With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center behind us, the Holiday Season is now officially in full swing. It’s also the time of year for holiday parties. You’ve got your office parties, Christmas parties, Chanukah parties, Winter parties, yadda-yadda-yadda…So, how about this? A cigar party. Yes, a cigar party, or a herf as cigar smokers call it.
Before you can have a cigar party, you have to have friends who smoke cigars to invite. (For the purpose of this post, we’ll assume you are not the only cigar smoker amongst your friends.) Next, you need a place to host your party. If you have a big enough basement, “man cave” or patio where you normally smoke, that would do it, and you’re halfway there.
On the other hand, if the only place you can entertain your fellow brothers of the leaf is in the living room or den, you may find yourself getting the “Bah humbug!” from your significant other. This is where negotiation plays a major role. It might be anything from convincing your S.O. that your cigar party is something that isn’t going to be happening on a regular basis – “Just this one time, honey.” – to bribing her with the incentive of using your charge card for a pair of Manolo Blahniks. Whatever it takes to convince her, make sure you keep the smoke to a minimum by having a really good smoke filter, some smoke candles, plenty of air and fabric freshener, and if it’s not too cold, an open window or two. A fireplace helps. Supposedly, a good fire helps suck some of the smoke up the flue. Finally, you don’t want to have too many guests, since the more, the smokier.
Another big question is, should you supply the cigars or make your cigar party BYO? Well, you are the host after all, so you may want to purchase a box or two of something special for the occasion. It could be a cigar you really enjoy and think your buddies will like, too. This is also the best time of year to buy cigars, since holiday sales are rampant. You don’t have to buy a box of Padron Family Reserve No.45, either. They can be something more reasonable like Perdomo 10th Anniversary Champagne Robusto. Besides, you can count on your guests bringing their own cigars, but handing something out to your guests, especially during the holidays, is a nice gesture.
You can also go the “chip-in” route, by having your guests share the expense of the cigars. This way everyone is satisfied with their selection, and you can afford to splurge a little. In this case, a box of Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary or Liga Privada Undercrown may be in order. I would’ve suggested the Liga No.9’s, but they’re hard to find in stock. (Yes, they’re that hot!) You could even go for a couple of variety pack samplers. Put them in a candy dish and let your guests choose for themselves.
It happens every time. Someone forgets to bring their lighter, cutter, or both. So, be prepared by having an extra lighter (the Lotus Terminator III is a great choice), a few cheap guillotine cutters, and enough cigar ashtrays. If you and your guests are seated around a central table, I suggest a Stinky ashtray (below), since it holds plenty of ashes and is easy to clean.
Make sure you have a decent selection of liquor on-hand. Single malt, blended scotches and bourbon are usually at the top of the list, but some good craft beers like those from Dogfish Head will suffice. The latter have become especially popular with cigar smokers in recent years. A good vintage bottle of Tawny Port also makes for great pairing. Here again, you can go BYO, but as with the aforementioned box of cigars, you may want to pick up a bottle of something like The Macallan© 12 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch to share.
As far as food goes, it’s your call. However, I suggest you have some dark chocolate, almond bark, or chocolate covered almonds to munch on. Almonds and dark chocolate (the darker the better) pair well with cigars. Fruits like pineapple, oranges, apples, melon, etc. will also help contribute to the enjoyment of a good cigar.
Kick Back and Relax
Whether your party includes watching football, UFC, a great movie like The Godfather, a poker game, or just good conversation, a successful holiday herf will allow you and your guests to relax and enjoy each other’s company over good cigars – much as you would in a cigar lounge – but with a lot more privacy.
* Cool SWAG from the UFC Store*
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