Cigars are fine, but a cigar and a drink? Damn fine, indeed.
Now, if you are reading this article, you are probably wondering if there are guiding principles behind pairing cigars and drinks—and there are! Here are some things to consider when you go to enjoy your next smoke and glass of vintage.
Consider the Strength of the Flavor Profile
Our rule of thumb is to try to match flavors and strength levels. For example, dark Oscuro wrapper cigars and freshly brewed espresso, a strong stout, or a potent brown liquor (like bourbon).
On the other end of the spectrum, a nice blonde mild cigar and a wheat beer, a new coffee you've wanted to try, or an easygoing port.
Of course, this isn't a hard and fast rule. The piece of advice that serves you best will be to experiment. There are definitely wrong answers on the pairing test. And if you experiment, you're sure to find them. But if you go against the rules, you might find some fantastic things.
A strong smoke may overpower a weak drink, or it may accentuate a particular flavor that makes the experience worthwhile. A strong drink may shine with a weak smoke—you never know until you try.
Remember, the goal is flavors that are interesting together. Each flavor will influence the other. So take things slow, see what works, and enjoy the ride.
Great Flavor Combinations
Here's a great list of drinks to start with:
- Brown liquor (dark rum, whiskey, bourbon, cognac, brandy)
- Coffee, especially espresso drinks
- Wines, such as reds and ports
- Beers, including porters and stouts
A note on white spirits and other more mild drinks: many people report that a cigar overpowers these beverages. However, we say go ahead and try it anyway. It might not be an electric pairing, but that doesn't mean it's a bad experience either, and who knows, it might be just what you were looking for!
If you want to swill some Anejo tequila while you smoke, go right ahead!
If you got a new Gewürztraminer last weekend at your local winery and you want to pop the cork, be our guest!
If you grabbed a six-pack of the ol' silver bullet and you want to see if the taste of the Rockies pairs well with your latest Rocky Patel acquisition, you just might find a special cosmic connection.
Let no rules hold you back.
And be a pal and let us know if you find any amazing combos to try. We want in too!
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