Pairing Test: Soda

The Setup:

It is no secret that we like the darker, creamier cigars of the cigar world. We thought it would be fun to try a variety of soda’s while smoking the CAO Brazilia. If you are looking for a review of that cigar, you can find it here.

Coke Zero:

The problem with Coke Zero lies in the “Zero.” With no calories, the soda is nowhere near as rich and creamy as its 150 calorie older brother, Coke Classic. This isn’t a bad pairing as Coke Zero does a pretty good job replicating the Coke experience. Unfortunately, it leaves a slightly unpleasant aftertaste that doesn’t pair well with a darker, creamier cigar.

Fanta Orange:

Wow, this is a surprise. When we started this test, Fanta Orange was brought in as a sort of joke. Well, color us an orange shade of surprised. This creamy, orange drink does a great job of complementing the cigar while also cleansing the palate and preparing you for the next puff.

Schweppes Ginger Ale:

This is the opposite of the Fanta. A complete disaster. The bitterness of the ginger ale in no way complements the creaminess found in the cigar. The aftertaste is horrendous and will make you take another puff of the cigar much faster than you normally would, leading to a rushed and unpleasant smoking experience. Take it from us, this should be avoided.

IBC Root Beer:

We have to give a shout out to Reddit on this one. It was on their cigar forum where we first learned of the idea to pair with IBC. This has since become our “goto”. Where the Coke Zero fails, the IBC reigns supreme. This is as creamy and delicious as a soda gets. When smoking a cigar like the Brazilia, this is ideal. You get an excellent compliment to the cigar flavors while cleansing the palate in anticipation of the coming puffs.

The Winner:

With Coke Zero and Bitter Ale clearly out of the running, we were left with only two choices. Though we were surprised by the Fanta, we can’t pick it over IBC. It is simply too delicious and complementary to be overthrown. If you haven’t yet tried root beer as a pair with your cigar, head to the food store and pick some up. You won’t regret it. Oh, and don’t buy diet.