Paper Plane Cocktail

Paper Plane Cocktail

A few weeks back, I was perusing cocktail blogs looking for an interesting drink to try and I stumbled across the Paper Plane Cocktail on the Treats + Eats Blog (thanks, Maya!). The drink, apparently, comes from the Little Branch Bar in the West Village of NYC.

When I first looked at the recipe, which includes Amaro, Aperol and Lemon, my mouth puckered instinctively. Wow, bitter and sour. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out. The Bourbon, as the lead ingredient in the drink seemed somewhat redeeming, but since all the ingredients are in equal quantities, I guessed that it wouldn’t matter. I forged ahead anyway and I’m so glad I did. This is a terrific drink that’s very easy to make and even easier to consume.

Paper Plane Cocktail Recipe

Shaker Coupe
  • 3/4 oz Bourbon (I used Bulleit)
  • 3/4 oz Aperol
  • 3/4 oz Amaro (I used Averna)
  • 3/4 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Peel for Garnish

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake until cold. Dispense into a coupe or cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Why You’ll Like the Paper Plane Cocktail

The drink is well balanced and very complex. The sweet taste of the Bourbon in combination with the sweeter side of the Amaro balances out the bitter from the Amaro/Aperol combination and the sour from the lemon. Every sip of this cocktail is a new and enjoyable experience. I highly recommend it.

Cinco de Mayo Cocktails

Here’s a list of Cinco de Mayo Cocktails, including detailed instructions on how to make ’em at home. If you prefer partying out like you’ve just beaten back the French yourself (that is, after all, what the holiday is celebrating), then treat this as a list of celebratory cocktails to try at your favorite bar.

Mexican Firing Squad - Consumatorium

Mexican Firing Squad

I ran across the Mexican Firing Squad while perusing a few cocktail blogs and was surprised I hadn’t heard of it earlier. Apparently, it’s a classic, having appeared in Charles H. Baker Jr’s Gentleman’s Companion, Volume II first printed in 1946. He discovered the drink at the La Cucaracha Bar in Mexico City in 1937. I don’t Read More

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Our most popular post since we started the Consumatorium is our recipe for making Pineapple and Vanilla Infused Tequila. Now that summer is here, it’s getting viewed by loads of happy home bartenders and drinkers daily. In the post, we describe how to infuse the tequila, but we really don’t say much about using it in cocktails. We Read More

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There are about 42,000 margarita recipes out there and that doesn’t even count the frozen varieties or the ones you can buy pre-made in a jug at the grocery store. While many of these are tasty, like our own Pomegranate Margarita and Ginger Margarita, most are no better than drinking a glass of spiked Kool-Aid Read More

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Caramba! This is a good one. It is adapted from the recipe booklet that comes with the Domaine de Canton, and if you like a marg you will enjoy this cocktail. At first sniff and sip, I thought it might be another “too much Mezcal” drink, but no. And now I’m wishing I had made Read More


As Will points out, a true classic Margarita won’t taste like what you get in the average bar, because they often use sour mix or even Margarita mix to save time. And those mixes, among other differences, are sweeter than the straight ingredients. Here is how you actually make a Margarita. Prep by putting a Read More

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Punch Bowl - Courtesy of Kimpton Hotels Blog

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Mexican Firing Squad - Consumatorium

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The Paloma Cocktail – Margarita’s More Popular Cousin


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Rosé is the new Albariño

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American Trilogy

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Consumatorium Reviews: Craft Cocktail Bars in Copenhagen, Denmark

Rapscallion at Ruby

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Video: How to do an Absinthe Wash

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Consumatorium Reviews: Wine Clubs


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Consumatorium Reviews: Hawaiian Craft Cocktail Culture


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Ginger Margarita


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Monkey Gland


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Barrel Aging at Home – Part I


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Classic Martinez


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A Merry Consumatorium Christmas to All


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Orange Sazerac


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The Last Word


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Robert’s Revenge


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Cuba Libre


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Consumatorium Reviews: OAK at Fourteenth, Boulder


