Like it or not the holidays are upon us. Celebrations, good times with family and friends, traditions aplenty-even the biggest Scrooge could find a reason to enjoy this festive season. Honoring the special bonds of friendship and family is what this time of year is all about and what better way to show those special people in your life they matter to you than by posting a party?
Of course you and your crowd don’t want just any party. For those who really enjoy a good cigar the best parties include that favorite pleasure. Hosting a cigar holiday party is the ideal way to celebrate the season and your favorite stogies in the company of like-minded friends.
Here we offer tips and ideas for hosting a cigar holiday party that is sure to be a hit.
Tips for Hosting a Cigar Holiday Party
Before you begin forming concrete plans for your stogie shindig you’ll want to set yourself a budget. Then you’ll be able to plan accordingly as far as food, libations and the type of cigars you may want to feature. Here are some ideas to make your cigar holiday party a great one.
Like any good party choosing the venue is the first order of business. Do you want to host your cigar holiday party in a restaurant or club? You need to make certain smoking is allowed, even on a patio area. And don’t waste any time; reserve it right away.
If you decide you’d like a more intimate affair in your own home just make sure you have sufficient ventilation in place. This helps keep your rooms from becoming a little too smoky. If you have a suitable outdoor patio or deck you could make it party-suitable with the addition of propane heating units. A fire table also makes a nice gathering place weather permitting. And keep in mind if you don’t want to make the investment in heating towers or air ventilating units many equipment rental sources also have these items.
The guest list depends on the venue and the capacity. If you plan an event space, restaurant or club the management there will let you know how many people they can accommodate. For a house gathering you may decide on a more intimate guest list-perhaps 10-20 of your closest friends. Should you add a “plus one” for your guests?
Sure as long as you include them in the final head count. The holidays are often a busy time and social commitments may be many. That’s why we advise you to include an RSVP in your invitation. Even casual gatherings are much more manageable when you have an idea of how many will attend.
Some parties centered around cigars may feature a menu of snacks that pair well. Things like a charcuterie of strong-flavored cheeses and salamis, briny olives and bright-flavored pickled veggies. Salty nuts, chips, a variety of crackers and breads such as crusty rye, pumpernickel and the like lend their flavor to a cigar palate.
Whether you would like to host a sit-down dinner or a buffet be sure to pair the menu items with your drinks as well as your cigars. Although strong cheeses and salty meats are an excellent choice for snacks and appetizers consider slightly bold and rich flavors that are not overpowering for the main meal. A good steak or a prime rib carving station is a very popular choice as is any type of fowl. Select side dishes accordingly but avoid anything too heavy as experts recommend a clean palate to best enjoy your cigars. And after all, isn't that the point?
Dessert can range from a bittersweet chocolate brownie, nutty biscotti or cookies or a simple chocolate and nut charcuterie arrangement.
Expert tip: Whether you opt to serve snacks and charcuterie or dinner, have some palate cleansing items available such as sparkling water, espresso, dark chocolate (yes! Really!) or a tart cold sorbet.
We finally got to the star of the show! Cigars! Of course the cigars to be enjoyed at your soiree are a highly personal choice you may want to showcase one of your favorites. Open your humidor and gift your friends with your personal selection of smokes. Invest in some decent cigars and have a personalized tag affixed to commemorate your event. You can choose to offer them after dinner or as a type of exquisite party favor.
One really fun cigar holiday party activity is a cigar exchange. Ask your friends to bring their particular favorites and exchange cigars with one another. This is a great way for everyone to sample each other's preferences. Depending on the number of guests you may opt to have everyone exchange cigars or draw names and exchange that way. Then you can all fire up your stogies and see what you think.
Selection of Beverages
Cigars pair well with fine wines, a good bourbon, martinis, a single malt scotch, a nice variety of craft beers and so many other lively libations. Not so much fruity sweet cocktails or punch but you may have those items available for the “plus ones” who don’t enjoy the merits of a worthy stogie. And be sure to offer a variety of non-alcoholic beverages for those who are the designated drivers or who don’t imbibe. These should include sparkling water, club soda, spicy ginger ale, coffee and tea.
If you’d like to issue a BYOB-to-share request you may ask your guests specifically to bring a certain beverage that you know they enjoy personally. This is another fun way to get a glimpse of your friends’ preferences and tastes and maybe discover a new favorite of your own. Just have a few bottles of something available to offer your guests as host.
One of the reasons cigar aficionados love their pastime is because they never stop learning new and interesting information about the art of cigars. You could play a lively game of cigar trivia and offer fun prizes such ascigar accessories or you may invite an expert such as a certified tobacconist or even a cigar artisan for a talk or demonstration. That makes for a very successful cigar holiday party.
For Holiday Celebrations and Gift-Giving
For all things cigar-related trust Northwoods Humidors. We carry a full line of humidors and accessories for cigar lovers. Our line of cigar-related gifts is second to none and pleases even the most discerning cigar aficionado.