Rafael Nodal has had a hand in blending some of the most renowned cigars in the world, gathering huge ratings and prestigious awards along the way…not bad for a kid who was picking oranges in Cuba at 15. Today, we sit with Rafael to discover the 5 cigars that influenced his style, earned him success, and give some little-known facts about your favorite Altadis and Boutique Blends.
The Battle: Pairing Cigars and Liquor
Pairing Cigars and Liquor? Bottoms up!
The Advisors are kicking off the calendar with a little bit of style and a little bit of swagger…actually, make that a little bit of stagger – as this time, we’re “informed” from deep within a few bottles of choice. We’re not pairing smokes, per se – rather, we’re pairing cigars with drinks because of the qualities they share, unique notes each presents and, well, just because they’re all so goddamned tasty. Mostly that last part. Notice that we’re only telling you what those cigars are, and why we like them, as opposed to giving these smokes a rating, a score, a rank or whatever arbitrary and arcane grade we could dream up. The Advisors call bullshit on pulling bogus “ratings” out of thin air, or basing a score on 3 puffs and a whole lotta hype. Instead, it’s best to let the cigars – and real smokers like you – do the talking. We simply supply the facts on each stick – do with that info what you will. But it’s these 12 in particular we enjoy with a kind of particular pleasure reserved for very few other adult delights: like pairing cigars with booze. As for the descriptions themselves, we’re going off of what flavor and body the fillers have, what qualities the wrappers have and so on, plus 100% personal experience…and pitting the cigars (and their boozy counterpart) against each other in this month’s Battle.
So let’s get started…vodka, tequila, rum and whiskey – each is a staple of the Advisors’ bottom desk drawer, and we know what to do with it; we also know that there’s no wrong way to drink them, except in excess. So we present a few solid drink recipes that, like the cigars in the following pages, get our mouths watering – put ’em head to head – and let them fight it out.
Get ready to imbibe – it’s cigars and liquor in the Battle!
Usually in the ballpark of 5 1/2 x 42, a good corona cigar goes down smooth and easy…just like a nice premium vodka. What makes both uncommonly good is their versatility. We suggest you put these 3 cocktails to put on your to-drink list – and if it helps to sway you, given you three unique cigars to which you can compare their uniquely similar characteristics. For instance: vodka may look unassuming, but brings the buzz; we think these 3 smokes will do the same. Click the arrows left or right to toggle between the selections!
As the robusto is a staple of the humidor, tequila is always on any liquor cabinet’s guest list. But just because they’re both oh-so-common doesn’t mean they’re incapable of bringing a pleasant surprise (though tequila’s “tomorrow morning” surprise is a significantly different experience). Try these tequila recipes for something out of the ordinary, and the cigars for some rich and powerful blends. Click the arrows left or right to toggle between the selections!
Rum seems to be an acquired taste; so, too, are toros to those of us who typically stay to the smaller end of the ring gauge. But as these cigars build in size, so do the drinks that include a healthy hand’s worth of island goodness – and may God help you if you overdo it, as it’s very easy to do with these 3 blends and these 3 drinks. Click the arrows left or right to toggle between the selections!
Yes, Churchill cigars got their name from the British Prime Minister; yes, there are plenty of Churchill stories that include a tipple or ten of the good stuff in the glass in his hand. While we can’t vouch for the authenticity of the subsequent legends of Winston’s imbibing (that’s a word, right?) we can vouch for these three cigars – and can certainly get behind the whisky/whiskey (whatever you prefer) drink recipes you see here. Click the arrows left or right to toggle between the selections!
Now – your opinion on pairing cigars counts. Try ’em all, and tell us which cigars and liquor you like best, in the comments below!