[Sca-cooks] Semi-topical query re one of The Hundred: Cigars

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Mon Sep 8 14:54:31 PDT 2008

On Sep 8, 2008, at 5:04 PM, Kingstaste wrote:

> Another question, why the combination with brandy, specifically?  I  
> have bad
> memories of my dad's cars all through my childhood, his cigars were  
> vile and
> they stunk up the car even when he wasn't actively smoking in them,  
> but I'm
> not going there Adamantius, I swear.  I am just curious as to what  
> part of
> the experience is improved by the combination of the cigar and the  
> brandy,
> specifically filling the glass with the smoke then inhaling it (to  
> take in
> the fumes from the brandy, with the smoke, sure), but is there  
> something I'm
> missing here?  Is it just that having them together is a combination  
> of two
> pleasant things enhancing one another, or is there some actual  
> interaction?

Honestly, I have no idea. Maybe it's all hooey and there are a bunch  
of wealthy idiots sitting around saying, "Gee, I'm rich, let's think  
of something stupid that rich people do..."

Or maybe there's more to it, and I just don't know what it is. I'm not  
a big brandy person, and drink almost nothing alcoholic these days  
(which, between avoiding caffeine, sugar, and various "bad-for-you"  
foods, is why I indulge in that other unspeakable vice occasionally),  
but if I were doing a cigar and booze, it'd be port or a good sherry  
with the maduro or a good malt whiskey with a Cubanoid or a mild  
Connecticut. Others' MMV.

> And then there's the smoking jacket, a dress code for this culinary  
> treat?
> As long as you're going to discuss the finer points of the smoke, I'm
> curious as to how it interacts with the drink.

On the smoking jacket, I suspect it is a way of not saturating your  
wool suit jacket, bathrobe, or other clothing with the smell of stale  
smoke, from the days when woolen clothing was often primarily cleaned  
by simply brushing it. Or, if you're one of those people that drops  
semi-live ashes on your clothing, it can provide some measure of  
protection to have a dedicated smoking garment to screw up.

I can sympathize with you on your Dad's car; secondhand cigar smoke  
can be pretty unspeakable compared to the experience of actually  
inhaling (or rather, tasting) the fresh stuff. That's why I smoke out  
on the balcony; it doesn't stink up the house, and I can relax and  
watch the world go by, watch the sunset, etc., and it also keeps the  
mosquitos at bay ;-) .


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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