What does a cloistered tequila journalist do when his bourbon, whisky and rum drinking buddies finally invite him to a cigar pairing get together?
He brings his favorite blanco tequila and a selection of Nicaraguan cigars, of course!
I can hear you now…
“Aren’t you supposed to take a pricey añejo or something? That’s like bringing a knife to a gunfight!”
Before you choke on your stogie in uncontrollable laughter, hear me out.
For decades, smoking traditions have dictated that cigars be paired exclusively with darker spirits-cognac, sherry, whisky, bourbon, brandy, scotch, you name it. Even coffee, espressos and fine wines have gotten more respect as ideal cigar match-ups than tequilas, let alone un-aged blanco tequilas.
But, as Pepe Cantu, the outspoken owner of the famed J & J Habanos in Cabo San Lucas once told me, “In the islands, it’s about rum and cigars. In the UK, it’s about scotch and cigars. In the US, it’s about bourbon and cigars. And in Mexico, it’s about tequila and cigars.”
Before I go into why blancos are by far the most dynamic of all the different tequila expressions to pair with cigars, let me give you the lowdown on why coupling your favorite sticks with aged tequilas is almost a no-brainer.