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The Classics

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3G Cocktail


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Consumatorium Reviews: Monkey Bar, NYC

Monkey Bar, NYC - 2013-10-11-4

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Jack Rose Cocktail


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I invented this drink a couple of months ago, when I was experimenting again with Perfect Martini variations (see En Banc for another). I was trying to come up with something that those who disdain vermouth could enjoy, but without the sweetness of … [Continue reading]

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Consumatorium Reviews: Hemingway Bar in Prague, Czech Republic


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Tools of the Trade II


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Blueberry Smash


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Auld Alliance


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Cocktails for an Outing


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Mint Simple Syrup


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Pineapple Infusion


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As Will points out, a true classic Margarita won't taste like what you get in the average bar, because they often use sour mix or even Margarita mix to save time. And those mixes, among other differences, are sweeter than the straight … [Continue reading]

Pomegranate Margarita


You know how it is when you walk into a run-of-the-mill bar and ask for a margarita on the rocks? Odds are you'll get some sickly sweet drink that'll knock your head back and will taste more synthetic than anything else. That's because the primary … [Continue reading]

Testing Quantities


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Ginger Beer Refresher


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East Meets West


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Scottish Sombrero


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Table Scraps #1


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Classic Martini with Modern Brands


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Norman Conquest


Well, I've been refining this drink over the last few days and it's eerily similar to the En Banc that Dave has been working on. In my creation, I use Regan's Orange Bitters while Dave uses Amaro. Dave came at his drink while thinking about … [Continue reading]

En Banc


You've been wondering, I'm sure, whether I'm on the wagon, given the dearth of posts. Never fear. I've been experimenting with variations on the Perfect Martini, and hadn't found a combination worthy of sharing (though some were good and probably … [Continue reading]



Back in the day, Will and I used to drink more than our fair share of Rusty Nails. There was a restaurant, Callahan's (it still exists, but they moved and were never the same), that served them in pint glasses for $3. OK, that was almost 30 years … [Continue reading]

Sweet Vermouth – Adding Carpano Antica to the Mix


We've discussed several varieties of vermouth before on this blog, but in our undying commitment to trash our livers so you don't have to, we're going to go into a little more depth on Sweet Vermouths in this post. Sometimes called "Italian" or … [Continue reading]

Sazerac Cocktail

Sazerac - 2013-11-15-6

[Note: this is an update from the original post to cover both Rye and Cognac versions of the drink] Most claim that this is the oldest American cocktail, having been first created by Peychaud of bitters fame in the 1830s. It got its name in the … [Continue reading]

Rob Roy


The Rob Roy is just a Manhattan made with scotch whisky instead of rye. That makes it sound similar, but in fact it tastes quite different, and is very much worth having in your repertoire. The drink is named after Rob Roy MacGregor, a Scottish folk … [Continue reading]



Not everyone likes cocktail onions. I do. They're not included in our starter bar, but for ten bucks you can get a small jar that will last a very long time whether you use them or not. Unfortunately there aren't very many standard recipes that use … [Continue reading]

Dieci e Lodi


For the home bartender, adding fruit juice to the repertoire increases dramatically the variety of drinks you can make, at very low cost in dollars and space. You need a good juicer, so that you can use fresh juice - it makes a huge difference. Plus … [Continue reading]

Williamsburg Cocktail


It's "spring" in Colorado, which means "winter every other week." Just as some have been pulling their warm-weather clothes out of the closet, I've recently made a few warm weather cocktails, like the Negroni and the Scotch and Soda. But tonight … [Continue reading]

Will’s Antiquato


Several years ago, I was at a charity auction and bid on and won the opportunity to work with a bartender at a restaurant to create my own drink and then to have that drink featured on the restaurant's menu for a month. The restaurant, Rocca, in … [Continue reading]



