Pairing Cigars & Alcohol – Marsette Peruvian Chocolate Essence

Pairing Cigars & Alcohol – Marsette Peruvian Chocolate Essence
Date: August 2023
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. Mombacho used to have the Diplomatico series, but the Mombacho brand no longer exists. 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 whisky, gin, rum, vodka and liquors.

Marsette Peruvian Chocolate Essence

Chocolate and cigars are a match made in heaven. Alcohol and cigars are also a match made in heaven. But what about a chocolate liqueur and cigars, will that be a match made in heaven? There is only one way to find out and that is to pair a few cigars with a few drinks. They all have one thing in common, and that is this Marsette Peruvian Chocolate Essence.

Marsette Peruvian Chocolate Essence is an enhanced spirit perfect for sipping over ice or enjoyed in cocktails. The Single Estate Peruvian Chocolate allows for a light experience of 100% cacao with its nutty nature. The ABV of this chocolate liqueur is 30%.

Neat
Somehow, I expected a thick and creamy liquid, I don’t know why. In my head this would be like a boozy chocolate milk but much to my surprise, it is a nice dark amber coloured liquid with the consistency of whisky. Pour it in a whisky glass, and just by sight, people would think it’s whisky. The nose has banana aromas with dark chocolate, and roasted walnuts. If this is what I’m about to taste as well, I’ll be a happy man. Oh, and I am happy. Smooth and silky mouthfeel, with complex dark chocolate flavours, cream and vanilla. Some might call this a girly liqueur, but if this is a girly drink then I have to say that I like girly drinks. And what’s more manly than to admit that? Pair this with a nice, creamy Connecticut Shade cigar like the Quesada Reserva Privada or a Sobremesa Brulee and you will have a jolly good time. Now excuse me, I have to hide this bottle so my wife won’t finish it before I get the chance to drink it again.

Brandy Alexander
The Brandy Alexander was a darned popular drink during the ’70s. It’s obviously a pimped-out version of the classic—but largely forgotten—Alexander cocktail and mixes brandy instead of gin with creme de cacao and cream. One of the earliest known printed recipes for the Alexander can be found in Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 book “Recipes for Mixed Drinks.” The cocktail, according to historian Barry Popik, was likely born at Hotel Rector, New York City’s premier pre-Prohibition lobster palace. The bartender there, a certain Troy Alexander, created his eponymous concoction in order to serve a white drink at a dinner celebrating Phoebe Snow.

My heart was jumping for joy when the Marsette Peruvian Chocolate Essence showed up at my doorstep as I had been waiting for a chance to make this cocktail. I mean, I love cognac, I love dark chocolate, I love cream and after cinnamon, nutmeg is my favourite of the dark spices. I used the Dominique London Privee Cognac for this cocktail. The nose has the characteristics of the cognac, but muted, with dark chocolate shining through. There is a hint of the nutmeg. This cocktail is a boozy chocolate milk. I would not pair this with a strong or peppery cigar. A nice medium bodied Honduran grown Connecticut Shade cigar will be nice, or something with a Corojo wrapper for its nutty characteristics

And now for the Brandy Alexander recipe:
1½ ounce or 45ml of Cognac
1 ounce or 30ml of Dark Chocolate liqueur
1 ounce or 30ml of cream
garnish: grated nutmeg
Shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with some grated nutmeg

Chocolate Martini
The Martini, not my favourite cocktail but oh so versatile. From an espresso martini, to a porn star martini, from a dirty martini to all kinds of fruit flavoured martinis, this might be the cocktail with the most riffs around. The Chocolate Martini is one of those riffs, and to be honest, this is one that I would love to try.

The nose isn’t very pleasant. The chocolate is nice, but there is something that smells earthy and almost like a fresh Cuban cigar, something manure like with a hint of vanilla. I never liked martinis, not in any variety, so maybe my subconsciously and prejudice play a part here. This chocolate martini tastes much better though and it might be the first martini that I like. The creamy texture and the vanilla of the Baileys, the bite of the vodka and the complexity and pleasant bitterness of the chocolate make this a smooth drink. It is not as good as the Brandy Alexander, but it comes close. If I still had the YBet Chocolate Vodka from the same distillery as the Marsette Peruvian Chocolate Essence, I would have doubled up on the chocolate. My suggestions will be the same as for the Brandy Alexander, a nice medium bodied Honduran grown Connecticut Shade cigar will be nice, or something with a Corojo wrapper for its nutty characteristics

And now for the Chocolate Martini recipe:
1 ounce or 30ml of Baileys Irish Cream
1 ounce or 30ml of Marsette Peruvian Chocolate Essence
1 ounce or 30ml of Vodka
Garnish: cocoa powder
Put a little bit of the chocolate liqueur on a plate, and put some cocoa powder on another plate. Dip the rim of the cocktail glass in the liqueur and then in the cocoa powder to create a chocolate rim. Add the liquids in a shaker with ice, shake and strain into a chocolate rimmed cocktail glass.

Inspector X

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