A Guide to Infused Cigars

We’ve all gotten THAT cigar before. Maybe a well-meaning friend has given you a box of Don Nobodies or you’ve acquired a handful of samples that are just too bland or mild for your taste. Instead of tossing them or giving them away to unsuspecting noobs, maybe an experiment is in order.

Do you have a favorite spirit, extract or herbal aroma? Try adding that flavor to those mild smokes and give them a second chance.

Technically, an infusion is a process that extracts chemical compounds or flavors from plant material into a solvent such as water, oil or alcohol, by allowing the material to remain suspended in the solvent over time. This process is also known as steeping. Common infusions are coffee brewed in a French press or a cup of tea.

My research into this subject showed that there are two basic methods to get a cigar to absorb an aroma or flavor; directly by immersing the cigars in a flavored liquid or indirectly by exposing the cigars to flavorings in an enclosed space.

Both methods require an extended amount of time to allow the cigars to absorb the aroma of the flavoring agent. I would recommend a minimum of 2 months time and most likely much longer to assure a strong enough result.

Whiskey Infused Cigars

The Direct Method of Infused Cigars

The direct method is performed with either a shallow pan or a cookie sheet. Pour your favorite liquor, extract or an infusion you have made at home into the pan and then roll the cigars around in the liquid. Once the cigars have been coated in the liquid, place them into ziplock bags and allow to dry. You may want to place the bags into an airtight container with some type of heat lamp to assist in the drying process.

The Indirect Method of Infused Cigars

Infused Cigars in Plastic Bag

The indirect method can be performed with zip lock bags and a couple of gauze pads. One pad is soaked in the flavoring agent and the other is soaked in distilled water to maintain humidity. A Humidipak or Boveda Humidity pack would make a much better substitute for the water-soaked pad. The cigars would then be put into the bag and kept separated from the moist pads. A downside to using the zip locks is that you would have to be careful in moving and storing the bags to make sure nothing is damaged. An easier method would be to use a Tupperware container or a large mason jar with a shot glass full of the flavoring agent and a humidity pack of some sort.

The indirect method may require that you replenish the flavoring agent as time goes by due to evaporation.

Flavor Infused Cigars

Whiskey-Infused Cigars
On what to use for your flavoring agents, I would say your imagination is the limit. If you try the direct method, I would stay away from creamy or sugary liqueurs since the cigars would probably become a sticky mess. Otherwise, I would think a strong whiskey or rum would make great choices. Maybe use a rum, slap some fresh mint leaves to open up their aroma and go for a makeshift “mojito” smoke. Just keep an eye on the mint leaves for decay after a while.

Either method will most likely only impart flavor to the cigar’s wrapper but, that may be enough to change a blah cigar into something interesting to smoke.

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