In the early 19th century, cocktails were a mixture of a liquor, bitters, sugar and water. Later, mixers like Triple Sec and Absinthe became more widely available and were commonly used in cocktails. After bars started stocking these newfangled … [Continue reading]



Sometimes the home bartender has to substitute, and even compromise, to make a first pass at a cocktail. That's what I did here, substituting a half-and-half mix of cognac and cheap apple pucker for apple brandy. It's not the same, but gives you a … [Continue reading]

Negroni Cocktail


Ah, spring is here: the birds are chirping, the air is warmer, everyone is playing outside. I put on my Chaco sandals and we took a ride in the convertible.  It must be time for a Negroni! Unlike many classic cocktails, this one can be traced to a … [Continue reading]



I've been working my way through a few of the IBA standard cocktails, and I know the Sidecar is a classic. It can be mixed with our starter bar ingredients. Unfortunately it has the same problem as the White Lady, which is that it is too lemon-tart … [Continue reading]

Ordering Cocktails at Restaurants


We took a little road trip this weekend to southwest Colorado, enjoying a little skiing, hiking, and hot springs. On Sunday we went out for a nice dinner, and the food was excellent, but the cocktail situation left a lot to be desired. A quick glance … [Continue reading]

Scotch and Soda


It's 70 degrees in Boulder today, so I left the office a few minutes early, came home, and made myself the original highball, a Scotch and Soda. Always refreshing, and a great way to begin the process of acquiring a taste for scotch. You don't need a … [Continue reading]

White Lady


The White Lady is a classic cocktail that I found on the IBA website. I made one this past weekend as shown in the photo, and while I enjoyed it, it was very tart. I feel about lemon juice the way Will does about dry vermouth: a little goes a long … [Continue reading]

Behind the Bar – Bartending Tips

As Dave and I work on this blog, we are going to try to summarize bartending tips that we think are important in a new page on the blog called Behind the Bar - Bartending Tips. We hope it will be a good resource to scan once in a while to remind … [Continue reading]

Starting Your Bar


A while back, Dave and I published a list of what we felt were the essential liquors for a well stocked bar. Since then, several people have asked us where to start, how to build a bar on a budget and what are our favorites. So, we put together the … [Continue reading]

Vieux Carre


I tried the Vieux Carre cocktail at Boulder's Brasserie 1010, thinking it was a house invention, and only later learning that it is a classic cocktail invented in New Orleans in the early 20th century. I was also pleased to find that it uses mostly … [Continue reading]

The Highball


Highballs are a very different category of cocktail from what we've looked at so far on this blog. They have a much lower concentration of alcohol, making them appropriate and enjoyable for those who don't like more 'boozy' drinks. They're also nice … [Continue reading]

Wilted Poinsettia


I was playing with some mint for an upcoming post and decided to just invent something. The mint plus Campari makes this look like a poinsettia that died around New Year's Day, but is still in the house in February. It's a tasty drink, with some … [Continue reading]

Bar Essentials – Vermouth


In a previous post, Dave discussed one type of vermouth, Bianco. We've also discussed other types of vermouth as mixers in some of the drinks we've mentioned. Some people drink this stuff straight up - which is gross IMO - but as a mixer, a couple of … [Continue reading]



The B&B is a classic after dinner drink - so classic, in fact, that you can get it pre-bottled. It stands for Brandy and.Benedictine (even quantities), and it is a tasty combo. Never content, I decided to mix it with bitters - specifically, an Amaro … [Continue reading]

Cabaret Cocktail Redux


I previously wrote about the Cabaret Cocktail, which is a sort of Martini plus a little Benedictine, and while it was enjoyable it seemed to be missing something. More recently, I've been experimenting with various mixtures of Benedictine and Bitters … [Continue reading]

Amari Throwdown


Dave posted a while back about Amaro Montenegro, which is quite good. We've also posted about several other Amari (plural for Amaro) used in mixed drinks. I thought it would be a good idea to taste test a selection of Amari back-to-back to answer the … [Continue reading]

