Surpassing his liking for his silver goblet, Carolina rocker, and his personalized coffee mug, President John F Kennedy is a recognized cherisher of Cuban cigars. This is why hours before he authorized the U.S. trade embargo making his prized cigars illegal, he tasked his head of press to procure every box of his favorite Petit Upmann before the export was deemed contraband.
Being a fellow cigar smoker, Kennedy’s aide understood the importance of the matter and scored 1,200 Cuban cigars by the next morning.
Only with the assurance that he had his first-rate cigars in hand did Kennedy sign the decree banning all Cuban products from the United States in 1962.
The hand rolled Petit Upmann is one of the oldest premium cigars established in Havana, Cuba. In 1844, wealthy banker Herman Upmann launched his cigar brand to send cigars to Europe — which then became the famous H. Upmann Factory, since evolving into the José Martí Factory. In the late 1880s, the cigars received much international popularity, awarding the brand seven gold medals.
Although Kennedy’s favorite cigar has since been discontinued and the embargo remains a source of political debate today, the legend of the presidential Petit Upmann scavenge lives on in cigar lovers who would have probably done the same!