Mary Palac, Paper Plane | San Jose, CA

“This was the first time that I really embraced flavors that I grew up with,” says Mary Palac. Calamansi, a citrus fruit native to the Philippines that she describes as “near and dear,” lends its distinctive tartness to a syrup that replaces traditional simple syrup in this Sidecar variation. “It was an ‘aha!’ moment realizing that there’s only so many ways you can make an Old-Fashioned or a Daiquiri, but when you inject more of yourself and more of what makes you unique then that makes your flavors and your cocktails unique.”


Serving: 1

  • 1 3/4 ounce Cognac, preferably Merlet Brothers Blend
  • 3/4 ounce triple sec, preferably Merlet Trois Citrus
  • 1 ounce calamansi syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 dash Bitter Queens Shirley 5-Spice Bitters
  • 1 dash saline solution

Garnish: calamansi wheel

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with calamansi wheel.
Editor's Note

Calamansi Syrup:
Cut and juice 10 to 15 calamansi. (They are small, about the size of key limes). Keep the juiced husks. Measure the juice yield, set aside and chill. Add equal amount of sugar (to the volume of juice) to the husks, crush, mix well, and allow to form a syrup over several hours. Once a thick syrup is formed, place the entire mixture over low heat and add juice. Stir on low heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Strain and refrigerate.