Smoke on the Water

Smoke on the Water

If you’re like me, enjoying a fabulous cigar on or near the open water is a pleasurable, relaxing experience. Change up the brown liquor and try these pairings instead.

Most cigar enthusiasts have a preferred time and activity while partaking in their favorite pastime. While some may enjoy smoking during a round of golf, playing poker, or just relaxing with a cup of coffee on the patio, there is no wrong or right way to experience the joy of cigar smoking.  

If you’re like me, enjoying a fabulous cigar on or near the open water is a pleasurable, relaxing experience. Whether I’m sitting on the beach or deep sea fishing on my Sea Ray sports cruiser, something in the salty sea air brings out the best of my mood and my smoke.

The addition of a great spirit just adds to the atmosphere. Nothing goes better with the perfect cigar than the perfect drink. Due to the warmer months, summer is the ideal season to experiment with different pairings.

For a change of pace from brown liquor pairings (like bourbon or scotch whisky), try out some rum cocktails, classic mixed drinks, and beer as partners to your stogie. A change of pace could enhance your smoking experience.

The classic Bloody Mary and Bloody Caesar are the epitome of a shore cocktail. Salty, spicy and bright with tomato, it is the perfect refreshing afternoon drink with a plate of raw oysters or clams.

When pairing a cigar with a Bloody, definitely avoid cigars with a naturally salty profile. This will overwhelm your senses and ruin the experience.

A bready component in a cigar will balance the spice in the drink and peppery spice will deepen the flavors. My Father’s The Judge is smooth with earth, and pepper, and spice.

The Judge is meaty like a ripe beefsteak tomato and will heighten the peppery spice of the Bloody. A Bloody Caesar and The Judge by My Father is an excellent pairing after a day on the beach.

Bloody Caesar

4 ounces Clamato Tomato Cocktail

1 ounce vodka

4 dashes Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes hot sauce

3 dashes of Old Bay Seasoning additional for rim

1 fresh celery stick

1 wedge lemon for garnish

Rim a glass with lemon and Old Bay

Directions: Fill the glass with ice and add ingredients. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, then garnish with a fresh celery stick and lemon wedge and enjoy!

An AJ Fernandez San Lotano Requiem Connecticut is a great introduction to your cigar newbie fishing buddy. The mild to medium bodied stogie is more complex than the average mild cigar with notes of cream, nuts and a woodsy profile.

The cigar is pleasant in the morning and a better choice for a day on the boat due to its mildness. If sea sickness didn’t get you yet, rest assure the San Lotano Requiem Connecticut will not give you “cigar nausea”.

Coffee in the morning and a glass of rum anytime makes an impressive pairing with this cigar; try rum brands such as Captain Morgan, Sailor Jerry, and Flor de Caña. A Cuba Libre (Rum and Coke) brings out more of the creaminess of the San Lotano.

If your ideal day is white beaches, turquoise seas, palm trees, a cool ocean breeze with a drink in hand, you can’t go wrong with a Herrera Estelí Norteño cigar. This full-bodied and full-flavored cigar with rich notes of pepper, toffee, sea salted chocolate and nougat offers earthy characteristics without becoming too cloying with saccharine sweetness.

Pair it with 60 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery which has a boatload of hops from the Great Northwest. This East Coast IPA from Delaware has a lot of citrusy character without being pungent.

It's that hint of citrus in the 60Minute IPA that makes this pairing work, as it provides just the right accent to bring out the Herrera Estelí Norteño cigar’s spicy-sweet natural flavor. The IPA is also a great accompaniment to your grilled catch of the day.

I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my summer than down the shore fishing with cigar and a libation in hand while listening to a little Jimmy Buffet….or perhaps some Bob Marley….

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