|What to Drink with a Cigar
So what is the best drink to accompany my cigar?
There is no straightforward answer to the question of what you should drink with a cigar. A lot of it is down to personal preference. You should drink what you feel comfortable with; after all, smoking a cigar is a very the cigar. But as we know, most of people who smoke cigaer prefer, to drink Spirits and wine, because it provides an ideal marriage with a premium hand-rolled cigar. Your choice of beverage depends on personal taste, but it can vary according personal thing, and everything about the ritual should contribute to the enjoyment. To drink something purely because it seems to be the done thing is to miss the point of to the time of the day and the event. Sometimes what you want with your after dinner cigar is the full-bodied, slightly sweet taste of a vintage Port; or maybe you made carefully to avoid a mismatch. The smoky, cedary bouquet of a strong cigar can linger on your palate for hours, and it will continue to want the palate cleansing sharpness of an aged Cognac.
So how would it taste like?
The immediate effect of a cigar on your taste buds is potent. If you plan to drink during or immediately after smoking a cigar, your choices need to be contributing to whatever you are eating or drinking. Paired properly with the right food and beverage, say a dark barley wine or a peaty single malt scotch, this match may be made in heaven. The peaty-rich nose and the finish of perfectly ripe apricots offered by a barley wine, in combination with a cigar's potent contribution of a creamy smooth taste with hints of cedar and spice, can be a wonderful combination.
Any basic rules for the matching?
When selecting a good drink to go with your cigar, in general you should try to match relative flavors and weights. A full-bodied cigar calls for a full-bodied drink, while more delicate drinks such as champagne, while they may still work, call for a far lighter cigar. There are two main problems with this rule: As a generalization, it is not always true, and it’s a rule that is more useful for avoiding mistakes than for discovering sublime new marriages of drink and cigar.
Truly great pairings come when complex flavors within a cigar and a spirit create synergy -- that is, attributes that were not evident come to the forefront. A dull cigar suddenly smacks of cocoa; whiskey tastes of orange peel. Both cigar and spirit develop a nuttiness where it previously hadn't been. Predicting or pinpointing the causes behind such good fortune is harder than simply matching body weights. A spicy, salty cigar might soar when paired with a sweeter spirit because the tastes complement and create overtones of toast or nuts.
So after all those lovely words, let’s get into the real business, and let me provide you a short guide to some of the more common drinks, in order to simplify the situation. Be aware that, the list will be rated from the first to the last.
Best drink to accompany your cigar
Cognac is the traditional, almost clichéd, drink to have with cigars. This is largely because of timing – both were usually taken after meals, and so they naturally became linked. Arguably, there is no better drink to combine with a cigar after a meal.
When buying cognac, pay attention to the age designation of the bottle. VS (Very Special) is the lowest category of age, and should generally be ignored for pairing with cigars. The middle age bracket is designated VSOP (Very Special Old Pale), and indicates ageing of at least four and a half years. Mild and medium-bodied cigars go particularly well with this age of cognac. The highest age bracket is XO, standing for Extra Old, and has a minimum ageing requirement of six and a half years, although much older brandies can sometimes be part of the blend.
In the world of spirits, small batch and single barrel Bourbons and single malt Scotches are super premium products that have the complexity and depth of flavor to stand up to a cigar. The smoky quality of a fine single malt, derived from the smoked peat used to filter the spirit, marries perfectly with a good cigar. The small batch Bourbons are bottled at a higher proof level, which gives them a backbone of strong flavors, and they marry well with medium- and full-bodied cigars. Kentucky straight Bourbons and Tennessee whisky, although often a bit lighter, also mix well with cigars because of the charred wood flavors that turn the liquors dark brown. Aged rums, with their slightly sweet profile and burned molasses flavors, can smooth out a cigar.
Port is a traditional partner for a great cigar. The sweetness and alcoholic power of vintage Port blends perfectly with a full-bodied smoke; even younger vintage Ports are appropriate because their strong tannins stand up to a spicy smoke. Nonvintage styles such as tawny Port also complement a cigar nicely because of the woody characteristics they acquire during long barrel aging.
Popular wine tastings are frequently offered with pairings, usually something incredibly fabulous to eat whipped up in a 5-star kitchen by some celebrity chef. If you travel to the close-knit wine country town of Lodi, however, you will find pairings of a more smoky nature. No, we are not talking zinfandel and barbeque. One of the most popular wines to pair with the cigars has been Michael David Vineyards 7 Deadly Zins,. Other local favorites are the wines of Vino Con Brio and Jewel. In addition to wine and cigars, the Lounge has on hand pipe tobaccos and beers. The comfortable lounge has leather seats (a requirement?) and a pool table for other recreational fun.
5. Coffee Drinks
There are many variations and types of coffee drinks, including those which are non-alcoholic (such as Cappuccino, Cafe Mocha, Cafe con Leche, and Cuban Coffee). However, we are lumping them all into this one category. To recommend only one, try coffee with Irish Cream. It tastes great, and will greatly enhance your cigar smoking experience. And when using Bailey's, there's really no need to add sugar or cream. Delicious!
Traditionally, rum and cigars come from a similar geographical area. Whether we are talking Cuba or the Caribbean, the people who make cigars have also made rum. For this reason, the two things complement each other very well. The cigar makers make their cigars to go with the drink they know. This has changed somewhat in the modern world; cigar-makers are not necessarily limited to only drinking rum, and thus the cigars they produce might be better suited to other drinks. Rum in its cheapest and most basic form can ruin even the best cigar, accentuating any roughness of the smoke until all pleasure is lost completely. However, if you buy carefully, the right rum can be a perfect complement to a good cigar.
7. Kahlua Drinks
Kahlua drinks go great with cigars. As with coffee drinks, there are many variations, such as the Black Russian, Mud Slide and Nutty Irishman. To recommend just one, try smoking a cigar with a White Russian, which contains Kahlua, vodka, and cream.
Martinis come in many different flavors these days, but they all have one thing in common, they all contain lots of alcohol, which holds up very well with full flavored cigars.
With that in mind, it becomes simply a matter of testing different combinations until you find one that suits you. Some people still enjoy the traditional accompaniments of cognac or port, others prefer single-malt Scotch or rum. Even non-alcoholic drinks such as coffee have been found to go well with cigars. In fact, it turns out that almost any drink with a complex enough flavor can be a good match to a fine cigar.