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Cigar Pairings

Cigar & Summer Cocktail Pairings

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Kicking back in the backyard hammock or on a beach towel at the shore are perfect places to burn through your favorite cigars during the summer months. Whether you’ve got the sun beating down on your black sunglasses or you’re soaking up the view from a swanky rooftop nightclub, no warm-weather smoke should go down without a cocktail in your hand. Have a gander at the best summer cocktail and cigar pairings you can whip up when you’re ready to cut loose on a gorgeous day or a scorching night.

#1 - Mojito & Arturo Fuente Anejo

Who can ignore the classic status the Mojito entertains as the ultimate cigar-friendly cocktail thanks to its historic Cuban heritage and the generous complement of rum, citrus, sugar, and mint in the drink’s constituents. They converge in a bright, bubbly, refreshing, and sweet concoction that goes great with the decadent profile of dark chocolate, raisins, wood, and cognac found in the ultra-rare Arturo Fuente Anejo. Carlito Fuente blended Anejo as a temporary reprieve from Fuente Fuente Opus X production in 1998 when Hurricane George wiped out the barns aging his precious Opus wrappers. Anejo became a highly sought-after, high-profile cigar in its own right.

Ingredients

3 Mint leaves

2 oz. White rum

¾ oz. Fresh lime juice

½ oz. Simple syrup

Club soda, to top

Garnish: Mint sprig

Glass: Highball

Preparation: Muddle the mint lightly in a shaker. Add rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice and give it a brief shake. Strain into a highball glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with mint sprig.

#2 - Aperol Spritz & San Cristobal Revelation

A major debate has been raging on the merits of the Aperol Spritz. It may be the most polarizing summer drink this season thanks to a stinging critique in the New York Times by notable food writer Rebekah Peppler. Cocktail connoisseurs arose in droves in vigorous defense of the classic, effervescent Italian aperitif. A slightly bitter profile reveals a low-alcohol-content cocktail with citrusy accents and the crisp and cool, easy-sipping character of chilled prosecco. Conquer a poolside afternoon with an Aperol Spritz and a medium-bodied San Cristobal Revelation. An Ecuador Sumatra wrapper embraces an all-Nicaraguan core of premium aged tobaccos in a profile of caramel, wood, and black pepper tasting notes.

Ingredients

3 oz. Prosecco

2 oz. Aperol

1 oz. Soda water

Garnish: Orange wheel

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a wine glass with ice and stir. Garnish with orange wheel.

#3 - Mint Julep & Ashton ESG

The iconic drink that’s king of the Kentucky Derby needn’t be reserved only for the day of the historic horse race. The Southern-bred bourbon cocktail is a supreme companion for sweltering summer temps and a fine cigar. A mound of ice is packed in with a supreme recipe of bourbon, mint, and simple syrup, perfect for an indulgent afternoon of fanning yourself by hand and watching wacky hats walk by. Ashton ESG is handcrafted exclusively from a prized amalgam of ultra-rare Dominican binder, filler, and wrapper tobaccos grown on the world-renowned Chateau de la Fuente estates. Notes of graham cracker, cedar, and signature Dominican spices mix exceptionally with a bourbon-based classic like the Mint Julep.

Ingredients

¼ oz. Simple syrup

8 Mint leaves

2 oz. Bourbon

Garnish: Bitters, mint sprig

Glass: Julep or rocks

Preparation: Muddle mint and syrup lightly in a Julep or rocks glass. Add bourbon. Pack tightly with crushed ice. Stir until the cup is frosted on the outside. Top with more crushed ice to form an ice dome over the rim of the glass. Garnish with mint sprig and a few drops of bitters.

#4 - Pimm’s Cup & La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor

Break out a Union Jack napkin to go under this British classic. Because the Pimm’s Cup blossoms with spectacular fruit, citrus, and mint ingredients with a carbonated touch, it forges a magnificent partnership with the 95-rated, sweet and spicy transitions in La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor. The official beverage of tennis’ Wimbledon Championship is drafted with the gin-based Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, a citrusy soda (like Sprite or 7UP), and strawberry, cucumber, lemon, and mint highlights. Pimm’s Cup completes a hot day with its rich, fruity, and complex formula alongside master cigar-blender Pepin Garcia’s award-winning profile of espresso beans, almonds, cocoa, and cracked black pepper in La Aroma de Cuba.

