The following is a transcript from “Arnold Schwarzenegger Combines Tequila With A Cigar” posted by Cigar Aficionado on YouTube.
In 1989, I found myself in the heart of Mexico City, filming the science-fiction thriller, “Total Recall.” Amid the hustle and bustle of this metropolis, I ventured to a five-star restaurant that would leave an indelible mark on my journey.
On this particular evening, in this grand establishment, I indulged in a fine cigar. As I removed my selection from the humidor, an intriguing event unfolded before me that would forever change my cigar-smoking experience.
A gentleman approached, extending his hand and interrupting my intent to light the cigar. In a smooth yet firm voice, he said, “Before you go and smoke this cigar, let me do a little bit of spicing it up.” Confused yet intrigued, I relinquished the cigar to him and watched as he prepared to impart a lesson in the art of cigar appreciation.
The gentleman retrieved a piece of cedar from the humidor, a simple yet significant detail in the forthcoming ritual. He proceeded to pour some tequila on the cedar, sparking my curiosity. What followed was an act of such finesse and expertise; it was akin to watching an artist painting a masterpiece.
With the tequila-soaked cedar in hand, he began to stroke the cigar, swirling around it, making it moist and preparing it for the journey it was about to undertake. Once he deemed the cigar sufficiently infused, he rolled it before presenting it back to me. Just as I reached out, he pulled back, not yet done with the ritual.
The man proceeded to light the cigar, its slow burn exuding an aroma that was intoxicating. As he placed it in my mouth, I prepared to draw in my first puff, only for him to snatch it back again, immersing it in the tequila one more time. Despite my initial irritation, I watched in fascination as he completed his performance and placed the cigar back between my lips.
As I drew in my first puff, I was taken aback by the explosion of flavors. The cigar had transformed into a masterpiece, brimming with the rich and smoky aroma of tequila. I inquired about the brand, to which the man replied, “It doesn’t matter. After what I’ve done, it makes no difference whether it’s Cuban, Dominican Republic or any other. The way it is made is what matters.”
This experience was a revelation. He had taken a simple cigar and turned it into a sensational tequila-infused experience – a lesson I took to heart and have since passed on to my guests over the years. The technique lends itself to improvisation, allowing you to choose your preferred spirit – be it rum, vodka, or in my case, tequila.
This is more than a cigar-smoking ritual. It is a testament to the magic that occurs when culture, tradition, and art come together to elevate an ordinary experience to an extraordinary one. It is a practice that I carry forward to this day, a beautiful memory from 1989, infused with the spirit of Mexico City. And I have to admit; it is indeed cool.
The Cigar Guys take on the challenge!
We were curious to see how the tequila affects the overall cigar smoking experience. In our latest video, Alex and Jared brush their Besa cigars in tequila, while Mark and Zach experimented with whiskey.
Click the video above to see what we thought about Arnold’s concept.
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