There’s a reason why cigar companies talk about the “smoking experience” so much. That’s because cigars are all about capturing the romance of a moment. They are meant to celebrate milestones, honor special occasions, and –– best of all –– bring people together. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time to examine what makes a cigar-smoking experience truly unforgettable. Consider this your guide to “romancing the cigar.” 

The Basics

Before we start, new enthusiasts should understand some fundamental cigar dos and don’ts. Otherwise, your big night with a cigar could be spoiled before it even begins. 

First, always have something to eat before smoking a cigar. Smoking on an empty stomach –– particularly if it’s a strong cigar or if you’re not used to it –– can produce feelings of nausea. So always schedule your cigars for after a romantic dinner. Similarly, drink a glass of water if you get thirsty during your smoking session. 

Second, cut and light the cigar properly. Whether you use a punch cut, a V-cut, or a straight cut, be sure not to damage the cigar when you cut it. Cutting off too much of the cigar cap could damage its structure. On that same note, light the cigar thoroughly to ensure a consistent burn.

Lastly, when finished with a cigar, do not try to stamp it out like a cigarette. Instead, simply set the cigar down in an ashtray and let it burn out on its own, or –– if you’re in a hurry –– run some water over the cigar to extinguish it. Trying to put out a cigar like a cigarette is a messy business that’ll leave a pungent odor in your wake. 

Elevating the Smoking Experience 

Assuming you’ve mastered the basics, there are a few things you can do to take your cigar-smoking session to the next level this Valentine’s Day.

Pairing your cigar with a cocktail is a fantastic way to complement the flavors of each. Most manufacturers will share suggested drink pairings when they release a cigar. However, it’s also acceptable to play around to suit your tastes. You can find beautiful cigars to pair with coffee, beer, whiskey, or just about any drink you can imagine. 

The next factor to consider is the company. While smoking a cigar alone can be peaceful, often, the cigar-smoking experience is enhanced by good company. Sharing a cigar with a friend, family member, or romantic partner is an excellent opportunity to converse with them and to get to know them better. Plus, talking will naturally slow your smoking pace down and prevent you from smoking a cigar too quickly. Remember, a cigar is meant to be savored.

Finally, it’s difficult to overstate the importance of atmosphere to the cigar smoking experience. You could have the finest cigar in the world, but odds are you won’t like it much if you decide to light up on a cold night in the Siberian wilderness. Joking aside, where you choose to smoke can significantly affect how much you enjoy the smoke. Again, lighting a cigar with a loved one at a luxurious lounge will inevitably help you appreciate your smoke more. 

Whether you’re planning to enjoy cigars on an upcoming Valentine’s date, at a party with friends, or simply the next time you get an evening free, keep these tips in mind to guarantee you get the most from your smoke. And for more articles like this one, sign up for Cigar World today. 

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