Paper Plane

The Paper Plane was one of my favorite cocktails before I quit drinking. The combination of bourbon, two bittersweet liqueurs, and lemon juice is perfectly balanced, pleasantly bitter, and deliciously juicy. And fortunately for us who might be drinking less, it's easy to make a non-alcoholic Paper Plane.

This pink-hued cocktail was created in 2008 by Sam Ross for The Violet Hour in Chicago, and yes, it was named for the popular M.I.A. song of the time. It's a variation on the classic Last Worda drink made from equal parts gin, lime, maraschino liqueur, and green Chartreuse. The Paper Plane follows the same equal parts template but calls for whiskey instead of gin, employs Aperol and Amaro Nonino, and calls for lemon juice.

We make one minor change to the recipe here, increasing the amount of non-alcoholic whiskey to 1 oz (instead of 3/4 oz) to ensure it stands out, and have added a couple of dashes of our Orange bitters for complexity.

There's some room to play around with your favorite non-alc spirits here, but we love Kentucky 74 (bourbon), Giffard Aperitif Syrup (in place of Aperol), and The Pathfinder as our amaro.

This non-alcoholic Paper Plane is juicy, tart, and bitter. It's crushable yet sophisticated enough to fool even the most skeptical non-alcoholic cocktail naysayer.


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