How to Pair

Flavor is perceived by humans through a combination of the senses of taste and smell. With our tongues, we can detect tastes, including salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami. With our noses, both from the front of our noses, and through the back of our throats (called retronasal olfaction) we detect a nearly infinite number of flavors.

When you’re thinking about how to pair, there are two key considerations and their effects to keep in mind.



While some people have highly sensitive taste and smell perception, for the most part, when we taste or smell something, that sense is temporarily neutralized to that particular taste or smell.

One way to think about pairing is through enhancement - specifically, the enhancement of flavors that might not be able to be perceived because other flavors overpower them.

In order to unlock these nuanced, hidden flavors, consider what the strongest flavor you perceive is. In the case of a cigar, it might be a strong woody flavor, maybe a leathery quality, or maybe just a toasty smoke. Pick a soda that has a similar flavor to that most prominent flavor.

By introducing that flavor to your palette through both the cigar and the soda, you’ll likely have a greater perception of the other flavors that are present.



Pairing isn’t a new concept. Wine and cheese. Chocolate and strawberries. When I went to the movies as a kid, I’d dump a box of Milk Duds into my bucket of popcorn - the salt and butter made those Milk Duds really shine!

Creation of a new flavor is really where the pairing magic happens. It’s like when you hear two singers together, in perfect harmony, creating a new, angelic sound capable of bringing you to tears.

The flavor components in Abbina sodas were chosen to give us cigar lovers the best chance possible at creating new, magical flavors during our smoking experiences.

For example, Vinnie, our spice-filled, heat forward soda was inspired by the flavors of jerk seasoning. Jerk flavors pair really well with meat, and many cigars have meaty qualities.

Likewise, Royale, our coffee and chocolate flavor, is designed to take your coffee and cigar pairing experience to the best level possible. We’ve added nuttiness and creaminess to make it a perfect pairing.

Look for our pairing helper tool to help you decide which soda to pair with your cigar of choice.

This general approach to pairing can also help you discover new perfect pairings for Abbina sodas, like foods and mixed into cocktails.
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