How to Light a Cigar

Before You Light Up

1. If you use a match, wait till the sulphur burns off before using it to light you cigar. Also if you can find those fancy long cedar matches all the better.

2. If you use a lighter, use a butane one. The gasoline based ones impart a foul flavor to your smoke.

3. Some people claim that the only proper implement for lighting up is a cedar spill. A cedar spill is a long thin strip of spanish cedar which is lit first and then used in turn to light your cigar. You will typically see these in use at fancy cigar dinners, rather elegant way to light your stogie, but not all that practical in the car.

Steps to Light the Cigar:

1. Preheat the foot (the open end) by slowly rolling the cigar above the flame at an angle allowing a tiny black ring forms all the way around the wrapper. Don’t allow the flame to touch the cigar.

2. With the cigar in your mouth and drawing in as you repeat the process, slowly roll the cigar at an angle above the flame (about .5 inch or so away), without letting the lighter flame actually touch the cigar. Remember to slowly spin the cigar to establish an even burn.

3. Once it is lit, pull it from your mouth and actually look at the glowing foot to see if it lit properly. If the burn is really uneven, repeat the previous step on the appropriate side to even the burn. You can also gently blow on the end in the appropriate place to intensify the heat there, take a couple steady draws, then just wait a minute before continuing to puff. This short delay seems to allow the cigar a chance to stabilize and self correct the burn.

If outside, and it is windy, and shelter is not accessible, throw decorum out the window, flame-torch the end, and put up with the initial bitterness to ensure a fast even light.

If smoke happens to go out, just knock off the ash, gently blow through the cigar to clear out the old smoke, then jump right to the drawing while rolling part of the light up sequence.