Now that summer is in full swing, it’s a great time to enjoy Cuban cigars and a refreshing cocktail. Often when people think of a drink to accompany a smoke, they picture cognac, or port, or single-malt whisky. But that doesn’t have to be the case, especially when you’re trying to beat the heat.
There are some exceptional cocktails out there that will quench your thirst, while pairing perfectly with just the right cigar, especially Cuban cigars.
These combos are all winners you can enjoy at the cottage, by the pool, or on the back deck – wherever you are chilling during these summer months.
What better way to kick off summer than with Canada’s national drink. Invented in Calgary in 1969, this is a cocktail any Canuck can be proud of. It’s delicious, and packs just the right amount of heat, while still being refreshing.
A great companion for the Caesar would be a Cohiba Siglo I. Sometimes you don’t want to invest a long time in a cigar. So the Siglo I is the perfect size if you want a quick, smooth, high-quality cigar while soaking up the sun and enjoying your Caesar.
- 1 oz vodka
- 6 oz of Clamato juice
- ½ oz of lime juice
- pinch of ground pepper
- 2 dashes of Tabasco
- pinch of sea salt
- 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
Rock (rather than shake) the ingredients in a shaker with ice, and strain into an ice-filled glass. Then, rim the glass with celery salt, and garnish with a lime, stalk of celery, and pickled bean.
Of course a cigar pairs beautifully with the ultimate Cuban cocktail – the ever famous Mojito. This is one of Cuba’s most well-loved exports, and the drink combines ingredients we associate with the island (rum, sugar, mint and lime) into the ultimate summer drink. Crisp and refreshing, a well-made Mojito will instantly transport you to the streets of Havana or the beaches of Veradero.
Mojitos pair nicely with a lighter cigar. In terms of Cuban cigars, a good choice is the Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 2. It’s a flavourful, creamy and is an outstanding companion to the classic cocktail.
- 2 oz. rum
- club soda
- ¾ oz fresh lime juice
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- ½ cup club soda
- 2 tbsp of sugar
Lightly muddle the mint in a cocktail shaker to release the fresh mint flavour. Add the rum, lime juice, sugar and ice, and give it a strong shake. The strain into a high glass and then top it off with club soda. Don’t forget to garnish with lime and extra mint leaves.
Another rum-based favourite is the Piña Colada. Everything about this drink says summer. To some, it might have the connotation of a cheap touristy cocktail you would get at a swim-up bar. But this is a sweet delight if you get it right.
The mix of coconut and pineapple and rum can’t be beat, especially if you pair the Colada with a great cigar. With that in mind, I would recommend the Montecristo No. 4, one of the premium Cuban cigars. Its rich taste will complement the sweetness of the drink beautifully. So light it up, and you’ll have an exquisite puff to accompany your tropical oasis of a cocktail.
- 2 oz golden rum
- ½ cup of diced pineapple
- 2 oz pineapple juice
- 1 oz cream of coconut
- ½ oz lime juice
- 12 oz of ice
Blend the ingredients with the ice. Then garnish with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry.
The Italian cocktail is a true summer classic. Gin doesn’t usually pair so well with cigars, but for a drink this delicious, you can make an exception. It’s a complex drink that mingles fruit and spice tones… bitter and sweet flavours living in perfect harmony.
An excellent, full-bodied robusto to pair it with would be the Bolivar Royal Corona, which was previously voted ‘Cigar of the Year’ by Cigar Aficionado. You can just picture yourself driving a Vespa through the streets of Rome on a hot summer afternoon. Then you settle in an outdoor café ready to savour the unparalleled mix of a Negroni and tasty Bolivar.
- 1 ½ oz dry gin
- One ½ oz Campari
- 1 ½ ox sweet vermouth
Pour ingredients into an ice-filled glass and stir. Garnish with an orange wedge or peel.
The Pisco Punch was famously invented in a San Francisco saloon at the height of the California gold rush. Looking back, this classic from 1853 was quite the exclusive drink. Its recipe was lost during Prohibition, but was luckily found again in the 1970’s. Ever since, the Pisco Punch has enjoyed a renaissance as a perfect cocktail for a hot summer day or night.
A good cigar choice would be the Flor de Copan Rothschild, which is made in Honduras. It’s a light, medium-bodied cigar that will complement the flavours of the cocktail beautifully. In the end, it will leave you feeling like you’ve struck gold.
- 2 oz pisco
- ½ oz orange juice
- ¾ oz of pineapple juice
- ½ oz sugar syrup
- ½ oz brut champagne
- 3 cloves
- ½ shot lemon juice
Muddle the cloves in the base of a shaker. Then add the pisco, sugar syrup and pineapple, orange and lemon juices, and shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled tall glass. Top with champagne, and garnish with a pineapple wedge.
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