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Cigars and cocktails pairing guide

Cigars and cocktails

As many of you know, the best drinks to pair with cigars are whisky, rum, bourbon and cognac. However, many cigar connoisseurs underestimate one of the most interesting and versatile pairings: cigars and cocktails.

This pairing is quite uncommon, but the advantage is that you can add or remove any ingredient and adapt the drink the way you want. There is a cocktail for every taste.

According to their strength and body, all cigars can be divided into three different groups: mild, medium and full-bodied. In this article, you can discover some cocktails to go with all three. All of them are available almost everywhere and easy to prepare. Also, you can use them as the basis for creating your own cocktails.

Mild cigars

Mild cigars go well with light cocktails or cocktails that contain coffee or Irish cream.

Irish Hot Cocoa

This hot cocktail pairs really well with mild cigars and can also keep you warm during the cold season of the year. Nothing makes it better than a cup of nice cocoa, which will instantly heat up your whole body. Pour 4 oz of hot cocoa and 2 oz of Baileys Irish Cream into a mug and stir.

You can also try Russian Hot Cocoa, which is slightly stronger. Mix 2 oz Kalua (coffee liqueur), 1 oz Russian Vodka, 1 Cup Hot Cocoa and stir. This is the best choice for people who want a hot drink, but consider tea and coffee too boring.

CIgars and cocktails

Black Russian

It is very easy to make this cocktail even at home, you need only vodka and coffee liquor. Fill a glass with ice, pour around 1 ¾ oz vodka and ¾ coffee liquor into it and stir.

Mudslide

This drink is similar to the previous one. Fill a glass and a cocktail shaker with ice; pour three equal parts of Irish cream liqueur, coffee liqueur and vodka into a shaker. Shake it for a while, strain into your glass and the cocktail is ready. 

If you don’t like vodka in the last two cocktails, you can use Amaretto or Malibu instead and get even softer taste.

Medium-bodied cigars

For a medium-bodied cigar, you need a stronger cocktail. If it is very light, you won’t really feel the flavour.

Cuba Libre

A very simple cocktail, which everyone knows. It contains rum, coke and a splash of lime juice.  You can adjust the ratio as you want and, for example, make your cocktail stronger by simply adding more rum. In this case, you can pair it with a full-bodied cigar.

CIgars and cocktails

Mojito

The classic version consists of five ingredients: white rum, lime juice, mint, sugar and soda. There are many other variations, where the alcohol base is different: tequila, gin or another liquor. The mixture of citrus, mint and sweetness complements the rum and makes this refreshing drink perfect for summer.

Stringer

Here you need only brandy and white crème de menthe liqueur. Usually, people pair this cocktail with chocolate desserts, but it also goes very well with medium-bodied cigars. Fill your glass with crushed ice, pour 1 ¾ oz brandy with ¾ oz white crème de menthe and stir.

Americano

This is my favourite drink. It features sweet vermouth and Campari in equal parts topped with sparkling water. It is quite light but flavorful; has bittersweet and bubbly taste. This easy-drinking cocktail is just perfect for a medium-bodied cigar.

Full-bodied cigars

Full-bodied cigars pair well with strong cocktails, they bring out the best in each other.

Old Fashioned

Very strong cocktail for real men. Use good bourbon or single-malt whiskey like Macallan 12 y.o. Combine sugar, 1 dash of Angostura bitter and water in a rocks glass and stir until the sugar is nearly dissolved. Then fill the glass with ice, add 2 oz of alcohol and gently stir. Add one cherry, orange peel and enjoy your cocktail.

CIgars and cocktails

Negroni

It is a popular Italian cocktail and my favourite too. The precursor to the Negroni is the Americano cocktail, which you can see above. You can easily make Negroni at home as well. It has refreshingly bitter and robust flavour.

Fill a glass with ice; pour gin, vermouth rosso and Campari in equal parts and stir. The Negroni is usually garnished with orange peel.

Manhattan

This is the combination of Italian vermouth, American whiskey and a few dashes of aromatic bitters. The classic version contains one part sweet vermouth (1oz), two parts of whiskey (2 oz) and bitters (2 dashes Angostura and 1 dash orange). Stirred, but never shaken, this cocktail remains a timeless classic throughout the ages.

There are many variations of these recipes if you search online, but you can adjust every cocktail according to your taste. Once you become familiar with different flavour profiles and ways they interact with cigars to uncover their notes, you can start customizing recipes or try other cocktails.

Alessandro Rocco Pietrocola is an entrepreneur and investor based in London and operating mainly in Europe, Asia and Oceania with main focus on UK, Baltic Countries, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Middle East and New Zealand as area of interest! At the moment is the CEO of Astorts Group. He is an UK FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) Approved Person and is has great experience as director of regulated companies. He uses to dedicate part of his life to inspire others and help them achieve the most out of their life. Since he was 20, he had successfully founded and managed several companies operating in the field of management consulting, wealth management and fintech. He loves travelling, he is a cigars lover, an amateur golfer and a dapper man.

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