Some Sweet Tips for Your Cigars

Gary KorbNot too long ago, I wrote an article for about how I used an ordinary household condiment to repair a wrapper that was unfurling on my cigar. The way it happened was, I had mistakenly clipped the cap of my cigar a bit too low. I’ve seen some guys chop their cigars below the shoulders and the wrappers have remained intact. However, more often than not, over-cutting the cap will result in unraveling of the wrapper leaf, which is what happened in my case. Even more annoying is when this happens to a really fine (and not to mention, pricey), cigar.

At the time of the incident I realized that the roller’s glue a friend had given me a few months earlier was at the office. It’s not that far from my house, but I wasn’t going to get in my car and drive to the office on a Sunday for something like roller’s glue. (I had also bought some pectin for such emergencies, but wouldn’t you know, it was at the office, too.) So, I had a choice: take another cigar and put the damaged one away until Monday when I could repair it at the office, or try to fix the cigar with something else in the house. Since I really wanted to smoke and review this cigar, I chose the latter.

cigar repair tipsUsually when a cigar unravels, your first instinct is to use spit. Believe me, this rarely, if ever, works because once the heat from the cigar dries it out, the wrapper wrinkles-up and starts unraveling all over again.

With no pectin or roller’s glue (usually gum Arabic) handy, I thought of a tip a reader sent me about how he used honey to fix his cigars. Say, I’ve got that! I found the honey, and with my fingertip, carefully applied a light coat to the underside of the wrapper and the body of the cigar. It worked like a charm. After about 15 minutes the honey solidified and the wrapper looked good as new. Not bad…and it didn’t come undone again after I relit the cigar.

Should you ever find yourself in a similar position, anything that’s naturally sticky will work. Besides honey, you can use jelly or jam, which are made with pectin. You can also try molasses, corn syrup, or dissolve some sugar in a very small amount of water. If you don’t want to use something so sweet, try using corn starch instead of sugar. It’s not the sweetness, but the adhesive property of the substance that counts.

Perhaps you’ve got your own household cigar repair remedy. If so, please share it. There’s no sense in wasting a good cigar if you don’t have to. Even if it doesn’t do the trick, it’s better to have tried and fail than not to try at all.


Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.


  1. mr.meredith roper says:

    I thank you so very much for your cigar repair [tip about what to do] if the outer tobacco leaf unravels. My local cigar dealer gets my cigars from a guy in Miami. They are as good as any Cuban cigar. He said he uses chap stick to repair them. This works fair but honey works much better. I had never thought of using pectin. I think you can buy it at the grocer’s. The only problem I’ve had using honey is, that it tends to burn a bit hot if you apply too much. One needs to practice with honey. It’s a good choice for the most part, but I will try the pectin. That does seem like a more natural choice. I thank you again for helping me with this problem.
    Yours truly,
    Meredith Roper

  2. Gary Korb says:

    Thanks Meredith. Since I wrote this column I have used pectin to repair another cigar. I works well, but you have to make it in very small batches, plus the consistency has to be right. I don’t think you can save it either because eventually it will gel-up. Tho pectin works, the BEST solution really is Roller’s Glue or gum arabic because it works quickly and will last for months. I’m curious, so let me know how you make out with the pectin.