Curated Pairing Program at Botanica

Botanica, is a specialty cocktail bar modeled after the lounge of a Bourgeois Venetian Hotel.  Located adjacent to the pop-up, they will be featuring an exclusive selection of cocktail and cigar pairings, curated by our own Michael Herklots.

Dark Rye Collins Nat Sherman Timeless Especiale (Dominican Republic)
This refreshing cocktail balances the peppery rye with the sweetness of the simple syrup and the acid of the lemon juice. The Nat Sherman Timeless Especiale embraces the earthiness of the rye, but also highlights some of the underlying sweetness of the tobacco. The narrow ring guage of this cigar concentrates its character and allows for change start to finish. In the beginning, the cocktail will be front and center, but as you near the end of the cigar, it will clearly take the leading role.

Blood in the Sand
Nat Sherman Metropolitan Angler (Dominican Republic)
This Manhattan-esque cocktail served on the rocks is a cold, refreshing burst of rich delicious components mixed in equal parts. While the whiskey and vermouth still remain a driving force in flavor just in the cocktail, the Metropolitan Angler is smooth, and slightly drying, with a creamy, woodsy note and a touch of citrus on the palate. When enjoyed with the cocktail, the orange twist essence is enhanced on the finish. Additionally, the shorter narrower format of the cigar allows the cigar to burn slightly hotter – which plays against the cocktail’s cool temperature.

Nat Sherman Metropolitan Maduro Union (Dominican Republic)
This dark robusto uses a wrapper leaf that has been fermented at a higher temperature for a longer time creating a “bitter sweet” note on the finish that embraces the bitters, but also brings out the delicate Absenthe note.

Paddle Boat
Nat Sherman Timeless 546 (Nicaragua)
This Nicaraguan puro goes hand in hand with the bourbon, with rich hearty flavors of white pepper and a touch of earth. However, the highlight in this combination is the chocolate and espresso notes of the cigar that marry perfect with the Crème de Cacao, and the dark fruit notes of the cigar that compliment that raspberry.

Host Hobart (Honduras) 
As refreshing and accessible as a pairing can be, the sweetness of the cigar offers a great base to welcome the rum, and allows the acid of the Grapefruit juice to really act as balancing agent.

1930 Corona (Dominican Republic) 
A great example of “dialogue” in a pairing, these two beauties literally have a “conversation” on your palate. Sip the cocktail and enjoy the masterful balance of the ingredients. Then take a puff, and pay attention as you feel the stimulation on your palate change. The cigars bright spices will “fill in the blanks” on your palate. After a sip, pay attention to the “finish”… as the Basil notes linger, prompting you to start from the beginning again. Sip, puff, enjoy, repeat.
Whiskey Neat: While there is something to be said for the cocktail culture, and pushing the limits of mixing dynamically different ingredients to result in harmony and balance, enjoying spirits neat allows you to not only enjoy the spirit’s pure character, but it also slows down the process… moving from “drinking” to “sipping”.  Neat spirits also offer a bit of heat on the palate due to the alcohol.  For this reason, larger format cigars are a great match, as they stay cooler longer, providing a contrast to the spirit.  In addition, the cigar’s length demands the cigar change and develop more from start to finish… embracing the time and attention the neat spirits deserve. -MH

Widow Jane Bourbon 7 years
Nat Sherman Timeless Churchill
(Dominican Republic) 
This cigar is wonderfully complex. It starts off cool and smooth, with a subtle spicy notes. The whiskey’s more obvious spiced notes play into the cigar’s prelude. As the cigar burns, the “color” of flavors get darker… working with the whiskey’s spice, but also pairing more with the vanilla and caramel flavors of the whiskey. As the cigar nears its end, it is significantly more earthy and charry, allowing the brighter minerality of the whiskey to stand out.

Widow Jane Rye
Nat Sherman Timeless 749 (Nicaragua) 
This box-pressed Nicaraguan puro starts with notes of white pepper and cocoa powder, in a cool creamy smoke that counters the initial spice of the Rye. As the cigar burns, more earth and leather is evident in the smoke, becoming more and more similar to the whiskey’s core notes. An interesting commonality between the two is a fruit not. Though subtle when each is enjoyed on their own; together, the fruit is slightly more obvious. As the 749 enters its final third, the cigar and the whiskey are nearly one in the same.