Wine and chocolate go together. Beer and pretzels are great drinking buddies. And there are plenty more foods you can pair with each, something you'll learn if you attend any of the area's many pairing dinners.
If you're already a pro at spirit pairing programs, you might think there's nothing left to learn. But you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, you might just want to test your palate — and refine your natural tasting abilities further — with a cigar and whiskey pairing. While a cigar master can pick out a single tobacco leaf simply by smelling and smoking one, a master distiller can likewise sniff out the flavors from a sample of whiskey taken from a barrel.
"Still, even the most seasoned cigar smokers and spirit connoisseurs can sometimes find themselves at a loss when pairing drinks with cigars," says Alec Bradley, owner of Alec Bradley Cigars Co. in Fort Lauderdale. "But it's simply a matter of learning how to taste."
Luckily, learning the basics can be fun — and easy. Those interested in learning more about pairing spirits and cigars might want to attend Apothecary 330's inaugural Tastemaker event, which kicks off later this week with Alec Bradley Cigars and Hudson Whiskey.
On February 4, cigar aficionados will be able to blow some smoke (and possibly blow off some workweek stress) during the bar's "Deconstructed: A Night With Cigars and Whiskey" event. The evening stands as Apothecary 330's first Tastemaker gathering, an evening when patrons can sample an array of Alec Bradley Cigar Co. cigars paired with specific whiskeys chosen from the Hudson portfolio — selections meant to complement tobacco flavors.
Moving forward, the monthly Tastemaker series will feature different liquor tasting and cigar pairings. The event is available for reservations to Apothecary 330 coin holder members first and open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis.
During the event, guests will be able to roam from the indoor cocktail lounge and outdoor patio area while sipping on drink specials featuring Hudson Whiskey, what is considered one of America's most prized spirits from the first New York distillery, in operation since Prohibition. The event will also serve to highlight Fort Lauderdale-based Bradley Cigar Co., which will be onsite deconstructing its cigars for guests to taste, each offering a tobacco smoke that's rich in both flavor and aroma. Cigars will be available for purchase throughout the night.
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The inaugural Tastemaker series event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, February 4, at Apothecary 330, located at 330 HImmarshee St., Fort Lauderdale (inside Pizzacraft Artisan Pizzeria). The event is free. RSVP by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 954-616-8028.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.