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Cigar 101

Should You Smoke a Cigar Before or After a Meal?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

If you’ve ever smoked a cigar on an empty stomach, you know it’s wise to eat beforehand. Not all cigars will make you woozy if you don’t eat before you smoke, but the chances go up dramatically that you will become nauseous without food in your system. Although strong cigars hit you faster, a lot of mild cigars hide an unassuming buzz if you don’t eat ahead of time.

Nicotine has a latent effect which can kick in at the middle or towards the end of a premium cigar. When it does, you’ll notice it quickly if you don’t have any food on board to absorb its effects. The message is simple: eat before you smoke. If you don’t have time to cook a four-course dinner, at least eat an energy bar or a bag of chips. Any nourishment makes a difference. A cigar is much more enjoyable when you can smoke if from start to finish without feeling queasy. Here are a handful of after-dinner cigars to smoke based on what you may have had to eat.

Cigars to Smoke Following Filet Mignon at a Steakhouse

Remember the days when you could smoke in a cigar-friendly steakhouse? They may be behind us now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t head to a cigar bar or lounge after a ritzy dinner to smoke. Dab your mouth with a napkin after you fill up on a decadent filet mignon with mushroom ragout and a side of creamy garlic-minced mashed potatoes under a stream of melted butter.

Only the most luscious, complex, and savory cigars are befitting choices to complete such an epicurean evening. Fuente Fuente Opus X, Ashton ESG, and San Cristobal Ovation are full-bodied and full of versatile, woody, and creamy flavor. Indulge in an extravagant after-dinner cigar with an aged single malt or a big glass of Bordeaux.

Fish, Chicken, or Lighter Fare before a Cigar

Does salmon, swordfish, or seared octopus with white rice answer your appetite? Or, if you ordered Mediterranean chicken spritzed with lemon and served with a side of grilled asparagus for your main course, consider approachable and sophisticated after-dinner cigars like San Cristobal Elegancia and Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente. Luscious tasting notes of cedar, cashews, and roasted coffee beans characterize these classics with a touch of spices before a creamy finish sets in.

Cigars to Follow a Spicy Feast

If you’re craving a zesty Cajun or Creole feast like blackened lobster tail or a red-hot bowl of gumbo, prepare your palate to fire on all cylinders. Authentic, spicy New Orleans-style cuisine deserves a fine cigar afterwards. When your dish is loaded with cracked black pepper, paprika, or cayenne, consider cigars like My Father Le Bijou 1922, Oliva Serie V, and La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero. Each is a naturally spicy blend, drafted from intense but balanced tobaccos that deliver potent taste and aroma designed to cut through the lingering sting of a chili pepper.

After Dessert Cigars

How does German chocolate cake with a cup of gourmet coffee with cream and sugar sound after a big meal? Or Tiramisu and a frothy cappuccino? Maybe a creamy spoonful of crème brûlée with a shot of espresso will hit the spot. If your sweet tooth kicks in after an epic dinner, finish the night off in the company of an Ashton Aged Maduro or Arturo Fuente Anejo. Both are drawn from premium Dominican binder and filler tobaccos and an oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Notes of dark chocolate, nuts, maple, and black pepper mingle effortlessly. Pair either with a glass of port, rum, or an aged cognac for a nightcap.

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