Good things take time. Serino Cigar Co.’s Taíno Heritage line was first announced in 2019 but its release was significantly delayed by the pandemic. Its arrival this summer is cause for celebration for fans of the original Taíno line, crafted to honor and celebrate the indigenous tribes of Hispaniola and the Caribbean islands. Serino is a father-and-son operation launched in 2016, its cigars lauded for their simplicity and richness.’

This latest release is a strong addition to an already strong portfolio of cigars. In a first for Serino, these are manufactured in the Dominican Republic and the fillers have been aged at a minimum of four and a half years. Serino’s original Taíno cigars were Nicaraguan, so expect subtle and interesting nuances in the Taíno Heritage. Patience might be a virtue, but the wait is officially over, folks. $9, available in boxes of 20. serinocigars.com

Apples and Oranges
NYC’s Barking Irons spanning lifestyle brand, clothing line, and distillery adds gin maker to its resume with its latest offering, a fresh apple-based gin. Its Applejack brandy has been a favorite on bar carts since 2016, and the gin begins with that same distilled apple base, a fitting nod to the spirit that cemented Barking Iron’s name in the industry. It’s all part of their New York to the Core campaign, a celebration of the beverages and ingredients that have been a part of the state’s history since its inception. This 88-proof gin is finished with a citrus-forward botanical blend, leading to a markedly different sip than what you’d expect from a drier gin, where juniper and herbal notes predominate. Serve with a twist or a splash of tonic, and celebrate the fact that Applejack season is still many, many months away. $37.99, barkingironspirits.com

MAGNIFICENT MATCH
Here’s one for cigar aficionados who know their whiskey. Cigars International has teamed up with storied distiller Buffalo Trace for a rich, decadent stogie that’s designed to pair perfectly with a neat bourbon. The tasty collaboration starts with a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco in a Brazilian Arapiraca binder and finishes with a dark Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper. Hints of vanilla and spice on the finish anticipate the flavors and notes of whiskey.

MM Bubbles Spread

Kentucky-based Buffalo Trace is a perennial appearance on best-of lists, and its coveted Pappy Van Winkle line, bottles of which reach astronomical prices on the resale market, is practically the Holy Grail of bourbons. This cigar makes a fitting tribute. Available in three sizes: Robusto, Toro, and Churchill. $7.50/cigar, available in boxes of 20. cigarsinternational.com

HIBISCUS HEAVEN
New York distillery Jack from Brooklyn has relaunched its hibiscus liqueur, Sorel, with backing from Fawn Weaver’s Uncle Nearest distillery. Sorel was an instant hit upon its debut in 2012, and its blend of Brazilian clove, Indonesian cassia, and Nigerian ginger makes for a spicy, sweet, not-too-boozy sip. Distiller Jackie Summers cites the African diaspora as his main inspiration, as hibiscus tea spread from West Africa through the Caribbean and Latin America. Sorel is around 15% ABV, making it an excellent substitute for a glass of wine (it also plays well in cocktails). It took Summers 624 batches to settle on his final recipe, and Jack from Brooklyn is celebrating its relaunch with 624 boxes of the liqueur signed by the distiller himself. Uncle Nearest’s funding project was launched to support Black-owned spirits brands. We’ll toast to that. $32.99, sorelofficial.com

Turn Up The Heat
One of our favorite new releases of 2021, Barrell Seagrass Rye is a bourbon meant for summer sipping. An homage to windswept beaches, Seagrass is a blend of Canadian and American rye whiskeys finished in a trio of Martinique Rhum Agricole casks, Madeira barrels, and apricot brandy casks. The sweetness of those finishing barrels is key here: fruity, bright notes abound, set off by a spiciness that keeps things from tipping into the cloying. It’s a surprising, nontraditional experiment that pays off. Barrell has been coloring outside the lines for a while now, and this latest offering is a necessary reminder that the world of bourbon is always evolving (much to our delight). With its bright flavor and sleek, colorful bottle design, this one is best enjoyed in the sun, but be warned: it clocks in at a no nonsense 118.4 proof. $79.99, barrellbourbon.com