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10 Cocktails Bartenders Actually Order

Published on June 9, 2023 | 12:30 PM


Here's what these cocktail experts like to sip on when they're not making drinks behind the bar.



#9. Paper Plane

Invented in 2008, this red-orange cocktail has been described as a riff on a Last Word—despite having none of the same ingredients. Made with bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino, and freshly squeezed lemon juice, this beverage is a hit among multiple bartenders.

"A Paper Plane is a cocktail you can drink in summer or winter. It's light and refreshing enough for summer while also being just heavy enough for winter," says Nick Kanakaris, beverage manager and sommelier at New Jersey-based Sergeantsville Inn.


Josue Castillo, beverage director of Boston's Next Door Speakeasy & Raw Bar, adds that this equal-parts drink "generally cannot be messed up."


"I know it is going to be good with the bitter from the Aperol—but not too bitter," explains Castillo. "And the Amaro Nonino and bourbon give the drink the perfect amount of sweetness that it needs to balance out the tartness of the fresh lemon juice."


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