A Paper Plane, the Bowery Hotel – photo by Maxwell Imber

It seems fitting on New Years Eve to think of cocktails. I had this wonderfully refreshing cocktail at the bar of the Bowery Hotel last night. First conceived for the bar Little Branch in Manhattan, Australian bartender Sam Ross named it after the singer M.I.A’s song Paper Planes which he was listening to while he worked on the recipe. The song is considered subversive containing unconventional subject matter by humorously promoting globalization.  You might say that this cocktail, simple but unexpected, is a bit subversive as well–but well worth a try.

Paper Plane

3/4 ounce bourbon
3/4 ounce Nonino Quintessentia amaro (bittersweet Italian liqueur)
3/4 ounce Aperol (bitter orange Italian aperitif)
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe. Sam Ross is known to say about shaking a cocktail, “you are waking it up not putting it to sleep.” If your arm is hurting it is a sign you are getting it right.


The Bowery Hotel, where I sampled the Paper Plane

On New Years Eve it is also automatic to think about toasts and resolutions. I was thinking about how Winston Churchill is popular for his pithy quotes and one liners, some serious and some not so serious. Making a name for himself for his heroics, his drinking also made a reputation for itself in 1899 when he was just 25 and was sent as a correspondent to cover the Boer war. With him to the front line he took 36 bottles of wine, 18 of scotch, and 6 of brandy. He had a bottle of champagne for lunch and often one for dinner. He always had a glass or whisky or brandy by him. Although, by all accounts he never seemed drunk–seeing drunkenness as beneath his aristocratic upbringing.


Mr. Churchill on horseback returning a hero in 1899 and a portrait from 1900

Here are few quotes by Mr. Churchill for inspiration on this New Years Eve.

“My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.”

“I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.”

“Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation it is a corpse.”

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”


Happy New Year’s eve, raise a glass!