Baroque and Famous


We're at a cocktail party at our friends Bob and Micki's place. Bob's scientific work takes him to South America, and he picked up this bottle (note, a used Miller beer bottle) of these super tasty, unusual bitters from Iquitos, Peru. We replaced the … [Continue reading]

Tools of the Trade


You don't need many tools to make great cocktails. Sure, you can go out and spend a fortune on some big cocktail kit, but there are only five tools you need.A small measuring cup. Here is the Oxo Mini Stainless Steal Measuring Cup which you can buy … [Continue reading]

Jewel, Bijou, or Tailspin


Have you noticed that there is no way to search on ingredients to find the name of a cocktail? Google helps a little but it's hit or miss. With all the mixology going on and poseurs like me and Will making up our own cocktail names, there is bound to … [Continue reading]



This is a cousin of the Negroni which we have yet to describe - I'm leaving it to Dave because he has refined the proportions to be much more palatable than those of the original recipe. The Patrician retains the tart nature of the Negroni but adds a … [Continue reading]

Tommy Noble


Named for the failed British boxer by a bartender at the now closed B Side Lounge in Cambridge, MA - what does that tell you about this drink? Failed boxer, closed bar . . . It's actually quite good with a sweet and sour taste (not bitter, but sour) … [Continue reading]

Hot Tamales Infusion


Don't be intimidated by infusions. While they take a little time, they are very easy to do and offer up some tastes that you just can't buy. I spent many months last year experimenting with infusions, several of which I'll share with you here. Today, … [Continue reading]

Casino Soul


Just picked up my first bottle of Cynar yesterday, it's an Amaro/bitters sort of beverage that is newer (1950s) than some of the multi-century liqueurs I've been playing with. Supposedly it is unique in that it includes artichoke as an ingredient, … [Continue reading]

Cognitive Deficit


This cocktail recipe is courtesy of my long time friend and colleague Randy O'Reilly and his brother-in-law Dave Marr. It's really flavorful and brings out the Chartreuse without being dominated by it. Also, a lot of cocktails with orange juice just … [Continue reading]

Shaken or Stirred?

Because tonight's cocktail was just an enjoyable variant of the Upper West Side, I thought I'd talk briefly about the age-old question of shaken or stirred, which for some is a matter equal in importance to bathroom standards such as seat up or down … [Continue reading]

The Back Bay


Sometimes, you have a drink at a bar and instantly fall in love with it. Once in a while, you want to spit it out - in the direction of the bartender. Still, at other times, you try something and you know it's close, but not quite … [Continue reading]

Cabaret Cocktail


In keeping with the theme of Martini + something, we have the Cabaret, which features a touch of Benedictine. This is good but seems like it is missing something - really I think it's just a little shy with the Benedictine, giving the recipe in … [Continue reading]

Golden Gibson


A Gibson is a dry martini with a cocktail onion instead of an olive or lemon twist. I felt like an experiment so I added Grand Marnier and a little absinthe. Nice combo - I like the color and it's just a mildly flavored martini. 2 oz Gin 1 oz dry … [Continue reading]

Not a Martinez


Well, I thought I had been making the classic Martinez recipe, but it turns out I had the gin and vermouth quantities mostly reversed, ending up with something more like an augmented Martini (recall that the original Martini used sweet vermouth). … [Continue reading]

St. Germain, Lillet, Bianco: A Comparison


These are three liqueur/mixers that have some similarity in color and alcohol content. St Germain has become quite popular in the last few years, while Lillet Blanc's claim to fame is its inclusion in the Vesper, a truly nasty beverage fictionally … [Continue reading]

El Monje Loco


This one is my invention and I'm damn proud of it. First, the name: I was calling it "Crazy Monk" due to the tequila / Benedictine combo. Then my friend Mauricio pointed out that there is a sort of cartoon character in Mexico named "El Monje Loco", … [Continue reading]

The Upper West Side


Yesterday, Dave posted Best. Manhattan, Evar. I made the drink tonight and it is fabulous. A must try. But, I don't think that making it a Manhattan derivative does it justice. It is a bit sweeter and has more body than a Manhattan. I believe it … [Continue reading]

Fort Point


The Fort Point is the house drink at the bar Drink (yes, that's the name of the bar) in Boston. Since I went to a cocktail class with the bartenders from Drink and learned how to make it, it's been my absolute favorite and my go-to cocktail.2 ounces … [Continue reading]

Best. Manhattan. Evar.


