When we talk about cigars, we usually talk about pairings as well. A lot of people prefer to drink their favorite scotch or beer, perhaps even coffee with their favorite cigars. All are respectable choices of course, but one pairing that has been puzzling the cigar world for years now, and has been picking up steam very rapidly is Dr. Pepper. Now, it may seem crazy to think that Dr. Pepper, of all drinks there are in the world, pairs up with any cigar out there today, but to be quite honest it is the only drink that makes sense.
As I’m writing this, I am smoking a Perdomo 20th Anniversary, which is a home run of a cigar, and drinking a Dr. Pepper to put this theory to the test. So far I have smoked through half of my cigar, and the Dr. Pepper is slightly mellowed by the cigar while the sweetness of the soda is bringing an added layer of flavor to the 20th Anniversary. It’s quite interesting to be honest and absolutely delicious. The 20th Anniversary typically has grassy notes in the first third which surrenders to a rich earthy, tobacco taste with underlying grassy notes almost as an aftertaste for the remainder of the smoke. The Dr. Pepper adds some sweetness to the mix and brings out a few underlying flavors that I would never expect from this cigar, such as caramel, and even a hint of cocoa. Since Perdomo puts out a lot of complex yet extremely consistent cigars in terms of flavor, I assume the caramel and slight cocoa is going to stick throughout the rest of the smoke.
So why is it that Dr. Pepper is gaining so much steam as a proper pairing for cigars? Well, as you may have noticed from my small review, the Dr. Pepper is bringing out flavors that add some complexity while not diminishing the true flavor of the cigar. Consider it a flavor enhancer. Of course, you can make the argument that a good scotch will bring out some flavors in the cigar. , But as far as I have experienced, it just amplifies the flavors already present in the cigar. which can in turn ruin a cigar. After all, cigars are blended with a certain flavor profile in mind. Dr. Pepper on the other hand allows the natural flavors to come out while bringing even more flavor straight from the tobacco.
There are two theories as to why Dr. Pepper reigns supreme as the ultimate cigar pairing. The first of which is the 23 flavors in Dr. Pepper bring out the natural underlying flavors of each cigar, making it an even more complex smoke each and every time. The second theory is that Dr. Pepper is a stellar palate cleanser, making each puff unique so you can better track the changes in your cigar. Both theories have a lot of validity behind them. Each sip I took I felt my palate was clean and ready for a new puff, while at the same time, I experienced flavors that I have never tasted with a Perdomo 20th Anniversary, thus enhancing my smoking experience. So try a cool and refreshing Dr. Pepper next time you smoke a cigar and find out what the craze is for yourself.