How to Host Your First Cigar Party
Celebrities, athletes, and politicians know there’s nothing better than a good cigar. Nothing makes a good cigar better than good company. Contrary to popular belief, stuffy cigar lounges aren’t the only way to go. Celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Babe Ruth know that a good cigar party is more about the cigars and the people than the pomp and circumstance. The Governator himself made many friends thanks to his regular cigar parties. He also found many kindred spirits among the people he invited. Several of those same friends are now life long cigar lovers. The idea is less of a party atmosphere and more of a gathering of like-minded individuals.
Determine the Type of Gathering
Putting together a cigar party doesn’t need to be a big Hollywood affair. Yet, you’ll probably want to plan the right type of gathering for the people involved. First, decide on who you’re going to invite.
A cigar party also doesn’t need to be lavish or exclusive. Yet, it’s much more than a celebratory smoke after a promotion at work or the birth of a new grandchild. It should be a gathering of friends who enjoy cigars in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Even a new or casual smoker can enjoy a cigar party with the right people involved
Once you’ve nailed down the guest list it’s time to pick a date and location. Friday nights after work are perfect for getting together and winding down over a good smoke. The important thing is that it’s convenient for all guests.
Enjoying a fine cigar does not need to be a stressful affair. Relaxing and sharing the latest news and stories with friends is a great source of enjoyment for all. If you want to go for something with a bit more flair or activity, host a cigar party over a game of poker. Or, simply combine it with some premium scotch.
Choose the Right Locale
You don’t have to roll out the red carpet for your cigar party but you should choose the right room in your house for the gathering. Most times, a den or “man cave” works well. Another option is to set up in the basement and allow everyone to enjoy themselves without worrying about the rest of the house. If you’re going for a poker night, then the dining room will do fine. The most important thing is that everyone be comfortable with smoking in your home. Eliminate the hassle by choosing a room where everyone can sit in comfort.
Set Up Your Cigar Party
Once you who, when, and where, you can start to prepare the what. A good host will provide everything a cigar smoker needs to enjoy a smoke. You don’t have to break out the premium hand-rolled Cubans for a cigar party, but having a box of good quality cigars available for your guests will make you a good host. Apart from providing the cigars, guests will also need cutters, ashtrays, and lighters. Having all the tools of the trade will make the experience much better for everyone involved.
If the gathering is going to run longer than a couple of hours, it is advisable to provide refreshments. You don’t need Gordon Ramsey to cook a meal for your guests. Keep it simple by setting out some finger foods or light snacks for everyone to enjoy.
Cocktails are another excellent suggestion. If your gathering is already centered around alcohol, such as Scotch tasting, then you’ll already be covered. However, if you don’t have beverages built into the party, provide a bottle or two of everyone’s preferred beverage. Alternatively, it’s acceptable to ask guests to bring something of their preference. It’s also fine to ask guests to chip in on the content of the cigar party, especially if you’re making it a regular occurrence.
Themes for a Recurring Cigar Party
If you’re planning on creating a regular, cigar party encounter, then plan a theme around each party. This doesn’t mean having your guests dress in costume and pretend to solve murder mysteries. Simply put, it means picking an agenda for the evening. This might including having everyone try a new brand or flavor of the cigar. Or, you might want to theme a cigar party around comparing a light or mild domestic cigar with a premium heavy cigar.
Still, another option to consider is to create a combination event. Combining poker with cigars is a natural thing and often quite enjoyable, even for a casual smoker. This offers a great experience for new cigar smokers. It also helps them become acquainted with the different strengths of cigar flavors. After all, a cigar party is more about inclusion than exclusion.
Cigar Party vs. Cigar Lounge
The big reason for hosting a cigar party over just going to a cigar bar or lounge is the atmosphere. Cigar bars and lounges are businesses. They operate in a way that is not inviting to all cigar enthusiasts. The crowds, age ranges, or experience levels that a lounge caters to are sometimes off-putting to some. The exclusive, sometimes stuffy atmosphere might feel uncomfortable as well.
There is often an assumption that cigar smokers only love the finer things in life. While this is true, it is not the only way to enjoy a cigar lifestyle. Cigar lovers may also know how to roll with the punches and have a genuinely good time among friends. Hosting a cigar party at home is a great way to enjoy the company of friends and the flavor of a great cigar. It also helps eliminate the headaches that accompany going out to a cigar bar. That includes paying for overpriced drinks and dealing with people outside your social circle.
Photo credit: Two and a Half Men, 2004, Chuck Lorre Productions