Home bartenders have been busy riding out the recession with crafty survival tactics like tapping the full flavor potential of plastic jug vodka with essence of Skittles, for example, and it seems fitting that a new wave of cocktail books is now being unleashed on the public. The good news is that Food & Wine has just published Cocktails ’09, a soft-cover easy read that combines bar listings (NY is represented by spots like Apothéke, Employees Only, and newcomer Dutch Kills) with lots of make-at-home recipes including some compiled by the talented Jim Meehan of PDT. The bad news, as noted by the Wall Street Journal, is that there aren’t a lot of vodka-based drinks in the volume (down 50 some recipes from the ’05 edition).

For a drink called Paper Plane (like the song) from Little Branch bartender Sam Ross (page 142, Mixologists’ Drinks Section, Food & Wine’s Cocktails ’09), we turn to bourbon and a couple of generally ignored liquors. If you don’t have the aperitif and digestif kicking around your kitchen, just waiting to be used up, raid someone else’s liquor cabinet—pre and post-dinner liquors are often the last used of anyone’s stash. [Recipe after the jump]

Paper Plane
Sam Ross, Little Branch

¾ ounce bourbon
¾ ounce Nonino Quintesssentia amaro
¾ ounce Aperol
¾ ounce lemon juice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe.

Paper Plane recipe reprinted with permission from Food & Wine’s Cocktails ’09