Ingredients

2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1 Cup

3 oz. Sprite, 7UP, or ginger ale

1 Cucumber slice

1 Strawberry, hulled and cut into quarters

Half orange slice

1 Lemon slice

6 Mint leaves

Glass: Highball

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a highball glass over ice and stir. For more buzz, you can use Champagne in lieu of the soda or ginger ale.

#5 - Margarita & Oliva Master Blends 3

Move beyond a slushy college hangover. Often offered up as an overflowing icy froth that goes down like the water on a waterslide thanks to its crisp temperature and the fact that one of your pals just dropped another pitcher on the table, there is more to a Margarita than that. It’s time to redeem the Margarita with a premium, 100% agave tequila, Cointreau, a refreshing slice of lime and some salt on the rim. There’s plenty of reason to pop open a few buttons at the top of your shirt and fire up an Oliva Master Blends 3. Its aged Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper conceals a premium combination of select Nicaraguan tobaccos. Fans of Oliva adore Master Blends 3 for its notes of dark chocolate, leather, coffee beans, and spice. A luscious marriage of hot and cold lingers on the palate when Oliva meets a Margarita.

Ingredients

1 ½ oz. Tequila (100% agave)

1 ½ oz. Triple sec or Cointreau

1 to 1 ¼ oz. Lime juice

Salt for rim of the glass

Garnish: Lime slice

Glass: Saucer or Martini

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a shaker with cracked ice and shake until the exterior frosts. Rub the glass rim with lime. Salt the rim. Strain into a glass over rocks. Garnish with slice of lime.

#6 - Daiquiri & Flor de las Antillas

Don’t deny the Daiquiri its rightful place on the table at an outdoor café next to your ashtray. When made with passion, the Daiquiri’s 130-year history and reputation as a jewel of Cuban cocktails emerges in a rum-based libation befitting of your cigar’s camaraderie. Flor de las Antillas is an easy choice. The 96-rated, former ‘#1 Cigar of the Year’ is blended from an all-Nicaraguan recipe. Notes of cinnamon, cedar, nutmeg, and white pepper provide a luscious supplement to the mix of lime, rum, and sugar in a Daiquiri.

Ingredients

2 oz. Dark rum

1 oz. Fresh lime juice

1 oz. Simple syrup

Garnish: Lime wheel

Glass: Coupe

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled Coupe glass. Garnish with lime wheel.

#7 - Piña Colada & Rocky Patel Renaissance Connecticut

Sweet, creamy, and a once-abandoned creation thanks to its association with lounge lizards and cruise ship bars, the Piña Colada doesn’t have to be made in a blender exclusively for tourists. Few other drinks offer the creamy and icy mix of coconut, citrus, and pineapple you get in a Piña Colada. And its connotation with tropical beaches easily conjures a cigar-smoking occasion. Fire up a Rocky Patel Renaissance Connecticut for an approachable and nutty profile of coffee with cream, wood, and a touch of spice.  

Ingredients

2 oz. Light rum

1 ½ oz. Cream of coconut

1 ½ oz. Pineapple juice

½ oz. Fresh lime juice

Garnish: Pineapple wedge, pineapple leaf

Glass: Hurricane

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and vigorously shake for 20-30 seconds. Strain into a chilled Hurricane glass over pebble ice. Garnish with pineapple wedge and leaf.

#8 - Michelada & My Father

Beer enthusiasts can safely cross over into cocktail land with the Michelada. A savory profile of spices, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and lime juice penetrates a crisp, cold glass of Red Stripe suds in a hearty mix. With its Cuban-seed wrapper leaf and robust interior of Nicaraguan long-fillers, My Father blends meaty notes of nuts, earth, and wood with a zesty finish. Kill an afternoon on the porch with this dense and refreshing pair.

Ingredients

1 12-oz. Bottle of Red Stripe

½ oz. Lime juice

2 drops Tabasco sauce

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 pinch Ground black pepper

1 pinch Celery salt

1 pinch Cayenne pepper

Garnish: Lime wedge

Glass: Pint

Preparation: Rub lime along half the rim of the pint glass. Dip glass rim in a mix of equal parts salt and cayenne pepper. Combine ingredients in the glass, except beer. Fill glass with beer last and garnish with lime wedge.

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