With summer officially upon us it’s time to find a nice cigar pairing for a refreshing summer drink. Many summer cocktails can be a little too sweet and others can have too much citrus or are heavily carbonated. While a nice glass of red wine or a cold beer are often good choices to go with your cigar, it’s nice to have a go to cocktail for the summer months. One tried and true specialty drink that is great all year round, but especially nice in the summer, is the classic Manhattan.
New York, NY May 20th – Manhattan Sideways
For thirty-nine years, this family-owned shop has been hand-rolling Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco into Ecuadorian and Brazilian wraps. The Nicaraguan tobacco, the clerk assured us, is arguably the best in the world. “People fall in love with Cuban cigars because we want what we can’t have.” This could be true – psychology 101 in a tobacco leaf.
For our crew, the cigars themselves, while fit for one’s greatest victories, are not the most amazing part of the shop. Rather, it is the experience of being there. In a small space at the back of the store, the rollers pull tubes of tobacco from stacks of wooden blocks and expertly shape dried leaves from giant bundles into just-so shapes to do their enveloping duty. When we asked the clerk if he could roll, he replied, “No, man, it’s like a language. You have to start when you’re little.” The sentiment is borne out in the mesmerizing motions of the rollers.
Up front, a group of regulars gather around blowing puffs of smoke from their cigars while chatting. The air reeks of yet-to-be-smoked cigars mingling with smoking ones of all sizes. Everyone gets along. Long-time friends mingle with new ones, brought together by a shared languorous pastime. And then there is the added treat of stopping by on a Saturday afternoon when people gather to play a serious game of dominoes.
Coffee is one of the most versatile cigar pairing around. You can have it hot or cold, sweet or bitter, dark or light and that’s before you even consider all of the complexities of different roasts and blends. In many ways coffee is just a complex and interesting as a quality cigar.
Have a drink to compliment your cigar is as natural as having good company to share a cigar with. The right cigar pairing though can make for a truly wonderful experience no matter where you are or who you’re with. Pairing a cigar with coffee for some is an obvious choice and for others it’s simply over looked. Perhaps you only have coffee in the morning and don’t think about it in the evening with your after dinner cigar. If you haven’t tried coffee with a cigar –it’s certainly worth it and if you have perhaps we can offer a few new ways to enjoy both of these simple pleasures of life.
New York, NY – April 26, 2017 – ABC6 NEWS
Just off of busy Seventh Avenue in Manhattan is a family-owned factory where they have been making handmade cigars now for generations. This diamond in the rough is well known in the neighborhood as Martinez Cigars. It is tucked away in the Chelsea section of NYC, and this retailer has seen a major boost in their online sales over the last year.
Owner Jesus Martinez says, “My father started the business here in New York in 1974. At that time there were many cigar factories not only here in Manhattan, but all over the city and even the county.” With the cost of rents in NYC continuing to rise over the years, it has forced many operations to relocate or simply close up shop.
The Martinez family originally had two locations, one uptown in Inwood in the 1970s, as well as their current location on 29th Street and Seventh Avenue. Due to rent and overhead increases, Martinez decided to close the Inwood location and keep the 29th Street factory open. Today, this location supports four full-time rollers working five days a week, as well as a staff that places labels on the cigars and packages them in boxes for sale.
Often times people will ask how to age a cigar and even if it’s necessary. Cigars are just like an aged scotch or wine – they simply get better over time. Fortunately for the cigar enthusiasts you don’t have to wait years on end to get a nice aged cigar. Here are few tips on how to get a nice aged cigar.
Why do cigars get better with age?
Many, but not all, premium brands of cigars are made with aged tobacco which is great – you already have a head start on the aging process. Most cigars are blends of different tobaccos and that is what gives them their unique flavors. Allowing the cigars to age even a month or two after purchasing them gives more time for the flavors of the different tobaccos to blend together creating deeper and richer flavors – even in mild cigars. Think of it as a good marinade or slow cooked meat, the longer the flavors are together in the right conditions the better they get. You can think of your humidor as a slower cooker that adds flavor and complexities to your cigar.