Due to its flavor similarities, hot chocolate and cigars actually make a great pairing. Check out our top infused and non-infused combinations!
You may probably think I’ve lost it, but hot chocolate is a fan favorite in the cigar industry. If you think about it, hot chocolate can be a great companion when paired with the right cigars. Chocolate assists with bringing out similar flavors in the tobacco along with some earthiness and creamy notes in a richer cigar. Here is a list of the best infused and non-flavored cigars to enjoy on a cold winter’s day, as hopefully winter will not be around too much longer.
Java Series by Drew Estate
The infused Java line was made to be paired with a cup of hot cocoa. The Java Maduro uses the finest tobaccos from Nicaragua that are enhanced with flavors of coffee, cocoa, and a hint of vanilla. The Java Latte is draped in a silky Connecticut wrapper resulting in a delightful milk chocolatey smoke. Java Red is a rich amalgam of cherry with notes of dark cocoa and coffee. Java Mint is a medium-bodied cigar filled with hints of mocha, coffee, vanilla, and mint. If you're looking for a sweet cigar to mix things up, Java cigars are a top-notch choice.
Tabak Especial Series
Tabak Especial Negra by Drew Estate has a rich, super dark Maduro wrapper blanketing coffee infused tobacco from Nicaragua creating rich flavors of espresso, cedar and a touch of earth. The rich tobacco in Tabak Especial Dulce is infused with fair trade coffees harvested in the mountains of Nicaragua. The result is a medium to full-bodied smoking experience with natural tobacco flavors and hints of smooth espresso and luscious caramel, perfect with a rich, dark hot mocha.
Ambrosia Nectar is a blend of choice Nicaraguan tobaccos infused with native South Asian and European spices and a mellow Connecticut wrapper infused with a matrix of mysterious flavors and aromas that linger on the palate. Ambrosia Nectar has exotic flavors including clove, star anise, coffee and black pepper that pair so well with a hot milk chocolate. Ambrosia Nectar has the essence of the holiday season.
Oliva NUB Connecticut
The NUB Connecticut’s silky smooth wrapper from Ecuador provides a medium-bodied smoke, creamy and mellow with a buttery texture with accents of coffee and cedar and just the right amount of sweetness. A Rich, thick dark cup of chocolate helps balance the buttery sweetness of the NUB.
Perdomo Habano Bourbon Barrel-Aged
The Perdomo Habano Bourbon Barrel Aged Series starts with either a Maduro or a Sungrown wrapper and long filler Nicaraguan tobacco aged in bourbon barrels. The Sungrown is a medium to full bodied smoke delivering earth, spice, espresso, and vanilla with smokiness from the bourbon barrel aging. The Maduro version is medium to full-bodied with rich notes of cocoa, espresso, and almond with a hint of bourbon. Each cigar pairs excellently with a hot chocolate laced with bourbon or Irish whiskey, if you prefer.
Cohiba Blue Classico
A Cohiba Blue is a unique three-country blend of Nicaraguan, Dominican Piloto Cubano, and Honduran tobaccos that are all held together by a Rosado Olancho San Agustin wrapper from Honduras. Medium body in strength, Cohiba Blue provides a natural Cuban-style tobacco sweetness and notes of cocoa, caramel, cinnamon, and light leather. A spicy Cohiba Blue and a Mexican hot chocolate will take the chill away.
Here are some hot chocolate recipes to pair with these or your own favorite cigars.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
2 bars of Mexican drinking chocolate (Such as Abuelita)
4 1/4 cups (1 liter) of milk
4 cinnamon sticks for garnish
Pour your milk of water into a tall narrow pot over very low heat.
Add 2 bars of chocolate (approximately 6 ounces).
When the chocolate starts to dissolve gently move it until it fully dissolves, about 20 minutes.
Once all of the chocolate has fully dissolved, vigorously froth the drink with a wire whisk for 10 minutes to develop a frothy creamy texture.
2 oz. Drambuie
9 oz. Hot milk
3 oz. Hot cocoa mix* Recipe below
1/8 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Kosher salt
In a saucepan combine all ingredients and warm over medium heat. Stir slowly until simmering. Serve hot, garnished with miniature marshmallows if desired.
*Hot Chocolate mix:
Combine Valrhona brand 100% cacao powder with turbinado sugar at a 1:3/4 ratio (1 part cacao powder to ¾ part turbinado sugar). Add hot water lightly while stirring, to reach a thick, rich, liquid consistency. Final ratio should be approximately 1 part cacao powder to ¾ part turbinado sugar, to ¾ part water (by volume) Store refrigerated in a sealed container. To make one serving mix 3 oz. cocoa mix with 8 oz. milk and warm over medium heat.
SAILOR JERRY & HOT CHOCOLATE
1.5 oz. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
1.5 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
3 oz. Hot chocolate
Dash of orange bitters
In an Irish coffee mug add equal parts liquor to hot chocolate, top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
BOOZY HOT CHOCOLATE
2 oz. Finely chopped semisweet chocolate
6 oz. Hot milk
1 1⁄2 oz. Bourbon
Garnish: Bourbon Whipped Cream
Place chopped chocolate in an Irish coffee mug.Pour the hot milk into the mug and let stand for 2 minutes, and then stir with a spoon until smooth. Add bourbon stir to combine. Garnish with Bourbon whipped cream.
*BOURBON WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons premium bourbon
In a medium bowl, whip cream until soft mounds form. Gradually add sugar, whipping until cream forms stiff peaks. Gently fold in bourbon. Chill until ready to serve.
Try these and more inspired cigars or visit El Cigar Shop to buy cigars online or at our retail store.