Every once in a while the founders here at Cigars.com gather together to put together a new drink and cigar pairing. Up till now they have been mostly focused on alcoholic beverages, seeing as they are usually the companion of a fine cigar. However, we have failed to put together a comprehensive list of a very popular pairing item, soft drinks. Well, we have failed until now at least. Sometimes you just aren’t in the mood for whiskey or beer, you just want something nice and flavorful to enjoy with your cigar. After countless hours spent doing grueling research, we were finally able to put together a list of our favorite soft drink and cigar pairings.
While mostly known for its supposed stomach-curing properties, many people forget that Ginger Ale is a crisp and flavorful beverage that deserves its place on the soft drink Mt. Rushmore. Boylan’s, famous for their root beer, makes an exquisite Ginger Ale. It is smooth and not too fizzy. It is a great mixer if you wish to combine it with a decent whiskey, but is perfectly fine on its own. The Montecristo #2 is a great partner with its smooth flavors and crisp, clean aroma.
When naming popular cola companies, Jones is probably not in your top 10. However, this little boutique company out of Seattle has a devoted following and a delicious product. They are known for their unusual limited edition flavors such as Turkey & Gravy and Pumpkin Pie. I am a huge fan of their original flavors, with my personal preference being the Lemon Lime. Bold citrus flavors and a smooth finish make this one of the finer soft drinks you can try. We decided to light up the new Macanudo Heritage Reserve and see how it pairs with Jones. The results were surprisingly great. Rich leather and citrus notes from the cigar pair effortlessly with the drink, make it a great summer pairing.
This one may be a bit biased, seeing as Root Beer is one of my favorite beverages of all time, and Appalachian makes one of the best ones. The whole craft, boutique phenomena is not limited to beers and cigars. Appalachian takes extreme care to make a finely crafted Root beer, using natural ingredients including vanilla, pure sugar cane and honey. It is sweet, smooth, and bold, as any good Root Beer should be. I decided upon one of my favorite offerings from Caldwell Cigars, the Last Tsar. Its bolder flavor with a touch of sweetness makes it a great pairing for the Root Beer, especially in the upcoming fall and winter months.
This pairing can be classified by two words: smooth and creamy. Stewart's is a world famous manufacturer of soda and is especially well known for its Root Beer and Cream Soda. Its Cream Soda is exactly that, creamy. Where many companies focus too much on the sweetness, Stewart's balances sweet and smooth perfectly for a tremendous soft drink. I went with the Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 for the same reason… it's incredibly smooth. I particularly like pairing it with the maduro version, as the smooth and rich broadleaf wrapper releases rich sweet notes that go exceedingly well with the Cream Soda. This is a fantastic earlier-in-the-day pairing, as it won’t ruin your palate for anything that follows.
For years, I was saying that Dr. Pepper was the most underrated of all the soft drinks. Today it seems to be getting more of an appreciation, but it's not enough. This is literally a flavor bomb, in fact it's 23 flavor bombs. With notes of pepper, spice, cinnamon, nuts and vanilla, Dr. Pepper is the most flavorful and complex soft drink on the market. What would be a better pairing than one of the most complex cigars in the world, the delicious and enticing El Gueguense from Nick Melillo and Foundation cigars. With similar spicy and nutty notes, this is a complex pairing that I would recommend for a seasoned cigar veteran.