Whether you want to get cigar taste out of mouth or simply enjoy eating or drinking while smoking, some foods and drinks provide better outcomes and experiences than others.
That said, what you eat or drink before and after smoking a stogie could affect the experience, too.
Since, apparently, there’s an art to pairing smoke and food and/or drinks, we’ve decided to come up with a list of the best candidates.
Ready to find out the potential food and beverage pairings that could take your smoking experience to new heights? Let’s start!
Food and Beverage Pairings for Cigars
What goes great with your stogies? Consider these food or drink options.
What makes cigar and seafood such a great potential pairing is that the latter tends to have a light taste. Even the most full-on seafood course is never quite as full-on as other types of dishes.
The subtle, understated flavoring is what allows these dishes to complement premium cigar smoking. Instead of taking away from experiences like stronger-flavored foods, they add to it.
Whether it’s salmon, lobster, mussels, or oysters, you can count on it to introduce an appealing element to the activity.
That said, it’s usually best to choose cigars of light to moderate strength when eating seafood. Stronger, fuller-bodied cigars tend to overwhelm lighter tasting food, which could take away from your meal experience.
There are cigars that compliment pasta better than others. Additionally, some pair better with red sauce than white sauce. Do your research.
Ideally, you want to go for moderately aromatic cigars for red sauce pasta, as these tend to be on the sweeter side. Cigars with full bodies could easily overwhelm the sweet flavor and potentially ruin the pasta meal.
For sweeter red sauces, it’s best to go for the lighter, sweeter cigars that have just a hint of strength.
Grilled or barbecued foods possess that smokey taste and flavor we all love. We don’t want our cigars to ruin that because, as much as we love an enhanced smoking experience, we love eating more.
The sweetness, spiciness, and tanginess of grilled food complement bolder-flavored cigars well. Hence, this time around, you can smoke a full-bodied stogie before, during, or after your meal.
Cubans and Hondurans are some of the bolder-flavored options around. They possess this complexity that, when paired with the right food and drink, can enhance both the smoking and eating experience significantly.
A steak goes well with pretty much anything, right? And even if it doesn’t, there is no way we could ever say no to this meaty meal.
However, when eating steak, you may need a cigar that balances out its strong flavor. In other words, a cigar that matches your meal’s power-packed impact, like a Maduro or a Cuban, would do the trick.
Now it’s time for the beverage portion of our post, which is as (if not) more important than food, seeing as people tend to pair smoking with drinking as opposed to eating.
When smoking premium cigars, it’s a must to choose alcoholic drinks carefully to get the best-tasting combo. Post-smoking sessions tend to call on cocktails, especially if you had one of those bolder cigars.
Opt for gin or vodka cocktails with citrusy elements, as they offer the perfect flavor combination that cleanses the strong, bold flavor of your cigar right after you experience it. So, you get the best of both worlds without your breath smelling bad.
Cocktails aside, there’s also craft beers. Wait. What about wines and spirits?
There’s so much more science to those smoke and liquor pairings, while craft beers are simply simple and uncomplicated. Not to mention, they provide a fulfilling tandem too.
When choosing a stogie to match your beer, focus on the flavor and acidity. Instead of going against these elements, go with them. A strong beer deserves a strong stogie, and that’s that.
Dessert. Really? We thought the same thing initially, but this pairing can actually work.
Think about it. Both these things are done for enjoyment, so there’s no reason why you have to choose one over the other. You can do them both at the same time.
Like other foods and drinks, there’s a perfect cigar pairing for every dessert. Light desserts pair well with light to moderate cigars, while stronger ones, like liquor-bathed fruit cake, complement stronger, bolder stogies like the Cuban and Honduran.
Full-bodied cigars also combine well with richer, chocolatey desserts like dark chocolate cake or brownies.
It’s All Up to You
At the end of the day, you have the last say. While there’s more or less a science to these pairings that make them work, it’s your taste buds you have to follow more than anything else.
What do your taste buds tell you? In many cases, that may be all you need to know.