Cigar Lounge: Words of Wisdom

As Empire Mixology’s resident Cigar Expert, I have the opportunity to sample some amazing selections and offer my views and advice on brands, techniques, equipment, and more. Today I want to offer my words of wisdoms to those who are new to cigars and want to learn more. So today I’m offering you my 10 tips and tricks about cigars to get you started.


Tip 1: Don’t Inhale the Smoke
This tip is typically presented as a self-correcting problem, however why not save you the literal headache and tell you now. We want you to live for a long time! So don’t inhale the smoke. Not only is inhaling the smoke quite harmful to your lungs and body, but it can also rather rapidly make you feel ill or lightheaded. The idea of puffing on a stogie is more for taste than smoke inhalation. So puff, taste, exhale. You’ll always inhale some, but try to minimize the amount of possible.

Tip 2: Age Your Cigars
Don’t be in a rush! Cigars age well, sometimes smoothing out the taste and creating a unique finish. Once you purchase your cigars make sure to remove them from the cellophane wrapper and place them in your humidor for at least a few months. Now you can get single stick cigars from your local tobacconist in a humidor that can be ready immediately.

Tip 3: Do NOT Put a Partially Smoked Cigar back into your Humidor!
This tip is here for a multitude of safety reasons as well as flavor reasons. Cigar Savors do exist for this purpose if you don’t think/want to finish a cigar in one sitting. Reasons why you shouldn’t put a smoked cigar back in your humidor include potential fire hazard, smokiness is absorbed by your other cigars, or damage to humidor from ash marks. So either use a savor or just pitch it.

Tip 4: Do Select an Appropriate Cocktail to Accompany Your Cigar
As if I wasn’t going to tell you this on a site called “Empire Mixology.” Your palette is unique to yourself and you should choose how to enhance the flavor of your cigar experience. Some find cocktails or spirits ruin the flavor of the cigar, while others seem to find the combination of flavors exciting. TheMixologist can tell you better than I, however I recommend trying Spiced Rums, Whiskies, or even Coffee and seeing what fits you best.

Tip 5: Let Cigars Die, Don’t Snuff Them Out
Hate that foul odor of a cigar being snuffed out? Then don’t do it. Cigars will die naturally on their own in an ashtray, they don’t need to be grounded out on railings, earth, or whatever is closest. Not only will you avoid the snuff out odor, you’ll also avoid putting ash marks on your nearby surfaces.

Tip 6: Refrigerators are Not For Cigars
A good tip for a newlyfound enthusiast is to not store your cigars in a refrigerator. Although logically this may make sense to you, it will actually dry out your cigars and causing them to become brittle and weak. Also, as the moisture is removed from the cigar, some of the flavor will go with it. Invest in a humidor to keep your cigars how you like them.

Tip 7: Use a Butane Lighter or Matches to Light Your Cigar 
Although either choice is fine, most purists prefer the use of matches. Butane burns fairly clean so it is a popular and common source of flame, however if you choose to use matches; give the match a second to burn off the initial sulfur as you do t want a sulfur taste in your cigar. Before selecting a butane lighter, check prices to find the best deal for you.

Tip 8: Sample a Wide Variety
Don’t limit yourself to just one brand or one region. You may have heard Cubans are the best, but don’t count out Dominican brands either! The same goes for American, Caribbean, Mexican, and other origins. You know what you like best and there are tons of options to choose from. Go out and find the perfect selection for you.

Tip 9: Don’t Bite the Caps
Keep it classy. Cigar cutters are easily available in a variety of styles. You can choose from V-Cuts, Straights, Double Straights, or Punch Cutters to properly prepare your cigar. Biting the cap off can damage the integrity of the cigar and the leaves it’s delicately rolled in.

Tip 10: Check Back Often
#ShamelessSelfPromotion here but seriously, we’re constantly trying to expand our cigar section on and we’re always striving to add new content. Come back and let us know what you think about certain brands and any other tips or tricks you may have for readers. Thanks for reading and remember to keep it classy and never stop exploring the flavors out there.