Pairing Cigars & Alcohol – François Peyrot Mure & Cognac

Pairing Cigars & Alcohol – François Peyrot Mure & Cognac
Date: April 2024
Author: Inspector X

Cigars and alcohol. Two luxury products that go hand in hand, and sometimes even meet on business level. Aging tobacco in whisky, rum, or cognac barrels is a practice several brands do to achieve extra flavour to the wrapper for certain lines. The famous bourbon brand Maker’s Mark has their own cigar, sold in tubes with the signature wax coating. Drew Estate works with Pappy van Winkle and used to make Kahlua cigars. General Cigars works with Sazerac, which resulted in Fireball cigars, Weller by Cohiba and collaborations with Buffalo Trace. And there is the Diesel Whisky Row, a collaboration with Rabbit Hole Distilleries. Fratello Cigars also sells craft beer. Most famous are probably the Cuban collaboration between Martell Cognac and Cohiba. Dominique London, the European retailer with more than 20 shops in the UK, Belgium, Switzerland and the Canary Islands takes it one step further. They bought a distillery in Wales and produce gin, rum, vodka and liquors, and bottle whisky.

François Peyrot Mure & Cognac

François Peyrot is a family-run cognac brand that’s been in the business for four generations. And for their famed Mure & Cognac they use their Grand Champagne with blackberry juice and distilled water to create a liqueur with an ABV of 18%. According to my liquor store, this is the best crème de mure that’s available so I got myself a bottle, just to make a bramble after seeing a video on YouTube. I knew it was a cocktail I had to make and I wrote about it in the article for HENK Winter Edition Gin. And I like the liqueur so much, I decided to experiment with other cocktails as well.


To try this neat, I picked a Glencairn glass as it’s a great shape to smell the aromas of a drink. And the aromas are sweet. It reminds me of a blackberry soda I used to drink as a child, cassis, but then with a little bit of alcohol. And that’s the flavour too, like cassis but without the fizz. Lots of sweetness, too sweet for my liking with a strong blackberry flavour and a bit of alcohol. This is not a liqueur that is meant to be drank neat, and I will not do it again. Due to the sweetness I can’t recommend any cigar that will pair well with this.

Black Demure

Franky Marshall, a New York bartender and cognac expert designed this cocktail and it comes close to the Bramble but without the gin. It asks for a bourbon instead but since I didn’t have any bourbon on hand, I used a Scallywag Speyside blended whisky instead. On the nose I get orange and sherry. The sherry must come from the Scallywag as it’s a whisky that came out of a sherry cask. The cocktail is smoky and spicy with a lemon tardiness and a sweet berry aftertaste. I am not too sure about this cocktail, as the lemon is a bit too strong although there is also balance. If I would smoke a cigar with this cocktail, it would be something strong. If you happen to have a Daniel Marshall XXXVIII by Carlos Fuente, that would be a great cigar although that is such a special cigar that you better save it for a better cocktail. Maybe something less exclusive such as a Cuban Juan Lopes is a better match, or a Nicaraguan Liga Privada, 601 by Espinosa Cigars or the Casa Magna Oscuro from Honduras.

And now for the Black Demure recipe
2 ounces or 60ml of Bourbon
¼ ounce or 7½ml of Cointreau
¼ ounce or 7½ml of François Peyrot Mure & Cognac
¾  ounce or 22½ml of Lemon Juice, Freshly squeezed
¼ ounce or 7½ml of Simple syrup
Garnish: blackberry & orange wheel
Add the bourbon, Cointreau. Lemon juice, simple syrup and crème de mure in a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into an old fashioned glass over fresh ice and garnish with an orange wheel and a blackberry.


I love blackberries and the moment I learned about the Bramble I knew I had to get myself a bottle of Crème de Mure. Crème de Mure is a blackberry liqueur and there are several different types on the market. The one I found has a cognac base. But you can even make it yourself with fresh blackberries, wine, gin or vodka. And trust me, I will get myself a replacement bottle soon, as the Bramble is quickly becoming my go to easy cocktail at home.

The aroma of the cocktail itself is completely hidden by the cold of the crushed ice so all I smell if the lemon and blackberry from the garnish. But the flavours aren’t hidden or masked by anything. This cocktail offers a perfect balance between the fruity sweetness of the berries, the lemon tardiness and the botanicals, spices and herbs in the gin. This cocktail is fresh and flavourful, perfection in a glass. I paired this with a HENK Māori La Doña, which is a perfect combination. Something that also would work well is a La Estancia Edicion Exclusiva due to the aged Cuban leaf in the filler or take an Oliva Serie V Melanio with a few years of rest. This cocktail needs a cigar that is subtle, well rounded and balanced and for that you have to look into cigars with some age. Of course, you can smoke a fresh cigar as well, something stronger such as a Plasencia Alma Fuerte or a Cohiba and still have an enjoyable pairing. In my opinion though, pairing the Bramble with an aged cigar elevates the combination.

And now for the Bramble recipe:

2 ounces or 60ml of HENK Winter Edition Gin
2 teaspoons of simple syrup
1 ounce or 30ml of lime juice
1/2 ounce or15ml of Crème de Mure
Garnish: lemon half wheel + a fresh blackberry
Add the gin, simple syrup and lime juice to a shaker with ice. Shake till cold and then pour into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Pour the crème de mure over the cocktail and crushed ice.
Garnish with a lemon half wheel and a fresh blackberry.

Vodka Bramble

Absolut has a recipe for a Vodka Bramble on their website, but since Absolut is a vodka I avoid, I decided to make this with the YBet Vodka from the Snowdonia distillery in Wales. And this is quite an odd cocktail. Usually cocktails are shaken, or stirred, and in rare cases swiffled but in this case, everything is built in a glass without mixing the ingredients. And that leads to a cocktail with a mild lemon aroma. Mild because the cold mutes the aroma. The flavour is lemon juice with some fruity sweetness. I don’t taste any alcohol at all, where is the vodka? This cocktail is like Absolut Vodka is to me, unbalanced and unrefined. The lemon is overpowering although the blackberry flavour slowly picks up. It is a decent cocktail at best but not suitable for cigars. Maybe that a strong and earthy cigar like the EPC Pledge could work, but it will never be a perfect pairing.

And now for the Vodka Bramble:
2 ounces or 60ml of YBet Vodka
1 1/3  ounce or 40ml of lemon juice
2/3 ounce or 20ml of Crème de Mure
2/3 ounce or 20ml of Simple syrup
Garnish: 2 blackberries
Fill an old-fashioned glass with crushed ice and add all the ingredients. Garnish with the blackberries.

 Inspector X

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