Gurkha Cellar Reserve Cigar + Creole Contentment Cocktail

This has been one of my favorite pairings. The drink and cigar both truly compliment each other. When I first tasted this cocktail at Anvil, I knew it was the perfect match for the Cellar Reserve from Gurkha. Since then, I’ve been playing around with the cocktail for variations which I will include in this post.

Gurkha Cellar Reserve
Criollo 1998 wrapper, aged Dominican Olor binder, and 15-year old Dominican filler

Vitola: Churchill 7 x 54


When it comes to making cocktails, ingredients are key. I like a more complex and balanced drink (not overly sweet or dry, which is something to consider when selecting your mixing spirits of choice). Pierre Ferrand’s 1840 Cognac is a more complex cognac that I find ideal in my cocktails. It gives a drink more life and character. It also balances out nicely with the other ingredients. In this particular drink, we have a lovely Dry Madeira ingredient. Here, I have used Blandy’s 5 year old Sercial which was aged in American oak casks. For me, this ingredient brings the cigar and cocktail closer together.

Creole Contentment

1 oz Cognac
1 oz Madeira
1 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1 ds Orange bitters

Stir and strain into a cocktail coupe.

This recipe comes from The Gentleman’s Companion, vol. 2 by Charles H. Baker, Jr (1939) and originally also included three maraschino cherries (one of each color) as a garnish. I’m not a fan of the neon colored cherries, though a brandied cherry may be rather lovely in the drink. I personally like it without the addition of a garnish.

For the pairing in the video, I used a slightly varied recipe which calls for less Maraschino Liqueur. I think it allows the Cognac and Madeira to make more of an impact.

Creole Contentment (as prepared in the video for the pairing)

1 1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
1 1/4 oz Blandy’s Dry Madeira
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 ds Orange bitters

You can play around with the recipe to your own liking. In fact after some experimenting I came up with a variation of my own that I must say I’ve been enjoying. I like the above one best for the cigar pairing, but have recently been enjoying this variation for having the drink on its own.

Monkey Contentment
1 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
1 1/2 oz Blandy’s Dry Madeira
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Dry Curacao
1 ds Orange bitters

The idea is to have fun with it and make it your own. Do you have any cigars that have inspired a cocktail or spirit pairing?



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