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How To Pair Cigars And Drinks

Posted by on Dec 22, 2013

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked that question I’d have enough money to buy myself a fancy wig!

We all have our go to drinks when we light up. For some it may be a bold black cup of coffee for others a rare cognac or craft beer. But are our choices negatively affecting our smoking experience? To me finding the perfect synergy of drink and cigar is akin to my wife finding a handbag that matches her favorite shoes. It’s almost orgasmic (yes, I went there).

Now, I am not pretentious enough to tell you what and what not to pair your cigars with, but my goal is to entice you to try a couple of different combinations. A wise man once told me, “Pair your cigars with whatever makes you happy. If you like to smoke your cigar with a root beer and a jelly donut, who am I to tell you to do otherwise?” For those of you wondering, that advice was given to me by industry veteran Jose Blanco.

Now, this may get me into some hot water with Jose, but I only partially agree with that statement. As good as you think your paring may be, there’s probably one out there that will blow your mind and enhance your smoking and drinking experience.

Like I said earlier on I’m not going to tell you what to drink when you’re enjoying a premium handmade cigar, but here are a few things that work for me (I’m just going to go through a few  scenarios):

  • AbcGenerally when smoking a Maduro I like to choose a drink that’s on the sweeter side to complement the natural sweetness of a good Maduro. My favorite drinks are Rum and Cokes, Tawny Ports and White Russians.
  • When smoking a lighter cigar (Davidoff comes to mind) I tend to drink a light red wine or a mineral water. If I’m smoking it in the morning I’ll pair it with a cappuccino or latte.
  • For those stronger bolder cigars I tend to stick to Cognacs (VSOP or above), Single Malt Scotches or an espresso.


It’s the holiday season and I’m reminded of a quote from my all-time favorite show, the Office. I believe it was Andy Benard that said “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” So please remember to slow down this holiday season and truly appreciate your friends and family, because you never know these may be the “good old days”.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year



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Better known to those in the cigar world by his Twitter handle @Cigar_G, Gino is the leader of the Bodega Boys. His social media savvy and love for everything cigars are two of the reasons we are where we are. G’s vision for Bodega is to produce the most dynamic and exciting new blends for all cigar lovers.

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  1. Awesome article, pal. As you know, I love smoking after breakfast, and nothing goes better with coffee than a good Connecticut shade cigar. They are typically light and creamy, and are prefect in the morning.

    If you like Connecticuts at night, try pairing then with a Guinness.

    If you like wine, check out our friend JC’s blog for wine and cigar pairings. http://www.winebyjc.com — He’s got some good pairing.

    • What Connies are you smoking these days bro?

      JC is a wine pimp and great guy.

      • Word on your JC comment.
        My Connie’s lately have been Camacho, Tortuga 1948 and and an old faithful is AF Suave.

        • Solid! Have you tried the Cusano 18 double Connie? I heard it’s pretty tasty

          • Are you fucking with me?

    • I will have to try the Connecticut with Guinness. You should try the Dragon’s Milk from New Holland. It’s a bourbon barrel stout that is before my favorite stout.

      Thanks for the wine review heads up as well.

  2. Great review! I couldn’t agree more G!

  3. I think the best pairing is to have great friends to smoke with.
    If one of those friends is Cigar_G then you are in great shape.

  4. Great read. I’m guilty of always grabbing a class of Cabernet regardless of what smoke. Will try some of these out.

    DK, I like the Guinness idea. Great sipping beer.

    Any other suggestions?

    • Thanks, buddy.

      I like IPA’s and bourbon with most medium bodied cigars. When I drink full bodied smokes I usually drink water.

      If you smoke a Padron 1964, and like bourbon, try a Jefferson’s. It’s sweet/spicy and smooth. Pairs well with the Padron.

      • I have a hard time pairing cigars and beer. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout has worked for me when paired with a maduro.

        • Beer is tough . Doesn’t always compliment a stogie. Innis and Gunn works with cigars.

          • Agreed, I’ve had the Innis and Gunn rum finish and it worked well

          • Lol I know you love the Cusano bro, just busting your balls

  5. You’re a funny guy.

  6. Excellent post! G if you can get a toonie every time you get asked that question, pick me up one of those fancy wigs as well – I could use one :)

    Seriously, I am always looking for that optimal pairing as well. But G I guess I have to agree with Jose. For instance, you love to grab a light red with a lighter cigar but I have found that a glass of red wine really doesn’t always agree with me and sometimes can ruin my cigar experience. I much prefer a cognac or nice single malt. So I guess it really is whatever makes you happy. But then again, maybe it is because I am usually having a cigar with Random_Mic, at G’s house, and he brings those cheap bottles of Cabernet. Honestly, bring over a nice bottle of Chianti Classico every once and a while there big shot!

    Love the Office quote, couldn’t agree more!

    All the best to everyone this holiday season.

    Happy Holidays!!

    • You kill me! Love it bro. Grazie mille

    • Iva!!! Is that why you always smell like cheap wine and cigars? Next time I’m bringing some Guinness (thanks DK) and some XO. Can’t wait to see you watch me drink it ;)

      • I’d like to find me a gal who smells like cheap wine and cigars.

  7. What a great read and some ideas to try. I will always try to enjoy some bourbon with my cigars and though not my favorite bourbon, Makers Mark is my go to cigar bourbon. Due to its rich sweetness I feel it brings out natural sweetness and lessens the spice a bit.

    • Give Jeffersons or Four Roses small batch a shot with your stogie.

      • I have had the Four Roses previously, which is great but haven’t seen the Jefferson’s at a store near me yet.

  8. It’s always great to see opinions on pairings even though this is a never-ending topic with no right or wrong answers… for almost 47 years I’ve been smoking cigars also during which time I have also blended many of them, and from my point of view, the first thing that you have to understand is that taste is subjective. When you are smoking and you really want to write a review there’s many things to consider, what you’re pairing up with, what you ate beforehand, the weather being cold or too hot, where you are, who you are with, are you calm or stressed out… and so many more circumstances… all of which will affect the overall conclusions you can have about pairing.

    Now going in to the pairings, it comes down to what you like, which also brings out the best in a cigar. I have friends that when they are evaluating a smoke only drink diet coke, others coffee and so on, me myself I evaluate cigars with club soda to cleanse the palate.
    However, when I only smoke for the sake of smoking (not evaluating or blending), coffee will be my non-alcoholic pairing, the alcoholic one would be a good Port, a good Scotch, Rum… all depending on the cigar and its profile.

    As always, I respect all opinions with understanding for the subjectivity of taste. Yet to answer this post in particular I agree with G on most points but on the sweet drinks with a Maduro cigar I would like to express a different opinion – sweetness can be quite pungent, too much sweetness can over-power a good cigar which already has some of it itself. I would rather pare a sweet Maduro with an alcoholic beverage in accordance with its strength rather than its taste-profile, or a non-alcoholic club soda or other more neutral drinks or coffee, nor over-powering sweet or bitter…

    Finally, this is a subject that we will all keep bringing up always with different opinions… so at the end of the day I guess I basically stick to what I always say: The only thing that can ruin a good cigar is having it next to an asshole.

    • Well said Jose

    • Agreed!! Those people really do ruin any cigar.

    • Fantastic read Jose! Let me know when you want to write a piece for our community. I know I would love it and I’m sure everyone would love hearing from a legend.

  9. Great response Mr Blanco. What a great conclusion!

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