Whether it’s cigar and scotch pairing, cigar and beer pairing or any cigar and liquor pairing, even experienced cigar smokers and spirit connoisseurs can find themselves at a loss when pairing cigars and drinks. In fact, figuring out which drinks to pair with cigars strikes many as a mystery. But it’s a mystery that can be solved using the tip of your tongue.

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What drinks pair best with cigars?

It’s a great question, and the truthful answer is: Whatever you’re looking to drink. Some hardcore stogie smokers will say that you have to drink whiskey or you’re doing it wrong, but the fact of the matter is, if you know what you are doing, any drink you enjoy has a perfect pair. 

That means whiskey, wine, coffee, or really anything else can be paired and enjoyed with the stogie you’ve been eyeing for your day off.

Why do cigars and whiskey go together?

There is something to be said about the craft, creativity and the aging that goes into both. The more you use your sense of taste, the better your palate becomes, which is exactly how cigar makers and whiskey distillers refine their expertise.

For example, a cigar master can smell and smoke one single tobacco leaf and tell you what type of tobacco it is, its country of origin, and how long it has fermented or aged.

Likewise, a master distiller can smell and taste a sample of whiskey and explain the aroma, flavors and proof. It takes years of practice to become a master at either skill, but fortunately, these skills can be learned.

Do cigars pair with wine?

Of course! While wine doesn’t share the rich history of association whiskey does with cigars, everything else about wine - the craft, aging, terroir, body and flavor notes - overlap so perfectly, one could argue they were made to be enjoyed together.

When we break down the two methods of pairing alcoholic beverages, keep in mind everything we say applies equally to wines as it does to whiskies.

Can I pair cigars with coffee?

Of course you can! In fact, we highly recommend it. But for coffee, we recommend reading our coffee and cigar pairings article, because the process is a little different.

Tips for pairing cigars and drinks

Generally, aficionados say the best spirits to pair with cigars are cognac, single malt whiskey, bourbon, rum, rye, and port.

While tequila makes for a nice partner, you may want to stay away from most white spirits, like vodka and gin, as the cigar can sometimes overpower the drink. 

"Ultimately, balance is the key to pairing cigars and drinks. One shouldn't outdo the other. Rather, they should enhance each other. "

How to pair drinks and cigars

Let’s get down to it. There are two recommended methods in pairing alcoholic drinks and cigars. Neither is wrong it simply depends on your preference. 

1. The first is that you should match body with body and do your best to compliment pairing notes. We’ll call this the “Complementary Method,” and you should know that this is what most people will tell you to do. 

Basically, if you’re smoking a full-bodied and earthy cigar, you should look for a drink that is also full-bodied (heavy red wines, complex and earthy whiskies) to go with. 

2. The second method could be used to maximize the flavors brought out in both the drink and the cigar. We call this the “Contradictory Method”. Essentially, choose a cigar and a drink that contrast each other in body and flavor, and they will bring out the best in the other. If you are smoking a mellow and sweeter cigar, drink a deeply rich and heavier whiskey or wine to go with. 

The result is a smoking and drinking experience that heightens nuances of each other. Coming off of the lighter and airier notes of your cigar, the flavor notes of your drink will be exemplified. 

Conversely, a rich and complex cigar will contrast with a glass of sweet white wine or a lighter more floral whiskey by bringing those earthy flavors out of your cigar.

Drink pairings are personal

Pairings are extremely personal. You may completely disagree with both methods of pairing (if you have another way, let us know in the comments).

But, for most people and for anyone new to the world of cigars, pick a method and try it out. If it doesn’t work for you, try the other.

Find your perfect drink and cigar pairing by using Find Your Perfect Cigar

Looking for the perfect pairing based on your drink preferences and cigar profiles? 

Check out the Find Your Perfect Cigar tool. 

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Comments

  • Member Avatar

    Nardo

    (5 months ago)

    I like a Cao 770flathead with a nice shot of Jameson.

  • Member Avatar

    Rock

    (10 months ago)

    My favorite is a PUNCH Signature with Seagram's V.O. Gold in a tall rocks glass outside in a comfortable chair just before I man the grill for the evening

    🃏

  • Member Avatar

    Cincyzen

    (11 months ago)

    My Father - The Judge and a single barrel bourbon is always a good pair

  • Member Avatar

    Dandy Dave

    (11 months ago)

    A nice Connecticut wrapped cigar does pair well with gin with juniper overtones. The gin brings out a nice bouquet in the cigar. Good for a warm evening sitting by the pond.

  • Member Avatar

    FlyingTiger31

    (11 months ago)

    Cohiba black and Johnny Walker Blue

  • Member Avatar

    pgolds81@gmail.com

    (14 months ago)

    Thanks for the History!

  • Member Avatar

    pgolds81@gmail.com

    (18 months ago)

    What pairs best with a Mountain Dew Baja Blast?

    • Member Avatar

      ShagRapt

      (14 months ago)

      Although, I can't give you a cigar recommendation, I CAN give you a great story that I actually heard, firsthand, while in the waiting room of a doctor's office from a gentleman who actually turned out to be one of the original inventors of Mountain Dew (as well as the companies first-ever CEO/ President).

      Believe it or not, whiskey (with a somewhat assist from a few local low-country moonshines) was primarily responsible for the creation of Mountain Dew. In fact, a little history..in the 50s and 60s "Mountain Dew" was created in the West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee area hills by a bunch of mountain boys looking for the perfect mixer for the (sometimes) rough or nasty flavored bootleg whiskey and moonshine that they would buy &/or create. I don't know if the modern-day blend is exactly what they came up with but that is the true story to how Mountain Dew got its start many, many years before it was ever bought out by Pepsi. So if you want a perfect pairing, before you try any cigars, try mixing yourself up a cocktail with some of that MD & either whiskey and/or moonshine.

    • Member Avatar

      pgolds81@gmail.com

      (14 months ago)

      Thanks