Nothing says class like a cigar, so long as you know how to smoke them properly. Presuming that you do know how to smoke them properly, or are learning, then you’ll know how important a good drink is with a cigar.
Yet how do you pair cigars with drinks? What kind of cigar goes with what drink? What are the best drinks to go with cigars?
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some perfect pairings. Some of these will be classics that you know and love, while others will be slightly more esoteric and adventurous.
Are you ready to learn more and start experiencing better drink and cigar pairings? Then read on!
Cigars and Whiskies
Whiskey is one of the most obvious drinks to enjoy with a cigar. There’s something about the taste of a great whiskey that goes perfectly with a cigar.
Bourbon is a common pairing with cigars, and it’s a very solid option for darker cigars that have a leathery note that will complement the dark and rich taste of bourbon. Canadian whiskies are also a fantastic option to have with a cigar, as Canadian whiskey is usually slightly lighter than bourbon, which means it goes perfectly with a lighter smoke.
A good Scotch is also pretty much unbeatable with a cigar. We’d err on the side of stronger cigars with most Scotches, as they typically have a peaty note that will complement the taste of a darker smoke. If you want to experience a smoky taste sensation, then Laphroaig is a particularly good Scotch to smoke with, as this whiskey features some intensely smoky and peaty notes.
Irish whiskey is also a favorite and, like Scotch, runs the gamut of tastes, so it can be paired with almost any cigar.
Cigars and Beer
You probably don’t think of beer as a particularly classy drink, which means you probably don’t reach for one when you’re about to light up. The thing is, while it may not have such a classy image, a great beer can go incredibly well with some cigars.
A light-bodied cigar like a Romeo y Julieta 1875 goes very well with a lager, as the cigar features a very mild taste, with notes of nuts, which complement the crisp taste of a lager.
If you’re an IPA drinker, you should try a mild or medium-bodied cigar that features sweet notes, like an Ashton. The slight creaminess of the smoke will go well with the slightly sour citrus taste of an IPA, and will also pair very well with a wheat beer.
If you’re a fan of strong, full-bodied cigars, then you should consider drinking a porter or a stout, which will have creamy notes reminiscent of a good coffee, which will pair perfectly with a stronger stogie.
Cigars and Brandy
Brandy and cigars after dinner are about as classy as it gets. While you may not retire to a separate lounge to enjoy your smoke, it’s still a great way to bring some old-world charm to a fancy dinner.
As with whiskies, you should pair like with like. Pair a light brandy, such as a Cognac, with a mild cigar that will complement the slight nuttiness that comes with milder smokes.
If you want to smoke a medium-bodied cigar like a Gothic Serpent (click here for more info), you should go for a brandy that has a bit of spice to it, which will complement the spiciness of the cigar smoke. A Spanish brandy from Jerez is a good option for this.
Full-bodied cigars like a Robusto should go with a strong-tasting aged Cognac.
Cigars and Wine
When it comes to cigars and wine, you’ll usually want to opt for a full-bodied red wine like a Zinfandel or a Syrah. A lighter wine won’t be able to compete with the taste of stronger cigars: you want a wine that will coat the inside of your mouth and survive the onslaught of smoke.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should never enjoy a white wine with a cigar. A mild cigar will go wonderfully with something like a Riesling or a Pinot Grigio, where the sweetness and fruitful flavor of the wine will match the fruitier cigar.
Cigars and Coffee
If you’re after a non-alcoholic drink to enjoy with your cigar, then coffee is a perfect match. Anyone who’s ever enjoyed tobacco and coffee knows how well the two go together.
As you might expect by now, you should scale up the intensity of the coffee with the cigar. For a mild cigar, stick with a light roast, while for a full-bodied cigar, you should drink a very dark roast, like a Puerto Rican blend. You may also wish to consider drinking black coffee if enjoying a stronger smoke.
Cigars and Cocktails
With summer upon us, cocktails are being poured across the country, so why not enjoy a cigar with one?
With a mild cigar, we’d recommend sticking to very fruity cocktails that bring a lot of sweetness. Something like a Pina Colada or a Mojito will be perfect for these cigars.
For a medium-bodied cigar, something with a bit of a herbal or spicy taste is your best bet. Some examples of drinks like this include gin and tonics and Moscow Mules.
With full-bodied cigars, something like an Old Fashioned or another whiskey-based cocktail should be your first port of call.
Find Your Perfect Pairings
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this guide to perfect pairings of cigars and drinks. While we’ve given you some top-quality combinations, don’t be afraid to mix it up and find your own combination that we’ve not explored. If all else fails, whiskies and Cognacs will always be there, waiting for you.
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