Pretty excited that Old Town Bodega near us was doing take-away Paper Planes. That’s one of my go-to cocktails and I was both excited to get out in the neighborhood and compare mine to their’s.
A Paper Plane is a relatively recent cocktail and doesn’t leave a lot of room for interpretation so far. I was able to determine as we ordered that they they preserved the 1:1:1:1 ratio. The Aperol, and fresh lemon juice are totally non-optional. The Amaro is supposed to be Amaro Nonino. Some places change it up (probably because Nonino is one of the more expensive amaros), but I pretty much always suffers when you change the Amaro. The last ingredient is bourbon. This is the main place for improvisation (or cost savings).
We brought home the Bodega paper plane and I made one of my own with Elijah Craig bourbon (though Bulleit probably would have been a more fair comparison). We had a side by side tasting.
The Bodega paper plane was very good. There was a piece of orange peel in the bottle, a nice touch, and it definitely used the Nonino. It had a nice citrus tone, but there was a bite to the bourbon (we think maybe the bourbon was Jim Beam, I’ll ask next time).
Well worth a visit and I would recommend, though we preferred my mix. It is easier to use the best ingredients at home and tougher when you have to make a living off your cocktails. Any drink that is so focussed on spirits over mix is always going to be better with better spirits.