Finally, the heat is beginning to subside, a cool air is blowing and the days of fall are at our doorstep. For many this marks the end of the wonder that is summer, however, for me this is the beginning of the best time of year. It's only right that we celebrate the end of the heat and the beginning of fall with some awesome seasonal cigar pairings. Lets see what we have for our End of Season Sippers list.
Manzanita is a spice that is native to several parts of North and Central America. It translates from Spanish to mean little apples. The Manzanita cocktail is the perfect beginning-of-fall drink. It mixes the last dash of summer, tequila, with a touch of fall by adding in cinnamon, elderflower liqueur and apple cider. Besides having a similar name to the Manzanita size of the Eastern Standard Dark Connecticut by Caldwell, this drink and cigar pair up very well in flavor profile as well. Notes of leather, cinnamon spice, citrus, and a touch of sweetness make this a unique and fan favorite pairing.
This is an incredibly complex pairing both in flavors and in ingredients, but it is worth it, so stay with us. The Optimist is a rich and flavorful Fall-ish cocktail originating in Boston. It blends Sherry, Maple Syrup Amaro Nonino, Bourbon, and bitters with a bit of orange for a spicy, sweet, and full-flavored beverage, perfect for the now chilly nights. The brand new H.Upmann Hispaniola is the most complex and flavorful Upmann ever created. Using the unique tobaccos grown by the Mendez family, it matches the Optimist with notes of deep spice, wood, and citrus notes. This is the true connoisseur's pairing.
Named for the famed Scot, the Rob Roy takes the famed Manhattan, but gives it a Braveheart twist. You take the basic Manhattan ingredients which uses Sweet Vermouth and bitters, but now you substitute the Bourbon for Scotch. The result is a sweet, spicy, and slightly smoky drink that is great for this time of year. The Herrera Esteli Norteno is able to match up very well with the Rob Roy, offering a rich spice and a slight sweetness for a great pairing.
As the story goes, following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers had a huge party in which they drank eight barrels of beer, 22 bottles of porter, and over 100 bottles of rum and wine. It puts your local frat party to shame. To celebrate this incredible achievement, one bartender from Seattle created a signature cocktail known as the Declaration. It combines rum, rye whiskey, brown sugar syrup, and beer in a giant mug. It takes a nice hearty smoke to go along with this cocktail, but also something subtle and not overbearing. We went with the La Cima, an exclusive line made for us by Pepin Garcia. It uses a flavorful Ecuadorian leaf over Nicaraguan fillers for a combination of leather, cedar, dried fruit, and chocolate. It has just about every flavor you would experience from the drink, making this a great pairing to celebrate how chill the Founding Fathers were.
This drink can be called a new take on an old fashioned or, as the name suggests, an Aged Old Fashioned. In a typical Old Fashioned glass you mix Agave, bitters, orange peel, and a nice Anejo tequila. This mix of sweet, rich, and spicy gives you a wonderful new addition to your cocktail line up. The Balmoral Anejo XO matches up for more then just the name. The aged tobacco adds a refinement and a touch of sweet spice, and a dash of citrus make this a new old time favorite, or an old new favorite, however you want to call it.