudes sophistication and style. Indulge in a Paper Plane while soaking in the chic atmosphere and mingling with fellow cocktail enthusiasts.

Bar Lupulus (Ottawa, Canada): With its impressive array of libations, Bar Lupulus is a haven for discerning drinkers in Ottawa. Treat yourself to a meticulously prepared Paper Plane and savor every sip in this trendy locale.

The Paper Plane cocktail is more than just a libation – it’s a journey through flavors and history. Crafted with care and enjoyed with gusto, it continues to enchant cocktail enthusiasts around the globe. So, the next time you’re in the mood for a taste of modern mixology, reach for a Paper Plane and let your senses take flight