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Cigar Pairings

Pairing Vodka & Cigars

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Cigars and vodka might sound like fire and ice. Bourbon and scotch are the first libations we turn to when we want to pair cigars and spirits. But, there are plenty of cigar lovers who appreciate and even prefer clear spirits like vodka. Vodka is simple. We can sip it on the rocks with a lime. It’s less likely than darker spirits to leave a hangover in the wake of a late night. Because vodka forms the foundation for so many classic cocktails, there’s no shortage of creative ways to enjoy it with a cigar. Here are five classic vodka cocktail and cigar pairings.

1.  Dirty Martini & Ashton Classic

While the traditional Dirty Martini relies on gin for a crisp botanical taste, vodka is smoother. For those who don’t prefer the herbal hints in gin, vodka is the perfect alternative. Choose Grey Goose, and despite what 007 says, stir it when you’re mixing. The clean, cool taste of Grey Goose hails from the finest French ingredients, including pure spring water from the Cognac region and soft winter wheat from Picardy. Notes of nuts and black pepper stand out.

Ashton Classic is an ideal pairing with its silky profile of cedar, almonds, and coffee bean notes. This iconic cigar is blended by Carlito Fuente from premium Dominican binder and filler tobaccos and a glistening Connecticut Shade wrapper. Ashton Classic delivers a touch of spice and its creamy finish is a nice contrast with the sharp, salty taste of green olives.  

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ ounces Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • ½ ounce olive brine
  • Garnish: 2 to 4 olives

Glass: Martini glass

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with cubed ice and stir for 20 to 30 seconds for proper dilution. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a skewer of olives.

2.  Moscow Mule & Arturo Fuente Hemingway

Absolut wins the competition in a search for the best vodka to mix in a Moscow Mule. Hints of caramel, vanilla, and fruit measure up with lime and ginger flavors flawlessly. Its fresh taste makes it a natural fit for drinking from a cold copper mug. This famous Swedish vodka creates a marvelous influence with notes of malt, citrus, and grass in a classic cocktail. 

Among the most celebrated Dominican cigars of all time is Arturo Fuente Hemingway, and its rich but accessible flavor is delightful with a fizzy Moscow Mule. Premium Dominican long-filler tobaccos are blended under a Cameroon wrapper. Notes of baking spices, cedar, and black pepper bless the palate before a nutty and sweet finish. This cigar and cocktail match is so good, ordering seconds is essential.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Absolut Vodka
  • ½ ounce lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 3 ounces of ginger beer
  • Garnish: lime wheel

Glass: Moscow Mule Mug

Preparation: Fill a Moscow Mule mug with ice, then add vodka and lime juice. Add the ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wheel.

3.  Espresso Martini & La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor

The top-selling Ketel One brand needs no introduction as a high-quality vodka you can mix into an Espresso Martini. The lively, soft taste of citrus and honey in Ketel One gets grounded with sweet coffee bean notes and dark, decadent taste. It’s a match made in heaven if you love cigars and coffee but are craving a cocktail.

La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor is a 95-rated cigar blended from a toothy San Andrés wrapper over vintage Nicaraguan tobaccos. The box-pressed collection is aged for optimal taste by award-winning cigar-maker Pepin Garcia. Tasting notes of cracked black pepper, almonds, and fresh espresso culminate in a sweet and earthy finish. Its creamy and robust flavor is excellent with the dark, cool texture of an Espresso Martini.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • ½ ounce coffee liquor
  • 1 ounce espresso, freshly brewed (or cold concentrate)
  • ½ ounce simply syrup
  • Garnish: coffee beans

Glass: Martini glass

Preparation: Combine vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso, and simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with 3 coffee beans.

4.  Bloody Mary & Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne

Sometimes a strong Bloody Mary is a sign last night was a good one. To get the best Bloody Mary and cigar combo, mix it up with Tito’s Vodka – born and bred in Texas from old-fashioned pot stills. Its crystal clear appearance and straightforward flavor is creamy with a hot black pepper aftertaste and an aroma of sweet corn.

While you’re brushing the hair of the dog, fire up a Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne for a premium Nicaraguan profile that’s spicy enough without being too strong. A Connecticut-seed wrapper hugs a hearty blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos in a series of bigger ring gauges. Hints of coffee with cream, cedar, and white pepper converge in a medium-bodied finish. Perdomo Champagne is an easy cigar to puff on when the Bloody Mary medicine kicks in.

Ingredients

  • Celery salt
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 ounces Tito’s Vodka
  • 4 ounces tomato juice
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika
  • Garnish: parsley sprig, green olives, lime wedge, celery stalk

Glass: Pint glass

Preparation: Pour some celery salt onto a small plate. Rub the juicy side of the lemon or lime wedge along the lip of a pint glass. Roll the outer edge of the glass in celery salt until fully coated, then fill the glass with ice and set aside. Squeeze the lemon and lime wedges into a shaker and drop them in. Add the vodka, tomato juice, horseradish, Tabasco, Worcestershire, black pepper, paprika, plus a pinch of celery salt along with ice and gently shake. Strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with parsley sprig, speared green olives, a lime wedge, and celery stalk.

5.  Black Russian & Oliva Serie V Melanio

The crisp and creamy combination of vodka and Kahlua in a Black Russian is easy to make at home with a bottle of Belvedere. Named for Belweder, the Polish presidential palace in Warsaw pictured on the bottle, Belvedere is made from Polish rye and ultra-pure spring water. Savory hints of vanilla and pepper reveal velvety texture and a nutty finish that blends superbly with the sweet, milky taste of Kahlua.

Medium-bodied notes of caramel, wood, and spice define the 96-rated Oliva Serie V Melanio. A gingerbread-hued Ecuador Sumatra wrapper leaf conceals a well-aged blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers in several popular shapes. Sip on the mysterious but simple taste of a Black Russian with a consistent, top-shelf cigar.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Belvedere Vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlua

Glass: Rocks glass

Preparation: Add vodka and Kahlua into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

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