Abbey in the Hills Cocktail: Deliciously creamy
When you have a fiery hot curry, it is recommended that you pair it with a cooling larger or a milky drink such as a lassi. The same is true of cigars as well. A spicy and full bodied cigar benefits from a creamy cocktail like an Abbey in the Hills.
When I smoked the La Flor Dominicana El Carajón, a full bodied and strong cigar, I used this same fire-tempering principle when choosing my cocktail pairing. Knowing that the cigar could end up being quite the pepper bomb, and tasting a forthright chilli and pepper right from the cold draw, my mind went immediately to a cream liqueur. Having previously paired the Oliva Serie V Melanio Robusto with an Amarula Martini, I know that this could work.
I didn’t want the cocktail to be too complex so rather than the gin that I had used in the martini, I chose a Russian vodka as my base spirit. With its clean flavour, this wouldn’t compete with the spicy flavours that I knew would be my constant companion in the cigar.
One surprising and subtle note that I picked up on in the cigar was apple. This brought to mind adding a nutty liqueur to the mixture to enhance this taste. With a choice of Frangelico and Amaretto, my mind leant more towards the former as the hazelnut liqueur would have a slightly more earthy tone to it.
With an idea in mind, a quick search of the Cocktails Guru app on my phone gave me a few choices, but one stood out above the others – Abbey in the Hills. To the vodka, cream liqueur (I used Amarula Cream) and Frangelico was added White Crème de Cacao. The reason that this was the cocktail I ended up choosing was because of this final ingredient. Right at the start on the cold draw, I had picked up a hint of cocoa.
Mixing up the Abbey in the Hills cocktail, I adjusted the recipe to what I knew would work with the cigar. Heading back to finish off my cigar, cocktail in hand, I am glad to say that the pairing was perfect. The creamy sweetness balances the spice in the cigar whilst not being too saccharine and the nuttiness and cocoa allowed the apple and cocoa flavours in the cigar to come more forward rather than taking an unnoticed back seat.
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ABBEY IN THE HILLS COCKTAIL RECIPE
1 measure vodka
½ measure Crème do Cacao White
½ measure cream liqueur
½ measure Frangelico
Pour ingredients into an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake it vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.