The Perfect Pair: Cigars and Spirits
In anticipation of the exciting weekend ahead with plans of a couple of drinks and a cigar or several, we thought we would talk about the pairing of cigars and spirits.
Over the years, experts and connoisseurs from every speciality (food, spirits, wine and cigars) have searched for the perfect combination of flavours. For example, as you will have seen in restaurants, there is regularly a wine recommendation alongside a certain dish, or a spirit that will compliment a certain canapé.
This is very contemporaneous in the cigar industry and is epitomised in the Habanosommelier International Contest. The winner of this competition must not only be an expert on cigars but they must also be a master at pairing a specific cigar with a particular drink. It really is an art to make sure that the quality, heritage and tradition of the cigar you are smoking is matched by the spirit you are consuming; otherwise there will be an unfortunate imbalance and one will overpower the other.
So, without further ado let us start talking about what makes a great combination with our two favourite things.
The most common and popular pairing with cigars are liquors or spirits like Whiskies, Cognacs and Gins, and rightly so. These two really do go hand in hand, the simple joining of two historically rich customs, what is not to love. Whether your cigar of choice is Cohiba Cuban Cigars, Bolivar Cigars or Romeo y Julieta Cigars, smoking it with a particular spirit can evolve your experience in ways unimaginable.
Fine Brandy or Cognacs
Pairing one of our Cuban Cigars online with a Brandy or Cognac is one of our absolute favourites. A Cognac has the delicious undertones of vanillas and caramel created by numerous years of oak-barrel ageing. The perfect accompaniment to a smooth and spicy premium hand-rolled cigar. A brandy is usually a little smokier and sweeter in comparison to a cognac and would enhance the taste of these flavours in the finest medium bodied Cuban cigar.
VSOP Hennessy Cognac w Romeo y Julieta Churchill Cigar
VSOP Remy Martin Cognac w Montecristo No. 5 Price Cigar
Gin or Vodka
One of the more uncommon pairings, Gin or Vodka can also be a great companion to a Cuban Cigar and this is due to its refreshing properties. A gin or vodka will cleanse a smoker’s palate and allow them to appreciate every flavour puff of their cigar. If Gin is your spirit of choice, be sure to pair it with a light tonic so as to not distract your taste buds from the exquisite flavours in your cigar. Or you can really kick it up a notch and have your cigar with one of our favourite gin cocktails, The Negroni,.
Tanqueray No. 10 Gin w Fever Tree Light Tonic + Cohiba Behike Cigar
1/3 Hendricks Gin, 1/3 Vermouth Rosso 1/3 Campari w Cohiba Siglo II Cigar
Whiskies or Scotch
This particular pairing is not one for the faint hearted but one that will be the most enjoyable, at least it is to us. The strong and smoky tastes found in an aged whisky will provide the perfect thirst quencher when smoking a full bodied cigar. The two compliment each other so well that it is like red wine and cheese, beer and burgers, chocolate and coffee.
Bruichladdich Islay Barley Whisky w Romeo and Julieta Short Churchill Cigar
Lagavulin- 16 Year Old Whisky w Cohiba Robustos Cigar
In recent years, other drinks have now been added to the list of drinks to be consumed with cigars, with the most popular being beer, wine or coffee. The way in which you smoke your cigars and whatever you drink with them really does depend on your own preference and it is a really fun and exciting process figuring out which different drinks go with a specific cigar.