Classic Cocktails & Drinks With A Funky Twist

Paper Plane

5 from 1 vote

Posted: 03/23/23

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Paper Plane cocktail is a unique and delicious balance of bittersweet, herbal, and tangy. With just four ingredients and a quick shake, this is a must-try cocktail.

Overhead photo of Paper Plane cocktails garnished with an orange peel.

This Paper Plane recipe is for cocktail lovers everywhere. It is a modern cocktail that will impress any taste palate as it perfectly balances the contrasting flavors of the ingredients.

What is in a Paper Plane Cocktail

Equal parts of four ingredients combine to create this bittersweet and sophisticated Paper Plane cocktail recipe. Easy to memorize and even easier to drink, this will quickly become a cocktail favorite. Gather the following ingredients:

  • Amaro Nonino: An elegant Italian liqueur with a strong herbal scent. With a unique, bittersweet blend of caramel, vanilla, and allspice flavors, this is the foundation that makes this cocktail unique.
  • Aperol: An Italian bitters aperitif, meant to be enjoyed before dinner to stimulate your appetite. Also used in our classic Aperol Spritz recipe.
  • Bourbon: Our go-to for a mid-range bourbon is Four Roses Bourbon. Use a bourbon that you like the flavor of.
  • Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed is always preferred for best tasting cocktails.
Close up photo of person's hand pouring a cocktail shaker of Paper Plane cocktail into coupe glass.

How to Make a Paper Plane Cocktail

With easy measuring and a quick shake and strain, you will be sipping this sophisticated cocktail in no time. For the full Paper Plane recipe, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake well, but make sure not to overshake as it will water down the drink.
  • Pour into a coupe glass and enjoy!
Photo of Paper Plane cocktail. Bottle of Amaro Nonino and cocktail shaker in the background.

How to Make a Orange Twist

This cocktail is perfectly garnished with an orange twist. Start by cutting a 1/2 inch wide slice of orange peel from the orange. Twist it into a spiral or wrap it around a chopstick to get a curl appearance and place it in the cocktail once it is ready to serve. The aroma from the oils in the peel add to the cocktail experience.


What is Aperol?

An Italian bitters aperitif that is fruity, bittersweet, and low in alcohol content.

What is grappa?

An Italian pomace brandy made by distilling grapes leftover from winemaking.

Is bourbon gluten free?

Yes, bourbon is considered gluten-free. Always check your labels when needing to avoid gluten.

Close up photo of a bottle of Amaro Nonino. Two Paper Plane cocktails and a cocktail shaker in the background.


Serve your Paper Plane cocktail in a coupe glass for an elegant and flavorful drinking experience. Garnish your cocktail with an orange peel for a citrus boost.

Amaro Nonino Substitute

Amaro Nonino Quintessentia can be fairly difficult to find and is on the more expensive end of bitter liqueurs. If you cannot find this near you, you can try one of these substitutes. Know that the flavor of your Paper Plane drink will change if you substitute, as no other liqueur tastes the same as the complex Amaro Nonino.

  • Amaro Averna
  • Amaro Meletti
  • Cynar
  • Amaro Tosolin
Close up photo of two Paper Plane cocktails with a shaker bottle in the background.

Other Italian Cocktails

If you make this Paper Plane cocktail or any of our other recipes, please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts!

Photo of Paper Plane cocktails garnished with an orange peel.
5 from 1 vote

Paper Plane

Serves: 1 drink
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
This Paper Plane cocktail is a delicious balance of bittersweet, herbal, and tangy. With just four ingredients, this is a must-try cocktail.


  • 3/4 ounces Amaro Nonino
  • 3/4 ounces Aperol
  • 3/4 ounces bourbon
  • 3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice


  • Pour the Amaro Nonino, Aperol, bourbon, and lemon juice into a shaker filled with ice.
  • Shake well.
  • Strain into a glass.
  • Drink and enjoy!
Author: Nathan Longley
Course: Drinks
Photo of Paper Plane cocktails garnished with an orange peel.

Did You Make This

Paper Plane

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @shakedrinkrpt and hashtag it #shakedrinkrepeat!

Nathan Longley has been his wife’s personal bar tender for as long as he can remember. While he most often enjoys a cold beer, he is known to love our vodka gimlet.

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