By guest author David Smith
The pairing of whiskey and cigars has been enjoyed together for hundreds of years. There is a reason why it is so popular, and the two tastes play beautifully with one another. Whether you're a whiskey lover drinking whiskey neat or you are experimenting with cocktails, it is important that you pay some attention to the pairing. Different types of whiskey have a hugely different taste. The same can be said for cigars. It’s incredible how much variety these two can provide you when they are paired in a variety of different ways.
For beginners, you might want a little more sweetness in your taste, and cocktails can be a way to keep the drink smooth and easy.
Brandy Alexander with light cigars
The Brandy Alexander uses cognac as the main part of the cocktail. This cognac is sweetened with 1 ounce dark crème de cacao and 1 ounce cream. Cognac has long been paired with cigars. Did you know that Winston Churchill, one of the most famous cigar smokers ever, would enjoy a cognac and cigar after his evening meal? You can pair with a lighter cigar, and a natural Fronto leaf may give your cigar a natural and smokey flavor that works well with the Brandy Alexander.
This drink is ideal with lighter cigars as an entry point for beginners to get into smoking cigars.
Bourbon based billionaire and full bodied cigars
If you’re a fan of big and bold flavors then this is an ideal solution. The Bourbon-based Billionaire can be made with 2 ounces bourbon, 1 ounce lemon juice. 1/2 ounce grenadine, syrup and optional Absinthe bitters. This tickles the whole of the flavor palate and gives you a beautiful sweetness. It’s up to you which of the full-bodied cigars you go for, there are plenty of choices that have a smoky finish and fulfilling aromatic drag.
Irish coffee with mini cigarillos
Some of the drinks on this list are the sort of thing you can imagine being great as a nightcap but aren’t suitable to drink during the day or to give you a little pick up after a meal. Irish coffee is exactly that. Make yourself a beautiful coffee, add your choice of Irish whiskey, and enjoy with a mini cigarillo. Easy to smoke, and they won’t leave you with too much of a heavy feeling.
Irish coffee is simple to make, and we recommend using a high-quality, single-origin coffee. If you are looking for a drink that is relaxing, but doesn’t make you feel too sleepy, this could be a great solution. As well as the rich taste and aromas filling your senses, you can enjoy the little boost that the caffeine might provide. If you are going to bed soon, decaf is a suitable alternative.
Rusty Compass paired with medium body, smoky cigars
A Rusty Compass is a gorgeous cocktail that has a rich and smokey taste, but also has a twist of sweetness from Drambuie and cherry liqueur, which is added to Scotch Whiskey to create a smooth, easy-drinking cocktail.
You can combine this with a medium-bodied, smokey cigar. Nothing too heavy, by plenty of aromas and a woody, peaty taste that compliments the whiskey perfectly.
In this specific cocktail, it boils down to the quality of the ingredients. You need a good-quality cherry to lift the drink with a sweet flavor. On top of this, the whiskey should be a high-quality, single malt scotch. Scotch can cost anything from a few dollars to many thousands of dollars, and the reason why people pay the big bucks for the best scotch is the subtlety in the flavors and the fact that distillation is such an art.
The Rusty Compass doesn’t necessarily justify the very best scotch there is, but don’t go for the cheap stuff!
The pairing of whiskey and cigars feels as old as time! There are so many varieties of both. The more you delve into the partnership, the more you will realize all of the subtle differences. A sweeter finish on a bourbon whiskey or a smokier, natural taste from a fronto leaf cigar.
The beauty of cocktails is the fact that you can experiment in order to work out exactly what you prefer, and what kinds of drinks suit certain occasions. It might be that you need to add a twist to your drink to provide more suitability for your own palate.
Do you dream of being the cocktail king when it comes to entertaining your friends? Plan to create beautiful partnerships of coffee-based cocktails and Cubans? The process of experimenting with the beautiful aromas and a world of new and exciting flavors can be enjoyable, too.