How to Enjoy Your Cigar Smoking Experience

On the previous guide, I worked through how a beginner should be able to cut and light a cigar. Now we will go into a bit more detail about enjoying the overall experience.

Smoking a real, handmade cigar generally takes 40-60 minutes of your time. A very important consideration that many people forget is to block out all responsibilities for that time. Nothing is more frustrating than lighting a cigar up and then having to put it out or rush (rushing is way worse) to finish it because somebody wants something from you. If someone respects you they will respect your time and your hobby. Get it squared away with your spouse or family a head of time to kill any confusion.

Location, location, location – Where can I smoke a cigar?

Have you considered the setting for your cigar? I know I have mentioned this before but it is absolutely crucial to enjoying your cigar. My preferred place to smoke is a shaded spot, with a slight breeze, moderate temperature outside. Smoking indoors can be very enjoyable but few people will allow it. Do not try to do it without permission from your family or spouse. You won’t be able to hide the smoke and you will get into an unnecessary argument. And you will impart smoke on your personal belongings. I love the smell of smoke on my clothes but it does damage things like books, prints, artwork, etc. The only place I would smoke indoors is a B & M or a screened in porch area. Those are quite nice to smoke in.

Some people prefer to smoke by the pool, in the car (same problem as in the house), in the park (might be regulations against it). Wherever it may be I prefer to have a sturdy and comfortable chair. Walking around and smoking is great too but I don’t recommend physical activity or sports while smoking a cigar. You’re likely to get quite sick in the stomach.

Clothing for cigar smokers really isn’t that important. I really don’t think you need to look like you are on vacation in Cuba. And you certainly don’t need to dress like a golfer, unless you are into golf. I will admit though I bought a few graphic t-shirts of my favorite brands and some baseball caps as well. For me, its a dress for the temperature situation. And just realize, the clothes you are wearing will receive the cigar’s aroma until washed. My wife loves when my clothes smell like cigar so I’m in good shape. Consider having a smoking jacket, a classy jacket that is worn only when you are having a stoogie. It is very traditional and quite elegant looking. In the fall and winter they are also incredibly comfortable.

Pairing Food and Drinks with Cigars

There is no rule for what you should eat or drink with your cigar. It’s going to be whatever you are comfortable with. I will hesitate to recommend that you try something (food or drink) that you have never had before when you smoke. Uncharted territory can be excited but it can also lead to diarrhea and stomach pains. Yes, mixing a cigar with the wrong food or drink can do that. What happens is, certain foods and drinks will become attached to the smoke that you accidentally inhale and keep in your mouth. When they go down for digestion, so too does that smoke. It is usually avoidable though.

In most cases it is wise to avoid liquid dairy while cigar smoking. Its consistency is will impart those feelings. In addition, foods that cause you heart burn will also be amplified. When in doubt stick to simple foods, avoiding heavy grease and sauces. Specifically I enjoy fresh seafood, salads, bread and barbecued meats with my cigars.

Consider snacks. These go very well. A bag of chips, nuts, dried fruit, a bowl of grapes, some smoked cheeses and meats. These all go very well with a cigar experience.

Another important factor is the amount you eat. Going to a sports bar and eating a full meal while smoking a cigar is a recipe for disaster! Portion size is important. You should not have a cigar on an empty stomach that is aching for food, just as you should not smoke a cigar on a full stomach bursting with food. It’s a balance. Make sure you just had a meal within the last couple of hours and make you having one coming up. Unfortunately it took me some mistakes and a few bad experiences to learn this. Everyone is going to be different. But those couple of mistakes are worth it because once you discover your rhythm you’ll be set for life!

I will also avoid drinks that have dairy in them. The worst combo is a cold coffee with milk or creamer. Almost all beers pair well with stoogies. I prefer whiskey but I know rum, gin and wine also go great with cigars. My preferred drink with cigars is a black coffee or tea.

What do I do when I’m done smoking my Cigar?

It might seem obvious but you should have a plan for disposing of your cigar once you are finished smoking it. Most seasoned smokers will have an ashtray. It is not necessary but is a great way to keep the ash from going everywhere and setting your cigar down when you are done.

Most cigar aficionados will advise against smashing the cigar down or throwing water on it to put it out. I agree, cigar smoking is really about elevating yourself and your experience. You are better than that. You just partook in a wonderful experience. Why not end it that way? When you are done smoking your cigar, the proper thing to do is to set it down and let it go out itself. It will go out because you are no longer giving it fuel. Once you are sure it has, you can simply throw it away.

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