Perfect Pairings: Best Cigars to Elevate Your Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Experience

Perfect Pairings: Best Cigars to Elevate Your Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Experience
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The Kentucky Derby, Mint Juleps and Cigars

The Kentucky Derby is not just a horse race; it's a celebration of tradition, style, and the finer things in life. One of the quintessential elements of this iconic event is the Mint Julep, a refreshing bourbon-based cocktail that perfectly complements the excitement of the race. To take your Derby experience to the next level, consider pairing your Mint Julep with a premium cigar. Let's explore some of the best cigars to enhance the flavors of your bourbon and mint concoction.

Oliva Serie O Cigars


Pairing the Oliva Serie O with the bourbon in your Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby can be a delightful combination. The Oliva Serie O is known for its well-balanced blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos, offering a medium to full-bodied smoke with rich flavors that can complement the sweetness of the bourbon and the refreshing mint in your cocktail.

Oliva Serie O Details:

  • Wrapper: Sun-grown Habano
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan

The Sun-grown Habano wrapper contributes to the Serie O's character, providing a slightly spicy and peppery profile with underlying notes of cedar and coffee. This makes it an excellent choice to pair with the bold and flavorful nature of a Mint Julep. SHOP NOW

Montecristo White Series Cigars


Pairing the Montecristo White Series with the bourbon in your Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby can offer a sophisticated and enjoyable experience. The Montecristo White Series is known for its smooth and creamy profile, making it a potentially excellent complement to the sweetness of bourbon and the freshness of mint in your cocktail.

Montecristo White Series Details:

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan

The Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper of the Montecristo White Series imparts a mild to medium-bodied smoke with a focus on creamy, buttery, and slightly sweet flavors. SHOP NOW

Gran Habano Connecticut #1 Cigars


Pairing the Gran Habano Connecticut #1 pairing can be an interesting combination, especially given the Connecticut wrapper's typically milder and smoother profile. The Gran Habano Connecticut #1 is known for its mild to medium-bodied smoke with a Connecticut leaf wrapper, making it a potential match for the sweet and refreshing qualities of the Mint Julep.

Gran Habano Connecticut #1 Details:

  • Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan

Connecticut Shade wrappers are known for their slightly sweet and creamy notes. This can enhance the Mint Julep's sweetness, creating a harmonious pairing that doesn't overwhelm the palate. Nicaraguan Binder and Filler: The Nicaraguan binder and filler can contribute a bit of complexity to the smoke, introducing subtle spice and earthy undertones. These elements can add depth to the pairing, complementing the bourbon's flavors. SHOP NOW

Camacho Ecuador Cigars


Pairing the Camacho Ecuador cigars with the bourbon in your Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby can offer a robust and flavorful experience. The Camacho Ecuador is known for its full-bodied profile and features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that adds complexity to the smoke.

Camacho Ecuador Cigar Details:

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras

The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper contributes to the Camacho Ecuador's bold and spicy character. Its peppery notes and earthy undertones can complement the sweetness of the Mint Julep and the rich flavors of the bourbon. Its full-bodied strength, providing a robust smoking experience. This strength can stand up to the strong and sweet qualities of the bourbon, creating a balanced and flavorful pairing. SHOP NOW

Mint Julip Recipe

The Mint Julep is a classic Southern cocktail, particularly associated with the Kentucky Derby. Here's a simple recipe for a refreshing Mint Julep:


  • 2 1/2 ounces (75 ml) bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce (15 ml) simple syrup (adjust to taste)
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Crushed ice

MInt Julip recipe paired with cigars


  1. Prepare the Mint:
    • Take several fresh mint leaves (around 8-10) and place them in the bottom of a glass or silver julep cup.
  2. Muddle the Mint:
    • Gently muddle the mint leaves to release their oils. Be careful not to over-muddle, as it can make the drink bitter.
  3. Add Simple Syrup:
    • Pour the simple syrup over the mint leaves. Simple syrup is made by combining equal parts sugar and water, heated until the sugar dissolves. Allow it to cool before using.
  4. Add Bourbon:
    • Pour the bourbon over the mint and simple syrup. Use a good-quality bourbon for the best flavor.
  5. Fill with Crushed Ice:
    • Fill the glass or julep cup with crushed ice. This not only chills the drink but also dilutes it slightly for a smoother taste.
  6. Stir:
    • Stir the ingredients well to combine and chill the mixture.
  7. Garnish:
    • Garnish the Mint Julep with a fresh sprig of mint. Slap the mint against your hand before placing it in the drink to release its aromatic oils.
  8. Serve:
    • Serve the Mint Julep immediately while it's frosty and refreshing.
  9. Optional: Silver Julep Cup
    • Traditionally, Mint Juleps are served in silver or pewter cups. If available, use one to enhance the presentation and keep the drink extra cold.

Elevate your Kentucky Derby experience by indulging in the perfect harmony of a Mint Julep and a premium cigar. Savor the tradition, style, and sophistication that come with the combination of fine bourbon, refreshing mint, and a carefully selected cigar as you celebrate the Run for the Roses in true Derby fashion.

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