Cynthia Gonzalez: Chatting Cigars & Cocktails With A Smoking Sister
I don’t often smoke mid week, but when Cynthia Gonzalez invited me to be on her Hostess with the Mostest show, I couldn’t refuse. This wasn’t just any old podcast, but the Mujeres Entre Humos sixth edition! The basic premise is that the delightful Cynthia talks to women about cigars and drinks, highlighting the fact that cigars aren’t only for men.
Previous guests have included Leonor Abzaradel, CEO of Nova Cigars, and Karen Berger, owner of Don Kiki Cigars. Needless to say I was as giddy as a school girl on prom night. Little ole me who just enjoys smoking cigars and shaking up cocktails, with no experience in the cigar industry or even hospitality!
Cynthia and I met on Instagram as a result of our shared passion for both cigars and cocktails and started talking. As we chatted, we found out that we had a lot more in common than we thought. We both discovered a love of cigars before we were able to start enjoying them ourselves.
It also turns out that neither of us have much to do with the cigar industry aside from enjoying the fruits of others labours. Working outside the hospitality industry, both of us have cultivated our passion for cigars and cocktails in our free time and lockdown has only increased our respect for mixologists as we have learned the intricacies of syrups, shrubs and garnishes.
Prior to the interview, we had settled upon a cigar to smoke – the Camacho Corojo Figurado, and a cocktail to drink – the Mexican Espresso Martini. The plan was to compare notes on our chosen cigar and chat about where my love and enjoyment of both fine cigars and interesting cocktails came from. During the interview we not only discussed the flavours we were each tasting in both the cigar and drink, but also the contrasts between various coffee liqueurs, how we and other people enjoy cigars, and the differences between the cigar culture in the UK, Puerto Rico and USA.
Alongside the planned topics of conversation, we also talked about how everyone who smokes cigars brings a different experience to the table. Each of us has been exposed to different tastes, smells and experiences throughout our lives, and this can alter the we taste and enjoy cigars. This doesn’t make any one opinion any more or less valid than another, but rather, to my mind, makes the shared cigar smoking experience all the more important. Hearing what others think about a cigar is fascinating and gives a new perspective on a cigar.
Now more than ever, that shared experience is vital. With many social venues currently closed or severely limited in their capacity, I along with a lot of people have turned to social media to find that shared experience and interact with others who share my interest in cigars and good liquors. Even though we may be a lot further apart from each other due to travel restrictions, somehow the world seems a lot smaller.
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We really are blessed with the ability to meet, albeit virtually, others from around the world who share our passions, and I would dare say that were it not for the horrible cloud that we find ourselves under in 2020, I would never have talked to, let alone smoked with Cynthia Gonzalez.
If you want to see a full replay of the interview, grab a good cigar and your preferred drink, click here, sit back and relax. To join in the full experience, my thoughts on the Camacho Corojo Figurado are here and the recipe I used for the Mexican Espresso Martini is here.