Rum, the liquor used in the Mojito, had its origins born out of necessity; a necessity of the slaves who worked the sugar cane fields of Barbados during the 17th century and needed a drink at the end of the day. The slaves found they could ferment molasses, a typically discarded by-product of sugar distillation, into a fairly potent concoction. Over time, rum came to be distilled to remove impurities and the rum we know and love today became the preeminent liquor of the Caribbean and Latin America.
History and smoking traditions have both dictated that cigars be paired exclusively with darker spirits: cognac, whisky, bourbon and scotch; even coffees and fine wines have gotten more respect as ideal cigar match-ups than tequila – especially an un-aged blanco. M.A. Morales, tequila guru, is here to call bullshit on all that and dare you to try something different. We've sampled his advice – and knowing what we know now, recommend you do the same.
Aaron Eckhart smokes cigars because they don’t alter personalities in the same way drinking alcohol does.
The actor loves cigars and is happy to admit they are his one vice. He would never consider smoking cigarettes because he believes they make people neurotic and alcohol had such a profound effect on his personality he was never a big fan of it.
Al Capone knew his way around a bottle of liquor – after all, he stood at the helm of one of the country's most successful bootlegging rings during Prohibition. But one bottle, in particular, was his favorite: straight from the stills in the farmlands of Templeton, Iowa, Scarface loved a taste of homegrown Rye. Belly up to the bar with us and get a taste of Templeton Rye – just like Capone did.
Pairing a drink and cigar is certainly a matter of personal taste but the recipe of Maker’s Mark makes it particularly good pairing with full-bodied cigars.
By Larry Tepper
And with the vivid stream of consciousness title above I welcome you to the wonderful fantasy world of Champagne and Cigars where it’s easy to get carried away — in the mind and the wallet.
As a Wine Industry professional, I have access to some of the greatest Champagnes, the likes of which are generally available only to the highly affluent or devil-may-care James Bonds of the world. If you’ve got a few spare C-notes, go right ahead and lay them down on Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Ros, Louis Roederer Cristal or KRUG Grand Cuvee –all of which I have tasted and fallen instantly in love with. I’ll also mention here that I’ve had the great good fortune to drink three different vintages of Moet & Chandon “Cuvee Dom Perignon” and while the 1959 DOM stands out as one of my greatest wine tasting experiences, the 1973 and 1976 were only just very good. You pays your money and you takes your chances.
By Larry Tepper
I just hate hearing someone comment: “Tell me something I didn’t know.” So, while I’d gladly discuss the wonderful affinity of cigars with Port wines for days on end, who needs a tour guide in familiar territory? The challenge is to find other wines that we can enjoy with cigars. While it’s easy to open five different wines for tasting purposes, have you ever tried to keep five different cigars lit at one time? I did…once. Close to impossible. And believe me, the term “palate burnout” takes on a whole new depth of meaning. Do not try this at home.
So the project required a few days, with several different cigars and a multiplicity of wines. I deployed my handy Vacu Vin device which extracts air from an open bottle, inhibiting the wine’s becoming oxidized for about a week.
For starters I had a lovely Pinot Noir open from the Burgundy region of France, Emile Chandesais Bourgogne 2009.* Reds from this legendary district generally are not full-bodied. Gloriously fragrant and delicate, true Burgundies are nothing short of a marvel to complement refined cuisine. So, do not think roast beef. Think herb-roasted chicken, Cornish game hen, quail, duck, turkey with all the trimmings.
But did it complement my cigar? No. FAIL.