4 Drinks to Go with Your Smoke / 4 Drinks to Sip with Your Cigar
A great way to celebrate a momentous occasion is to enjoy a specially-prepared meal, followed by cigar-rolling in Miami. Then after you light up your premium cigar and lounge in a cozy chair, you can enhance the smoke with the right drink. In this guide and in no particular order, we suggest some drinks you can and should savor along with your hand-rolled cigar.
Cognac is brandy, but not all brandy can be called Cognac. For a brandy to be considered Cognac, it must be produced from a specific type of grapes grown in an area that spans the banks of France’s Charente River to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean—a swath of land labeled as the Appellation d’Origine Controlee’ or AOC. Cognac must also be distilled twice in copper pot stills, followed by two years in Limousin or Troncais oak barrels; the resulting liquor must then have at least 40% alcohol content.
Cognac has specific designations with corresponding minimum ages. These are Very Special or VS, aged two years, Very Superior Old Pale, VSOP, aged four years, and Extra Old, XO, aged at least six years. Many higher-priced Cognac brands can be aged for longer. As for which Cognac goes well with cigars, ignore the VS and go for the VSOP or XO. Choose a mild or medium-bodied cigar to pair with these liquors.
Created in Portugal, Port was used as a way to preserve their red wines on their long journey from the vineyards of the Duoro Valley to the town of Porto. It’s at Porto where Port is stored in warehouses before being exported all over the world. Port can be taken as is, or used as a versatile cocktail ingredient. It can substitute vermouth, add sweetness, diversify the flavor of drinks, or tone down the alcohol content of other liquors.
Traditionally, Port is a good partner for a premium cigar. Vintage Port has the right amount of sweetness and alcohol to complement a full-bodied smoke, while younger Ports can lend spice to your cigar, due to their strong tannins. Non-vintage Ports like tawny Port can go nicely with a cigar, thanks to their woody notes inherited from years of aging.
Coffeeholics can rejoice. Not all drinks need be alcoholic, as cigars can pair very well with coffees like cappuccino, cafe mocha, cuban coffee and cafe con leche. Coffee with Irish Cream can go particularly well with a good cigar. Another route is to pick a coffee liqeur. Bailey’s on the rocks is a good pairing with most any cigar.
Single-malt scotch, small batch and single-barrel bourbons are all excellent complements to cigars; the smoky character of fine single malt taken from the smoked peat to filter the liquor, matches seamlessly with a quality cigar. Small-batch bourbons’ higher proof levels and strong flavors match perfectly with medium-bodied and full-bodied cigars.
This sugarcane-derived spirit is a natural partner to cigars. Rum comes from the same geographic regions where cigars are made, so their pairing is to be expected. Rum goes well with cigars due to their sweetness and robust flavor, but be cautious when choosing a rum to go with your smoke. Steer clear from cheap rum as it can spoil even the best cigar. A low-quality rum will highlight the roughness of your cigar’s smoke, ruining your experience.
The drinks listed above are considered traditional pairings with cigars, but some red wines, tequila and some beers can actually step up and match well with your smoke. You might even be surprised to find certain types of Sake to be good with your smoke too. The trick to finding good pairings is to match the body of the cigar to the body of the beverage. For instance, a light-bodied cigar will taste fine with white wine, some younger-vintage red wines, and blended scotch. Medium-bodied cigars go well with most Irish whiskeys, and full-bodied cigars marry well with heavy Highland single malt whiskeys. Don’t confine yourself to traditional pairings and feel free to experiment; at the end of the day, it’s your palate that dictates what drink tastes good with your cigar.
At Cigar Stud, we provide expert cigar-rolling services for all kinds of events, whether it’s a wedding or a product launch. We provide everything from the tobacco to the matchboxes, and our friendly and professional staff will be there to give you and your guests a unique cigar-smoking experience.