Pairing Cigars with Non-Alcoholic Drinks
When smoking a cigar, the obvious choices for a drink to accompany it would usually be a single malt or a pint. Whether you’re teetotal, considering a summer health kick, or perhaps feeling like you need a detox after a rather boozy World Cup, there are plenty of non-alcoholic options to enjoy alongside your smoke.
The top option for this would obviously be coffee – with coffee beans and tobacco both growing within the same golden zone of the world between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, flavours from each tend to overlap and complement each other, the location from where each comes determining the exact flavours. Despite this, coffee and tobacco will both on the most part contain earthy tones, a hint of spice and a faint acidic quality.
The easiest way to determine the cup of coffee which you will be sipping alongside your cigar is to consider similarities between tastes. For example, a mild and sweet stogie would go nicely with a light roast coffee, while a medium cigar with either nutty or lightly spiced flavours will sit well with a medium roast nutty coffee, or perhaps something cocoa based, such as a mocha. Stronger cigars, which have a more spicy and leathery flavour, would be best paired with a strong, full-bodied roast, highlighting the acidic undertones of each.
While this may be the most boring of the drinks to accompany a cigar, it’s actually the most popular. With no flavour of its own, plain water can work well with any cigar, allowing you to note the cigar’s complex and changing flavours throughout the smoke. Some won’t even smoke without a glass of water alongside it, as without giving the palate a chance to refresh itself, the complexity of the cigar could be lost. Similarly, sparkling water can work well in accompanying your smoke, with the fizz of the drink serving to refresh the palate even more effectively.
Here in England where Puro Prestige is based, tea is an essential choice! The versatile drink can be enjoyed in many different flavours, therefore making it suited to any cigar. When drunk without milk, tea will enhance the rich earthy tones of your stronger smokes, while green tea makes the perfect partner to milder cigars. With nuttier tasting cigars, add a splash of nut milk to your tea, or perhaps sugar, honey or syrup for sweeter cigars. If you have a spicy, woody or cocoa flavoured cigar, a cinnamon-spiced chai tea will make the perfect accompaniment. Many people also favour sweet tea or iced tea to enhance the flavours of cigars that lack sweetness – so get experimenting!
Although it may seem an odd choice, many cigar aficionados swear by Dr. Pepper as perfect for pairing with a cigar. The drink’s 23-flavour combination can perhaps be compared to the 50 noted flavours of cigars, which makes it easy to see how some of these flavours could overlap – or perhaps it is simply the complexity of both the drink and the smoke which makes them the perfect pairing.
An obvious choice when avoiding alcohol, especially when those around you are enjoying the real thing, alcohol-free
beer or cider can be a great partner for cigars. The malt-based and caramel flavours, which can be similar to the flavours of both beer and whisky, are often on the lighter side, meaning smokers should stick to light and medium cigars when pairing the drink.
Similarly, Root Beer can be a great pairing with cigars – even the stronger and full-bodied ones. When well-brewed, the drink not only enhances relaxation, but effectively brings out the spice of the cigar.
Ginger Ale/Ginger Beer
The bite of ginger pairs exceptionally with a full-bodied cigar, enhancing spicy notes and even helping to bring out any additional flavours. It makes the perfect companion to stronger cigars, and smokers should be wary that milder smokes may be overpowered with the intensity of the drink.
With its mild flavour and refreshing nature, an ice-cold Coca-Cola can be a great pairing to your smoke. While less about the flavour pairings, the drink is more likely chosen simply due to peoples’ love for soda. If you are concerned about how the flavours will work together, be aware that sweeter notes of your smoke may get lost in the mix when paired with Cola, while an earthy, leathery smoke could do well with the kick of the sugary drink.
Perfect for smokers with a bit of a sweet tooth, hot chocolate is another versatile drink which can be paired to bring out certain flavours from a variety of cigars. Smokes with nutty, creamy or sweet flavours can really be enhanced by the sweetness of the cocoa, especially when the drink is made using cow’s milk. Nut milk, however, will help to develop the nutty tones of each smoke. In order to prevent the flavours of your smoke being overwhelmed by the sweetness of this drink, however, we’d recommend a sweet and nutty medium strength cigar.
Of course, when it comes to the perfect smoke, there’s always more to it than just the cigar, and along with the perfect drink companion you’ll also want to make sure you have the finest cigar accessories. From luxury leather travel cases, rests and tubes to the best cutters and lighters on the market, you’ll find everything you need for the perfect smoke at Puro Prestige.