Today I’m closing out my Monday Booktails series with one last drink from Sasha Petraske’s Regarding Cocktails. It was developed by Sam Ross (who also created the Penicillin cocktail) for fellow Milk & Honey alum, Toby Maloney, who was looking for a new summer cocktail for his bar in the Wicker Park area of Chicago called The Violet Hour. The drink is a riff on the amazing equal parts cocktail called the Last Word, which first appeared at The Detroit Athletic Club in the 1920s, disappeared for a period of time, and resurfaced with the cocktail renaissance movement in Seattle. It’s now on bar menus everywhere. The last word is made with gin, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, Green Chartreuse, and lime juice. For the Paper Plane cocktail, Sam Ross uses bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol, and lemon juice. This drink is rooted in the warmth of the bourbon and the Amaro, with the bitter sweetness of the Aperol and the tang of the lemon juice adding the perfect counterpart of bright flavors. According to Ross, the drink took quite a bit of tweaking to get just right and was named after a 2007 song from British rapper M.I.A. called “Paper Planes.” Apparently, Petraske loved the song and played it on repeat that summer at Milk & Honey, a definite deviation from the 30s jazz that was the bar’s normal background music.
I chose the Paper Plane as my last of the Booktails series because equal parts cocktails can be notoriously difficult to get just right, and it takes great skill to bring together just the right combination of ingredients. The paper Plane was a great hit at The Violet Hour, which is still open, and is now on bar menus everywhere. For my next Monday series, I’ll be talking with bartenders in the Philadelphia area about drinks they’ve developed for their bar programs and about what inspires their craft. Is it precision in measuring, fresh ingredients, the history behind classic cocktails…??? We’re about to find out. Look for my first post next Monday that will feature a cocktail called Lucky in Love from Mathias Bable, that will be on the spring menu of my favorite bar in the city, Charlie was a sinner at 131 S 13th St, right here in Philadelphia. Cheers everyone. Happy Monday!
Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until very cold. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve with no garnish or a lemon strip. Enjoy!