Is There A Right Way To Hold A Cigar?
You're about to sit down and enjoy the nuances of a great cigar. But for some reason (maybe you're new to cigar smoking) you feel like you just forgot how to use your hands and all of a sudden you're not quite sure how you should hold it.
Is there a right and wrong way to hold a cigar? Well…yes and no.
While there is no one "correct" way to hold a cigar, there are a few guidelines and considerations to keep in mind in order to make sure your cigar smoking experience is enjoyable.
The last thing you want to do is kill the mojo before you even light up. Maybe you find yourself in a situation where you don’t want to… well… look like an idiot.
Not to worry, it’s not rocket science and your hands work just fine (most likely). Like we said, there is no “right way” to hold a cigar but we’ve also said you don’t want to look like an idiot so we want to help make sure that doesn't happen.
With that being said, here’s a few tips on how not to look like a fool while holding your cigar. Who knows, maybe we can help you impress the new father in law or the big boss or your imaginary friend (yeah...we went there).
1. Avoid gripping the cigar too tightly:
Cigars have a sense of elegance to them so the last thing you want to do is grip a cigar like you’re squeezing your forearm strengthener. Holding the cigar too tightly can restrict the airflow and impede the burn, affecting the taste and draw. Instead, maintain a relaxed grip to allow for proper airflow and also to avoid looking like the Hulk.
2. Hold the cigar between your thumb and index finger:
While there are many ways to hold a cigar, this is the most common and conventional way. We're trying to pace you here, you can learn the other ways as you become a pro at this one first. Simply place the cigar between your thumb and index finger, allowing your other fingers to rest naturally. Just do yourself a favor and make sure your pinkie finger is not raised like you’re having tea at high noon with the queen.
3. Be mindful of the band placement: Bands come in many shapes and sizes. They’re part of the marketing life blood of a cigar that helps draw the eye of the consumer in a humidor full of pretty looking bands. Depending on placement of the band, it’s generally a good idea to hold the cigar on the band to keep your greasy fingers from touching the cigar and ruining the integrity of that lovely leaf that holds it all together. Once you’re within a half inch or so of the band, that’s when you can take it off. That’s because you’ll allow the heat from the cigar to loosen up the pectin (cigar glue) on the band to make it easier to take off. That way you’re not ripping up the wrapper.
4. Avoid touching the cigar with wet, oily or dirty hands:
What are you? A 3 year old? Clean your hands before you light up a cigar. Not only is it practicing proper hygiene, moisture or oil from your hands can affect the taste and quality of the tobacco. You can quickly turn a tasty wrapper into the taste of 30 day too old milk. Bottom line, for all that is holy, just clean your hands.
5. Rotate the cigar while smoking: As you smoke, you'll want to rotate the cigar between your fingers to ensure even burning. You're not a contestant on Wheel Of Fortune so we don't mean to spin that thing until you hit Bankrupt. Slowly rotate the cigar about a quarter turn every puff. This will help prevent the cigar from burning unevenly or developing a lopsided ash. If that happens, you immediately look like you don’t know what you’re doing and we're trying to help you do the opposite.
These are just some of the ways to make sure you're holding your cigar correctly. Remember, the primary goal is to enjoy your cigar, not look like you're about to crush a soda can to seem tough (this ain't the movies).
Cigars should be handled with respect. The art that goes into making a cigar is just that…art. So find a comfortable and relaxed grip that suits you. Don’t crush the cigar. Clean your hands. And for damn sure don’t raise your pinkie finger.