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Another year is coming to a close, and while some are shocked at where the time has gone, here at CIGAR.com we like to think of it as a time where a bit of indulgence is met with approval. Whether you're looking to feature an at-home cigar bar for your party, or simply want to treat yourself during some downtime, there are ways to make your smoking experience exceptional.
Entertaining with Cigars:If you want to introduce your friends and family to your favorite hobby, you can do so without needing much to make the set-up really special. Grab a serving tray and lay out cigars alongside an ashtray with cutter and lighter; for an added special effect, light an unscented votive candle and, in a narrow glass, offer "homemade" spills by cutting up that sheet of cedar that often comes inside your favorite box of smokes.
PRO TIP: Cedar spills are simply a sophisticated way to light your cigar. Ditch the matches, and light one of your "homemade" spills utilizing the flame from your candle. Light the same way you would if using a modern torch, but now you don't risk scorching the tobacco. Your guests will enjoy an elevated experience they'll never forget!
Beverage Pairings:Not as Complicated as You'd ThinkI always believe in offering pairing suggestions, because an added touch can transform a nice evening into one with a fantastic allure. You can get really granular and make this all-too-complicated, or you can follow a simple rule: pick a beverage whose predominant flavor profile doesn't overpower the strength of the cigar. Avoid clear spirits like gin or vodka, as your cigar will take control; steer away from mixed drinks as well, in order to prevent a literally sour experience. Stick with bourbon, rum, or whiskey, and you wont' be disappointed.
If you're ringing in the New Year, you should know that not all Champagnes are meant to accompany cigars. I personally love the bubbly, and in my home there will be Blanc de Noirs, aka "white wine made from dark grapes." This type of Champagne is described as being "off dry;" with a more robust character, it stands up to a cigar without allowing either your smoke or your drink to turn bitter on the palate.
Whether you follow the pairing guidelines outlined above or create your own, have a safe and happy holiday, and enjoy to the fullest. Cheers to a new year!
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