Everyone has their own favorite liquid accompaniment to their favorite cigar and I am not going to try to dissuade anyone of their preferences, but I thought it might be fun to look at some of the more popular cigar accompaniments and let you know about my favorites. I'm taking this in two parts: today talking about non-alcoholic beverages and next week turning to intoxications. I also have no special knowledge on how to pair cigars with beverages, I just know what works for me--especially as it relates to reviewing cigars--so that is what I will be sharing.
When reviewing a cigar, I try to limit myself to just plain old bottled water the majority of the time. I take it chilled, but not with ice usually. I feel this allows the cigar to stand or fall on its own merits without adding any additional flavoring agents into the mix. Simple. Basic. It just works.
As far as the "cleansing the palate" issue goes, I would assume that plain soda water would work the best, although I have never found that to be pleasing to drink.
COFFEE & TEA
Here is where we get to my favorite non-alcoholic beverages to pair with a cigar and I think there is one big reason why they work so well with a stogie.
Toasted Foot every Thursday or Blowin Smoke and their Torcedor coffee options. My favorite cigars to take outside on a perfect Saturday or Sunday morning? My top pick is CAO's Gold Vintage and a close second and third are Oliva's Connecticut and Camacho's Connecticut. Later in the day, if there is coffee left in the thermal pot (no burner, so no burnt coffee), I have been known to pour it over ice and take that out with a more medium-bodied smoke during the early afternoon.
I think it has to do with origins and processes. Tobacco leaves, tea leaves, and coffee beans all start from similar origins: grown on plants in different locations around the world to adopt flavors from those regions, especially through the soil. When "ripe" the leaves or beans are plucked from the plant and fermented or aged in some way to enhance and bring out the best flavors. When processing and aging is completed tea leaves, coffee beans, and tobacco leaves are all subjected to some kind of heat to release those flavors so we can enjoy them.
Next week, I will take a look at some of the alcoholic beverage pairings I have enjoyed with cigars in the past.
Add your voice to the discussion. What non-alcoholic beverages do you favor with a cigar and why? The "Comments" section is open...