Paper Plane recipe: take flight with this Sam Ross classic

Sam Ross of Attaboy.

You likely know Sam Ross’ name. He is, after all, the creator of one the most well-travelled and oft-ordered modern classic cocktails, the Penicillin.

Ross created the Penicillin when he was experimenting and riffing on a Gold Rush cocktail (bourbon, lemon, and honey) at Milk & Honey in New York back in 2005. Some decade and a half later, you can now order a Penicillin at just about any cocktail bar worth its bitters in the world’s great cocktailing cities.

That’s quite a legacy to author. But it’s not the only one that has spread around the globe to come from Ross.

The Paper Plane is a drink that we’ve seen on menus from Paris to Perth. It’s a drink that Ross developed for Chicago bar The Violet Hour in 2007, and the beauty of this drink is that it is — like some of the world’s best — an equal parts drink.

Ross tweaked the drink in 2008 at Milk & Honey, subbing out the Campari and replacing it with Aperol, so that you have the equal parts bourbon, aperol, Amaro Nonino, and lemon juice formulation we have today.

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We’ve seen the drink made with amari that differ from Amaro Nonino — Amaro Montenegro is a handy stand-in when you can’t find Nonino — but bear in mind that the flavour profile of different amari varies wildly.

Nonetheless, it’s a drink we’re happy to take flight with.

Paper Plane
Print Recipe

Paper Plane

  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker, fill with ice, and shake vigorously.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Recipe adapted from Sam Ross’ Bartenders Choice Vol. 2 app.

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