Pairing Cigars with Drinks
Written by James Payne

Monday, 23 March 2009

User Rating: / 2

tips and trickstobacco faqs
wine and spirits


Red Wine

Red Wines offer a greater variety when it comes to pairing them with cigars. This is because they have a more pungent, powerful taste. Because of this however, you have to be careful that they do not overwhelm the cigar. A red wine that is too strong will be just as bad as a white that is too mild.

Finding a balance depends mostly on your taste here. Italian reds, for whatever reason, always work well for me. Pinot Noir is good, as are Zinfandels. Sangria too offers an interesting mix, though I do tend to lean towards mixing fruitier wines with cigars (a personal preference). Stay away from the Boonesfarm though!

I hear tale that Merlots are also good, but so far haven’t had that particular experience.



One Last Note on Wines

An important last note about wines. Whether red or white, keep in mind that a type of wine can vary greatly depending on the maker. Same as with cigars. A good avenue to venture into wine/cigar pairings is at cigar bars or at wine tastings that allow cigar smoking. In this manner, you could try several varieties of say, a nice Pinot Blanc and get a good idea of which work, and which don’t.


Another good pairing for cigars is Sherry. Boasting a luxurious, nutty flavor, I think Sherry is one of the better matches. My favorite Sherry to drink with a cigar is Palo Cortado. It’s not too dry and has a rich flavor that blends well for me with a medium bodied cigar.

Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.


When drinking Brandy, keep in mind the age of the Brandy and its strength. If you are drinking an older Brandy, try matching it up with a full-bodied cigar. For weaker versions of Brandy, go with a milder cigar. Always keep in mind that with any alcohol, it is important to match the strength of the cigar and alcohol, or else one taste might block out the other. The end result should be a nice meshing.


0 # James Payne 2009-02-09 14:29
Hey Everyone,

In this article I talk about the basics of cigar-alcohol pairing. I talk about pairing cigars with wine, beer, brandy, scotch, whisky, tequila, and more. Its more of an overall guide, since your tastes will probably differ from mine, but I would love to hear what other people like to pair with their cigars.

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0 # Steve W 2009-03-23 05:23
I have recently started to drink a good cup of coffee with a cigar. I am really liking the combination. I used to really enjoy drink beer/whisky, but have decided to stop drinking alcohol and coffee is working out well for me. Any other suggestions of non alcoholic drinks that go well with a cigar would be most welcomed.

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0 # BeersXTRazzer 2009-03-23 11:16
While I do agree a good beer and a good cigar go hand-in-hand, I don't quite agree that it's as simple as presented. For the most part ales and lagers don't leave a strong aftertaste that would adversely impact the cigar flavors. But some IPAs (India Pale Ale) with the amount of hops contained in the brew can leave a strong aftertaste. Although a cigar with a variety of "spice" flavors could be well paired with an IPA. Also consider the porters and stouts as these darker beers do have "earthy", "molasses", "smoked" flavors resembled in cigars.

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+1 # for steve w...other beverages that i have found favorable with the 'sticks'..johnnypittman 2009-03-24 04:29
i'm not a tee-totaler by any stretch, but i find that if i have a 'drink' whenever i have a cigar i would be an alcoholic. that being said, i've found that with the maduro's or darker oily-skinned sticks, a cold glass of sweet tea balances out the flavors well. when i'm smoking a don carlos, i enjoy ginger beer or ginger ale. the peppery hints accentuate the pure enjoyment of the fuente. i also enjoy a good cup of coffee and have found that as far as warm drinks are concerned, chai tea is a tasty beverage that will create more enjoyment of the cigar.

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0 # Also a non-alcoholic drinkerpipesandgop 2009-03-24 11:40
I also tend to go toward the coffee when it comes to my cigars as well as pipe smoking. An occasional drink can be nice but for me the coffee really does the trick. Now pairing a particular coffee to a particular smoke- that's a challenge worth taking.

Alcoholic beverages for me with a good smoke include white russians, rum&coke, and bourbon typically.. never been able to get into beer with a cigar. As for martinis falling under the 'mixed drink' category... unless you include stirring olives in my glass there's nothing mixed about a glass of gin.;-)

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0 # Root Beer Goes Well with CigarsGlenn Dixon 2009-03-25 13:44
I agree with Johnny. I have recently paired medium-full bodied smokes with root beer. Very interesting and quite good.

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0 # An old favoriteb0lder 2009-04-05 00:09
For me, the very best cigar pairing comes from a good Port wine. For those of you who haven't tried it, Port is simply red wine that has been fortified with stronger grape spirits (brandy). This halts the fermentation process, preserving some of the sugar that has yet to be broken down, and also raises the alcohol content. This gives it the characteristica lly stong and sweeter taste. My favorite are the tawny parts, which are aged in wooden barrels for any number of years. Of course, a 40 year port is much more expensive than a 10 year (average time in the barrel) but you don't need to break the bank for a great bottle. A good 10 year port is not that expensive, and will provide a nuttier, caramel-like undertone that goes great with any medium to full bodied cigar.

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0 # My choicesBruce 2009-04-09 10:39
Single malt scotch...
Yuengling beer...
Cold sweet tea...
Cold clear water...

Depends on mood, time of day, and the cigar


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0 # Really? 2009-06-18 14:05
Ales and lagers are the only kinds of beer there are, besides other lesser known lambics and such. And if you're smoking a cigar go with a good, dark ale. The flavor complexities are much better and you can really compliment the flavors of the cigar with the flavors of the beer much better.

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+1 # A good pairing for the cheapskate.Kevin Bacon 2010-01-06 11:51
I usually mix 12 ounces of Steel Reserve silver label lager with 3 ounces of Ron Diaz spiced rum. It makes an excellent paring. The lager is strong and the rum adds a bit of sweet to it. With a cigar, it's absolutely incredible.

BTW: This "mixed drink" is amazingly economical since the lager mentioned above is about 50¢ for a 12 oz. can and the spiced rum mentioned above is about $15 for a 1.75 liter bottle.

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0 # non alcoholic drinksBradley Beaty 2011-07-24 20:47
I am new to smoking cigars and this web site. Steve W asked for suggestions for nonalcoholic drinks to enjoy with a cigar. I was recently deployed and alchohol was not available, so I would enjoy my cigars with a Sprite. I found the lemon flavor made for a nice combination and was light enough to still enjoy the taste of my cigar. Has anyone else tried this and what did you think.

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