A Manhattan is among the most classic of classic cocktails. The standard recipe is Rye, sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters with a cherry. My drink tonight illustrates how brands matter, because it was amazing. 2 oz Russell's Kentucky Rye 1 oz … [Continue reading]

A Well-Stocked Bar

We've had several requests for a list of what a bar should include. Here is a first attempt; Will and I collaborated on this list. We have avoided specifying brands for this particular purpose, because we'll want to get into that with more focus for … [Continue reading]

Aviation Cocktail


The Aviation Cocktail is a classic drink - one of those created by some bartender at a fancy hotel in New York during the early 20th century like a thousand other drinks. The drink has an unusual flavor with the gin balanced by the sweetness of the … [Continue reading]



The Brooklyn is one of the cocktails that got me interested in the larger world of ingredients. It's a classic from the 1800s, but one of the key ingredients is an amaro called Amer Picon, which is not generally imported into the U.S. Some bars … [Continue reading]

Maximilian Affair


In the original Maximilian Affair, the French intervened in Mexican affairs in the mid-19th century. If Napoleon had the drink Maximilian Affair available to him at the time, he would have been decidedly more chill about beating the crap out of the … [Continue reading]

Welcomed Pause


Last night I had dinner at the Bramble & Hare, a fairly serious mixological establishment, and started with a Welcomed Pause. In both name and ingredients, this suited my mood. Basically it's gin and several Amaros. I don't have any of those … [Continue reading]

Bar Essentials – Punt e Mes


Up until about a year ago, I had never even heard of Punt e Mes. Now, I use it all the time. Punt e Mes is an Italian vermouth that is sweet at first taste, but bitter as it lasts on the tongue. The bitter effect is, interestingly, cumulative. The … [Continue reading]

Amaro Montenegro


After enjoying a Cooperstown - basically a Perfect Martini with mint, pretty good) before dinner at Alba, we decided to have a little "digestivo" at home. Amaro Montenegro is a recent acquisition that I bought for mixed cocktails, but its origins are … [Continue reading]

San Gennaro


This one was suggested by my friend and colleague Joni Klippert, and has the merit of consisting of ingredients I already have. That is, except for the Luxardo cherries, which I was long overdue to procure. 1 oz Rye 1 oz Amaro Montenegro 1 oz sweet … [Continue reading]

Scotch Whisky

The Glenlivet

I've been drinking scotch since I was in high school, and there is a lot to say about it. Today, though, I just want to talk about a couple of basics. The main thing to know about scotch is that there are single malts, and blends, and if you care … [Continue reading]

Dry Martini


The original Martini recipe actually called for Italian (sweet) vermouth. The Dry Martini was a variation that substituted French (dry) vermouth. Only more recently did 'dry' come to refer to the amount of vermouth. 3 oz Plymouth Gin 1 oz … [Continue reading]

Chrysanthemum Cocktail


I first had a Chrysanthemum at the Black Cat in Boulder. It's an after-dinner cocktail that made a lovely dessert that Maureen and I shared. Why fill up on pastry carbs when you can have one of these? Black Cat made theirs with Bianco vermouth, which … [Continue reading]

Income Tax Cocktail


I was browsing recipes on Imbibe and came up with this tasty drink, the Income Tax Cocktail. It's the weekend, so I thought I'd make it a little bigger than the recipe - here's what I did: 2 oz Plymouth Gin1 oz Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth1 oz … [Continue reading]