In many ways, the premium cigar industry is about taking Cuban culture and adapting it to a new home outside of Cuba. Take, for instance, the Montecristo Nicaragua Series. One of the most iconic brand names in the Cuban cigar tradition as applied to a Nicaraguan puro by A.J. Fernández in collaboration with Rafael Nodal — two men whose stories connect Cuba, Nicaragua and the United States.
We’ve paired the cigar with a cocktail whose ingredients tell a similar story. The Havana Café makes use of Havana Club rum (as Bacardi notes, “the real Havana Club”) and cold brew coffee. It’s a refined take on the carajillo, a Spanish and Caribbean favorite for anyone looking to get their caffeine and their party in one glass.
- 2 oz Havana Club Añejo Clásico
- 1/4 oz Demerara
- 3/4 oz Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth
- 1/2 oz Cold brew coffee
- Garnish with lemon twist
- Single large ice cube in rocks glass
The Montecristo Nicaragua Series delivers a core of earth and pepper on the palate that acts as the perfect base for this cocktail’s combination of sweet coffee and rum but what sets the pairing apart is the way that the vermouth cuts through all of it. We found that drawing in the smoke from the Montecristo first, followed by a sip of the cocktail gave us a fun sequence of earth and pepper up front followed by sweet rum and coffee, cleaned up by an austere vermouth finish. It’s a fun, boozy way to take your morning coffee.