old fashioned

Smoking Dapper

Note: I am not encouraging people to take up smoking in this post, however if you do enjoy the occasional smoke or are a smoker, tune in because there’s a more classy way to do it 😉

 

Let me start by saying this, if you can’t get enough of your cigarettes that you’ve smoked for years and years, I say man up and throw em out! As we all know regular smoking is harmful to your health, but occasional smoking can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience and that’s why the dapper way to do it is to switch to cigars and/or pipes. Pipes? That’s right I said pipes and I’ll tell you why in a bit.

 

First off, a quality cigar is a work of art, hand-rolled and assembled there is nothing quite like it, anyone can get a cigarette rolling machine and make their own, but to assemble a cigar from tobacco leaves? Yup not happening for any common folk. The flavours that are in a premium cigar mesh so well with a nice glass of scotch, rum, or whatever your favourite cocktail or spirit may be. Hell, even with a fine espresso a cigar goes good with. Also the size of a cigar forces you to smoke it slowly and enjoy it, take your time there is no rush! Bask in the company of great friends on a nice summer evening on a patio and appreciate the product of craftsmanship that is a cigar. A couple of tips for smoking cigars, light them with wood matches or torch lighter, (though the hardcore way to light it is with a lit piece of cedar wood) and when you are done, don’t butt it out, just let it burn out on its own. To enjoy a cigar without buying a box, visit a cigar bar in your area. My personal favourite in Montreal is Whisky Cafe but for a less expensive choice you can’t go wrong with Stogies! If you do decide to buy a box, don’t store it in the freezer like many people do, it does nothing good! Buy the proper humidification tools and store them with care.

 

The Don's personal stash

The Don’s personal stash

 

Now onto the pipes. When you think of a pipe I am certain you picture an old man in a rocking chair near a fireplace puffing away, they seem relaxed right? Exactly! That’s the point. Pipe smoking is a relaxing activity that involves taking your time to enjoy the essence of it. Make yourself a cocktail and fill your pipe with fragrant tobacco (I like black cherry) and puff the time away. Now since pipe smoking requires a few things, if you want to try it out, order an inexpensive corn cob pipe from here or pick one up at your local flea market like I did for $25. As for your pipe tobacco, depending on where you live you can order online or check out a local specialty shop. In downtown Montreal there is a joint called Blatter and Blatter that have been around over 100 years in the pipe business, that’s where I picked up mine. There are a few techniques on how to pack your pipe with tobacco for it to burn evenly, I am not an expert in that (yet) so check out this video found on YouTube

 

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Pipe and bag of black cherry tobacco

 

So by now I hope you have all learned that there is a more refined way to smoke, to actually enjoy and appreciate the flavours of different types of tobacco and yes, you will look a hell of a lot more dapper smoking these over cigarettes!

 

Enjoy my friends….

 

The Don

 

 

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Don’t Just Dress Dapper, Drink Dapper!

Gentlemen, by now you should have a good idea of how to dress, but you will still look ridiculous if you go out dressed dapper, sit at a bar and keep drinking like a frat boy (beer, jack and coke, gin and 7up, basically anything involving hard liquor and a soft drink). 

Step out of your drinking comfort zone and expand your palate to classic cocktails that have been around for generations, try new establishments that serve finely made cocktails (don’t expect to get a quality drink at a nightclub where bartenders will look puzzled if you ask for a manhattan or old fashioned). You want to know what makes a manly drink? Alcohol mixed with alcohol. Here are a few examples to get you started. 
1. The Martini 
Before you criticize saying “it’s a girly drink, blah, blah, blah” Spare me the bullshit and get educated. This is probably the king of all cocktails.The stuff you see women drinking all colourful and in a martini glass IS NOT a martini, just because it’s in the same type of glass doesn’t make it one! A martini consists of 3 things: gin, dry vermouth and either an olive or lemon peel garnish. It should be served ice cold in a chilled martini glass and STIRRED, not SHAKEN! Mr. Bond had it wrong all along. It should have a clear consistency if it looks clouded, send it back! It means the bartender shook the hell out of it. 
2.  Manhattan
Ah, the Manhattan, one of my favourites. Now a true Manhattan has 3 ingredients: Rye whiskey, Sweet vermouth and bitters. Like the Martini, it should be served ice cold in a chilled cocktail (martini) glass. Of course there can be some variations on the type of whiskey used depending on your personal choice. And it should be garnished with an orange zest or maraschino cherry.
Manhattan made at home by your’s truly

3. Old Fashioned

If you’ve ever seen “Mad Men” you’ve heard of this one. Not only is it Don Draper’s drink of choice it’s also Don Dapper’s! What’s in it? Bourbon, a sugar cube and bitters. Unlike the other 2 drinks mentioned above this one is served in an old-fashioned glass also unlike the others the ice cubes remain in the drink. It is garnished with a cherry and/or orange wedge. It has a slightly sweeter taste due to the sugar cube and bourbon.
4. Sazerac 
This New Orleans classic might not be on all bar’s menus, but if you are lucky to come across it, give it a go! It is quite the stiff drink, so don’t have too many of em. What’s in it you ask? Rye whiskey, sugar cube, Peychaud’s bitters and the secret ingredient, absinthe. It is served neat (meaning no ice) in an old fashioned glass and comes garnished with a lemon peel. 
5. Scotch/Cognac/Whiskey served neat.
Nothing feels more manly than savouring a glass of 15, 20, 25 or 30 year old scotch and enjoying the different flavours in them. Same goes for Cognac. 
 
Scotch, served in a proper Scotch glass on the left, and to the right, a glass of fine Cognac
Bonus: I have talked about a few different kinds of whiskeys in this post, here is a link to help you                     understand what makes each one what they are!
Enjoy the weekend everyone, try to come out of your usual drinking shell but don’t overdo it and please don’t drink and drive! As always though, stay dapper 😉
The Don