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Jack Bettridge

Smoking and Drinking

Posted: May 11, 2007 4:32pm ET
This is a response to Savona’s most recent blog:

The bigger question is where to smoke and drink.

Sure, it’s hard to find a place to smoke, but doing that in conjunction with a fine whisky or other brown water is the toughest. It’s a Catch 22. You can drink in a bar, but you have to walk outside to smoke. But unless it’s a bar with a patio, you can’t take the drink with you—at least in the jurisdictions I frequent.

Let’s face it: the drink bone is connected to the smoke bone. You order a classic malt and your hand naturally reaches for your cigar case. You light up a fine cigar and you want a companion for it in the form of Scotch, Bourbon, Brandy or Rum.

You could, I suppose, carry a flask. But then you’re limited to whatever’s in that flask as a pairing for whatever cigar comes your way. Suppose you’ve packed a salty Islay malt and someone hands you a feathery light cigar with a Connecticut wrapper. Not too much synergy there, eh?

I long for the days when the two walked hand in hand. You could go to a well-stocked whiskey bar, pull out whatever you had in your case and make an exercise of choosing the best drink to go with it. If you were wrong—simple—order another.

Why can’t our booze and our cigars just get along?

Comments   7 comment(s)

Stephen Aanestad — Palo Alto, California —  May 11, 2007 6:39pm ET

"Why can't our booze and our cigars just get along?"....actually it's the boob and sick-ards in ourlesgislatures that can't get along.......oh well......YOU GET WHAT YOU VOTE FOR.


Tanner K — New Canaan, CT —  May 11, 2007 11:35pm ET

2 words... Merchant's East!


Seth Dettling May 14, 2007 8:18pm ET

Your drink bone is connected to your smoke bone, which is connected to your don't drive bone. I enjoy my Bushmills and a fine smoke on my deck or sand bar. That way I don't have to drive or go anywhere special. It is a very rare treat that I get to smoke indoors, and that also requires the necessary arrangements for transport.Good topic.


Matthew Caruso — Jersey —  May 15, 2007 12:32pm ET

Ok, Jack, I have to ask you....I am reading your critique of the Martell Grand Extra. Mind you, I know absolutely nothing about cognac, but I have to ask, are you pulling our leg when you say "a snap of cheese at the end" or can you really taste cheese in cognac? How is that possible? And what type of cheese does it taste like?


Jack Bettridge May 15, 2007 4:12pm ET

MatthewFirst, I am not pulling your leg (in this case any how). I believe I really tasted cheese--not actually had cheese--but had the sensation of having tasted cheese. How is it possible? You have four basic taste receptors in your mouth (sweet, salt, sour and bitter--the Japanese also claim something called umami, a savory taste). All your taste sensations are produced by a combination of those receptors being activated in different ways. The right ones go off in the right combination and you taste cheese. Sugar substitutes taste like sugar, but aren't; so why can't Cognac taste like cheese (a little bit anyway)? Wouldn't you agree Cognac can taste sweet even though it has no sugar in it?Lastly, I didn't get enough of the Cognac to identify a particular type of cheese. If the Martell people are reading this, perhaps they might send some more so I could do more thorough research.


Matthew Caruso — Jersey —  May 17, 2007 5:20pm ET

Thanks for the response, Jack. It's funny, because I have tasted things that wouldn't be normally be associated with a wine or a cigar and just felt like there was something screwy with my tastebuds.


michael albo — califonia —  July 20, 2007 4:01pm ET

I am at the point in my life where I have kids. So I come home from work get one of my cigars get a beer or make myself a drink and go out in my huge backyard,sit in my favorite chair and enjoy.To me that is the best stress releiver ever.



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