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

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Mon Sep 8 16:05:31 PDT 2008

> 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?
> 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.
> Christianna

To quote Roger Hall, "Let the people have their opium, I'll take my brandy 
and cigars."

In the first place, it is not just any cigar, but one rolled from properly 
cured and trimmed tobacco without additives.  When I smoked them, I prefered 
a maduro from a tobacconist in Oklahoma City which had a superior mild 
flavor and pleasant aroma without a hefty price tag.  I suspect your 
father's cigars were over the counter mass market stogies that smoked like 
dried dung.

The brandy needs to be of good quality, the smoother the better.  Mid-range 
cognac works well.  The high end stuff is better.  Having smoked cigars with 
a number of whiskies, rum and gin, I will say that brandy is the drink for 
cigars.  The flavors complement each other in a way that I can only describe 
as a pleasing texture of taste.  This may be an actual interaction between 
the minute complex organic compounds found in the alcohol and the smoke, but 
I haven't gone looking into the chemistry of either.

The cigar can be swirled in the brandy before lighting to further smooth the 
taste of the cigar and add a little alcohol to the smoke, or as you point 
out the smoke and the fumes can be mixed for a little extra kick.

Calling it a smoking jacket is so much more manly than calling it a 


More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list