Cigars are quite a popular commodity. Over 12 million people smoke them in the U.S. alone, and the amount of cigar smokers has surpassed the number of cigarette smokers. The list of reasons why smokers love cigars is long, but the top point tends to be that they like the wide selection of flavors and styles.
If you’re one of the consumers that love the flavors that are available with cigars, it only makes sense to tell you about the flavors that go well with them. Here are seven foods and drinks that will perfectly pair with your favorite cigar.
1. Smoked Fish
Many food experts consider bluefish, mackerel, and striped mullet to be the best fish you can smoke, but you can also choose your own personal favorite. Keep in mind that a fattier fish tends to achieve a better flavor when being smoked. No matter which type of fish you choose, the moist and salty flavor of a smoked fish is sure to pair well with your cigar.
A light cigar needs light food to match. That means if your favorite cigar has a refreshing, light flavor, you can’t go wrong with cheeses, olives, smoked meats, or other light and delicious entrees. Don’t choose food items known for having overly strong flavors, as this can overwhelm the taste of a light cigar. The key is to be able to taste both the flavor of the food and the flavor of the cigar.
3. Hearty Meats
When you’re smoking a full-bodied or medium-strength cigar, you can’t go wrong with a meat pairing. Choose a nice grilled steak, barbecued ribs, or your favorite type of sausage, then sit back and enjoy the delicious flavor of prime meats and exquisite cigars. The unique flavor and texture of the meats will bring out qualities of your cigar that you’ve never even noticed before.
Sweet foods may not be the most obvious choice when it comes to pairing food with cigars, but one sweet you shouldn’t skip out on trying is chocolate. Before you give this a try, it’s important to know that not just any chocolate will do.
You want to stay away from milk chocolates, and cheaper overly sweet chocolates. For the best experience pairing chocolate, stick to artisan chocolate with a high cocoa content. This makes the chocolate more bitter in flavor, which allows it to subtly balance out the flavor of your chose cigar.
Now that we’ve discussed a few foods that pair well with cigars, let’s switch to drinks that can enhance your smoking experience.
Because bourbon and scotch are both made in smaller batches, they tend to have complex and unique flavors. These flavors blend well with medium and full-bodied cigars, and can even offer a slightly smokey taste themselves.
Alcohol is the traditional drink pairing for cigars, but it isn’t the only one. Like chocolate, coffee can offer a slightly sweet offset to your cigar. There are many types of coffee, so if you’re not sure where to start consider a sweeter blend like mocha or Irish cream.
The right rum can be the perfect pairing to a cigar. Choose a high-quality rum to ensure that it doesn’t detract from your smoking experience.
If you’re ready to take your cigar smoking experience to the next level, consider trying one of these pairings.