Few things are more satisfying to the palate than pairing your favorite cigar with an equally enjoyable drink. Generally, the best spirits to pair with cigars are cognac, single malt whiskey, bourbon, rum, rye, and port. While tequila makes for a nice partner, you’ll want to stay away from most white spirits, like vodka and gin, as the cigar will overpower the drink. Some red wines and certain beers can also make a great match with cigars.
Ultimately, balance is the key to pairing cigars and drinks. One shouldn’t outdo the other. Rather, they should enhance each other.
When it comes to cigar pairings, simply match the body of the drink to the body of the cigar.
For example, a light-bodied cigar can go well with white wines, young reds, blended scotches, or lighter beers.
Medium-bodied cigars pair well with Speyside and some Lowland whiskeys, most Irish whiskeys, rums, bourbons, ryes, ports, or a variety of fuller-bodied beers.
Full-bodied smokes are a great match with peaty Islay, heavier Highland single malts, or dark stouts.
These cigar pairing tips are meant to get you started. Your taste is the final judge as to what works and what doesn’t. Have fun testing out different cigar and drinking pairings, from spirits and cocktails to wines and craft beer, and discover what’s right for you.