The pairing between cigar and cocktails

The cocktail is a mixed drink obtained by combining different spirits and / or liqueurs with the possible addition of other ingredients such as sugar, non-alcoholic drinks, spices and flavors.

If smoking is the art of knowing how to live and meditation, tasty drinking is the essential ingredient to crown this magical moment that man allows himself. In this article we will try to establish some general rules for possible combinations between cigar and cocktail.

The classification of cocktails

The cocktails can be divided in a temporal way according to the moment of consumption:

  • Pre-Dinner Cocktails: Pre Dinner cocktails have the prerogative of favoring the opening of the stomach before a meal.
  • Sparkling Cocktails (Pre-Dinner): Sparkling Cocktails have as their main component sparkling or sparkling wines.
  • After-Dinner Cocktails: After Dinner cocktails should be served after a meal and drunk on a full stomach because of their important alcohol content. They are characterized by intense aromas and have a distinctly soft taste on the palate.
  • Any Time or All Day Cocktails: Any Time All Day Cocktails can be drunk at any time of the day, with a minimum alcohol base and the addition of soft drinks and softeners.

Based on the quantity that determines the alcohol content, the more alcoholic the mixture the less the quantity of service: Short Drink, Medium Drink, Long Drink.

The pairing between cigar and cocktails in detail

Cocktails are strongly influenced by their method of preparation, which will influence their final taste and consequently the pairing. It is therefore essential to know perfectly the basic ingredients that make up a cocktail and how it should be prepared.

Another criterion to be taken into consideration is certainly the temperature of service: in order to enjoy the cigar smoke and not have the anesthetized taste buds, a cocktail should not be too frozen (in the case of cold cocktails) nor too hot (in the case of hot cocktails).

Search for concordant sensations

When it comes to pairing cigar and cocktails, one should seek in the latter sensations and flavors consistent with those found in the cigar, such as the sweetness, creaminess and spiciness.

Pairing according to structure

In addition to looking for the same sensations on the palate, it is good to also keep in mind the structure of the cigar so that it does not dominate the cocktail and vice versa.

  • Light-bodied and not very persistent cigars on the palate should be combined with poorly structured cocktails.
  • Medium-bodied and persistent cigars on the palate should be paired with medium-structured cocktails.
  • Full-Bodied cigars, structured with a long persistence on the palate should be combined with structured cocktails.


In this article, we introduced the topic of the pairing between cigars and cocktails. After a summary classification of the various types of cocktails, we have seen how their preparation is fundamental to obtain a balanced product. Unlike other types of drinks, in cocktails you can deliberately search for certain sensations, consequently each cocktail can be built based on the sensations that the cigar gives in smoking creating a pairing by concordance, without forgetting to keep in mind the structure of both products.

Thanks to Stefano Renzetti and Christian Cepero for the revision of this article.

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Photo by Michal Lizuch from Pexels

Sommelier professionista (ASPI Associazione Sommellerie Professionale Italiana) in sedia a rotelle pubblicato a livello internazionale con svariate esperienze nella ristorazione e nella organizzazione di eventi. Scrive di abbinamenti sigari - bevande su Gusto Tabacco.