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Top 5 Holiday Cocktail Cigar Pairings

English Christmas Punch

 

For many smokers (including myself), the beverage you choose to accompany a good stogie can either make or break your smoking experience. Since the holiday season is ripe with opportunities to enjoy a good smoke, we figured it’d be the perfect time to feature some jolly good cocktails that are to sure to enhance your seasonal smoking this year. So without further ado, let’s get into the list.

 

1. English Christmas Punch

Ingredients:

3 cups strong tea

2 750-ml. bottles dry red wine

1 750-ml. bottle dark rum

1 lb. superfine sugar

Juice of 1 large orange

Juice of 1 lemon

Our first pick is an old-time English holiday tradition. In fact, one of the earliest versions of this recipe is accredited to none other than Charles Dickens, author of one of the most well-known holiday stories in history, “A Christmas Carol.” This Victorian-era holiday punch can be served heated or cold and goes great with a mild-to medium bodied smoke, preferably something on the sweet and spicy side. The Medici by Alec Bradley comes to mind, or any good stogie with a sun-grown wrapper, like the Ashton ESG would also fit the bill.

 

2. Irish Coffee

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. heavy cream

1 ½ Oz. Irish Whiskey

1 tsp. Sugar Syrup or superfine sugar

Coffee

 

It could be argued that the absolute best pairings for any cigar are coffee and whiskey, and the time-tested and smoker-approved Irish Coffee brings the two together in one delicious winter-weather beverage. When the subtle sweetness of the Irish Whiskey meets the rich flavors of a nice, strong cup of coffee you’ve got yourself a cup of joe that’ll really warm the bones. This one pairs nicely with a medium bodied smoke with just a little bit of kick to it. I wouldn’t mind sparking up a Gran Habano #3 or maybe even an Oliva G with a nice mug of the Irish after a hefty holiday dinner.

 

 

The Grinch

3. The Grinch

Ingredients:

2 oz Midori

1/2 oz lemon juice

1 tsp simple syrup

maraschino cherry for garnish

 

 

This super-sweet tribute to the meanest little green man in Whoville is not your average stogie-pairing drink, which to me makes it all the more appealing. The sweet and sour candy-like flavors of the Grinch are surprisingly compatible with a creamy, mild-bodied Connecticut-wrapped stogie. I recommend enjoying the Grinch with the Kensington Connecticut Reserve by Alec Bradley, or a Macanudo café for a tasty and festive holiday combo.

 

 

4. Applejack  Spiked Hot Cider

Ingredients:

Applejack Spiked Hot Cider

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

8 whole allspice berries

10 black peppercorns

5 whole cloves

2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

6 cups apple cider

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 (2-inch) orange rind strips

2 (2-inch) lemon rind strips

3/4 cup applejack brandy

 

An updated twist on a seasonal classic, the AppleJack Spiked Hot Cider is a perfect warm drink to pour as a toast, or just as a casual sipper to enjoy with a robust stogie. The warmth of the spirits and the natural spice of this holiday grog go well with a smooth, spicy and full bodied cigar, like the Toraño Exodus 1959 or the Camacho Corojo. For whatever reason, whenever I hear a Christmas song reference “a cup of cheer”, I always picture a tall glass of hot spiked apple cider.

 

  1. Ye Olde EggNog

 

Eggnog

Ingredients:

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups milk

2 whole cloves

Pinch of cinnamon

1 cup cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tbsp each of bourbon and rum or brandy, or to taste

 

Let’s face it, this list would be a little bit crippled without the mention of what is perhaps the all-time champion of holiday season libations: the Eggnog. This classic yuletide treat can be enjoyed with or without alcohol, and makes an extra-savory companion to just about any good smoke, depending on your taste. I personally plan on pairing my Nog’ this year with something zesty and chocolaty, maybe the Puros Indios 2012 or one of my all-time favorites, the Oliva Master Blends 3. Whatever stogie you choose to match this sweet and frothy treat, it should really hit the spot at your holiday herf-session.

So there you have it, our cocktail picks for maximum-stogie satisfaction this holiday season, hopefully you found something to add to your repertoire in this mix of old favorites and new classics. Please enjoy these recipes responsibly, and with good cigars only. Have any suggestions, or additions to the list? Feel free to post them below in a comment, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest cigar news, updates and reviews.