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Cigar Pairings

Top Non-Alcoholic Drink & Cigar Pairings

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Not everybody drinks alcohol. And, not every occasion that calls for a premium cigar is ideal for a libation. But we still like to have a sip of something when we’re enjoying a good smoke. Cigars have a tendency to dry out your palate, so it’s generally recommended to indulge in your cigar with a beverage in hand – but it doesn’t have to be a beer or a whiskey. Here’s a quick rundown of some perfect cigars to pair with the most common non-alcoholic drinks.

Coffee Drinks

Caffeine and nicotine go hand in hand, including when you’re firing up a premium cigar. Let’s be honest, there are few cigars that don’t pair up perfectly with a cup of coffee. You’re probably smoking a bad cigar if you can’t have coffee with it. The best cigars to smoke with your coffee depend on your palate and the time of the day. Generally, if it’s early in the day or you haven’t had breakfast yet, a milder Connecticut-wrapped smoke like an Ashton Classic or Arturo Fuente Chateau in a Natural wrapper are an easy choice. Creamy notes of almonds, cashews, cedar, and spices satisfy without overpowering your taste buds too early in the day.

If you like extra-strong dark roast coffee, or a piping hot triple espresso is in your hand first thing in the morning, let the intensity commence with La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor Reserva, or a luscious smoke from the San Cristobal or My Father portfolios. Full-flavored, full-bodied notes of hickory, black pepper, dark chocolate, and earth provide an ample backbone whether you’re just waking up, or you need a second wind after dinner. Cigars blended with a Maduro or an Oscuro wrapper leaf will provide an extra dose of sweetness and kick that accentuates the taste of gourmet coffee.

Tea Varietals

Tea is great at calming the nerves and promoting a sense of well-being. Not unlike a relaxing smoke. The grassy and mild flavors that emerge in many cigars with a Candela wrapper make them an obvious choice for fans of green tea. Rocky Patel Mulligans Fairway Edition and Don Lino Casa Verde are well-made and affordable Candela bundles.

In general, milder profiles drawn from Connecticut Shade and Ecuador Connecticut wrappers like Montecristo and San Cristobal Elegancia are ideal tea companions. Notes of toasted nuts, cedar, and white pepper mix on the palate easily with the clean, vegetal taste of green and herbal tea.

If you like to put a lot of honey in your tea, or prefer a sweetened iced tea, consider a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Ashton Aged Maduro reveals naturally sweet notes of molasses, cocoa, and a touch of spices that complement sweet tea. Oliva Master Blends 3 is an excellent Nicaraguan selection.

Rich, balanced Nicaraguan Puros from Flor de las Antillas and Padron balance out the earthy, floral, and slightly bitter character of black tea. Both cigars deliver woody notes of cinnamon and cayenne that add a bit of depth of to a frothy hot chai as well.  

Water

Who doesn’t like water? Like coffee, there is virtually no cigar that won’t benefit from a crisp and refreshing sip of water, whether you like it flat, carbonated, or with or without a lemon or lime. Carbonated water provides an advantage in that it constantly cleanses the palate while you smoke. A lot of cigar lovers insist on sipping on a club soda or a San Pellegrino while they’re smoking.

Smoking a cigar without something to drink can cause your palate to dehydrate. Whether you’re devoted to the pricier white-label taste of Davidoff cigars or you stick to the bargain bin for bundles of Bella Cuba, smoke your next cigar with a cold glass of H2O. Your taste buds will pick up the tasting notes of your cigar with more clarity.

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