Paper Plane

Adapted from A Proper Drink by Robert Simonson

Sam Ross, the longtime bartender at Milk & Honey (now Attaboy), created this simple, equal-parts drink for the opening menu at The Violet Hour in Chicago, a bar where he never worked. “It’s my second most well-traveled drink,” after the Penicillin, said Ross. It is particularly popular in Toronto, for reasons that remain mysterious to Ross. “It is essentially the official drink of Toronto,” he said. “It is on every cocktail menu in Toronto.” It is made with the Italian bitter Aperol and the Italian amaro Nonino Quintessentia, two ingredients whose stars rose with the cocktail movement. (The original recipe contained Campari, but that was quickly supplanted with Aperol, which became the norm.) The drink was named after a song by the British rapper M.I.A. that Ross was listening to while he tried to come up with the recipe.

Reprinted with permission from A Proper Drink by Robert Simonson, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House.


Serving: 1

  • 3/4 ounce bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce Nonino Quintessentia amaro
  • 3/4 ounce Aperol
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker three-quarters filled with ice.
  2. Shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass.