Showing posts with label Cigar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cigar. Show all posts

Saturday, January 13, 2018

How to Pair Cigars and Alcohol

Cigar and Alcohol - Photo: Pixabay
The cigar has long been viewed as a luxury of the rich and powerful.  Images of well-to-do men puffing on a stogie and swirling a glass of good brandy have been well documented and memorialized in films and TV.  If you are just becoming interested in cigars and would like to relax with a stogie and drink after a long day's work, here are a few tips to get you started.  

Traditionally, the cigar has been paired with a strong drink.  Popular spirits include rum, brandy, or whiskey.  Some argue that a good cigar should always be paired with a strong drink that has a hint of sweetness.  Indeed, cigar smokers have long enjoyed these popular pairings.  For years, the idea of pairing cigars with beer has gone overlooked.  But why overlook good old beer?  Recently, the trend has been to pair cigars with various varieties of beer.  It seems that as cigars have entered the mainstream, it has been democratized and popularized.  What better way to enjoy a puff of this newly popularized treat than to pair it with beer?  

 Pairing a good cigar with a good beer is not an easy feat, but when accomplished, it is well worth the effort.  Much of the pairing has to do with your experience level.  If you are a novice, you will probably need help in pairing your specific cigar with an appropriate beer.  If you have a more experienced palate, and you know what you like, you can probably make connections between certain types of cigars and beers.  

Because cigars are so strong and flavorful, one of the challenges in pairing is to find a beer that complements the intensity of most cigars.  Most cigars will pair nicely with a good barley wine or a single malt scotch.  If your cigar can be described as woody, spicy, with hints of cedar, try pairing it with a barley wine.  The fruity hint of bare wine should complement nicely with the spicy flavor of your cigar.  The combination of a spicy cigar with a slightly fruity beer can create an overall creaminess that enhances the flavors of each significantly.

If you have no clue as to what flavor combinations might work, experiment.  First, find a cigar that you enjoy.  Try to identify the characteristics that you enjoy it.  Then, find a beer whose flavors you think might 'match' or complement the cigar.  Many incredible discoveries have been made in much this same way.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cigar Smoking 101

Cigar - Photo: Pixabay
What are the basics of cigar smoking?  How do you light a cigar?  How do you draw on the cigar properly?  Do you inhale?  What are the dos and don'ts of cigar smoking?  If you have ever pondered any of these questions, read on.  Here is a simple and accessible primer designed to help you gain familiarity with the sometimes confusing, always enigmatic world of cigar smoking.  

First Step:  Lighting Up 

First, all new cigar smokers should learn how to properly light a cigar.  Use a clipper designed for cigars to clip off the edge of the head (the section you put to your mouth). If possible light the foot of your cigar with a cedar match.  Avoid regular cigarette lighters.  They produce a nasty odor that can linger and ruin a good cigar.  If you must use a lighter, use butane lighter.  These will keep the odor to a minimum.  However, you should always strive to use a wooden match because lighters can easily taint the foot of your cigar.  How do you light up?  Simply strike a match and hold the edge of your cigar over the flame.  Avoid touching the cigar to the fire, simply hold the cigar over the flame and draw deeply until the cigar is lit. 

Second Step:  Burn it down to a nub?

Should you burn your cigar down to a nub?  Experts recommend you leave at least two inches to your cigar.  Even the finest cigars will tend to get bitter if you let it burn all the way down.  What about ashes?  Should you knock the ashes off of your cigar?  Rather than knocking the ashes off the edge, let the cigar rest in the ashtray when you're not smoking it.  The ashes will fall off naturally.  

Third Step:  Relax and Enjoy

A cigar should never be rushed.  By design, cigars should be savored, preferably after dinner and with a glass of good brandy.  Hold the cigar between your thumb and fingers—anything else might be considered bad taste.  Also, don't inhale deeply.  The smoke should not reach your lung.  This is very bad for your health, and it will not help you taste the cigar any better.  Of course, you should always be considerate of those around you.  If possible, smoke in the company of other cigar smokers. A good cigar can be enjoyed alone and even more so with friends.  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

How to Blow Smoke Rings with Your CIGAR

Smoking rings - Photo: Pixabay
Do you yearn to blow smoke rings with your cigar like a pro?  Stogie aficionados often speak of the ceremony-like deliberateness of smoking a good cigar.  Blowing smoke rings is the mark of a smoker who enjoys the smooth and relaxing effects of smoking.  But how do you blow a good smoke ring?  Some argue that it cannot be taught—that it will simply come to you with time and practice.  Regardless, here are a few tips to get you going.

Veteran smokers note that in order to blow a good smoke ring, you will need to create dense smoke.  Draw a deep, dense smoke puff into your mouth.  Hold the smoke there and then open your mouth slowly and deliberately.  Open your mouth, shaping your lips into a rounded 'O.' and pull your tongue back as you expel the smoke.  

Keep in mind that you are not exhaling the smoke, but simply pushing it out of your mouth.  Also, keep in mind that this maneuver will not work if there is even a slight breeze in the air.  Make sure you try it in a location with still calm air.