How to Host a Herf

A “herf,” for those who don’t know, is a get-together where people smoke cigars.

The origin of the word herf dates back to 2008, where on the alt.smokers.cigars USENET group, Mr. John Chunko proposed the name.  Click on over to if you want to learn more about the origin and history of the word herf.

cigar herf

So, what goes on at a herf besides smoking, and how does one host a herf? Largely, it’s up to you and your crowd. There are lots of different types of cigar smokers out there – backyard buddies who smoke and drink brews, bikers who light up after a ride, fancy types who sit in their studies and swirl expensive single malt while smoking, and loads of others – so we won’t dictate rules for how a herf should be done. Instead, here are a few things to consider:

Share or Swap Cigars

Most of the time, a herf is BYOC (bring your own cigar!), but if you and your friends would like to herf at rotating locations where a different host brings out a box each time so everyone can try the same stick, go for it. It might also be good to bring backups or other sticks for swapping.

Break Out the Tunes!

Mostly, cigars are about relaxation, so our recommendation is that you don’t throw a headbangers’ herf with blasting death metal. To each their own, however. Classy folks will surely enjoy some jazz, lounge, or even classical music, while others might like a little rock. The music isn’t the dominant force at the party, so we say keep it to the background.

cocktail and cigars

Pair Cigars with Food and Drink

Pairings would be pretty amazing, wouldn’t it? That ain’t gonna happen. Herfs are usually hosted by dudes that forgot they were hosting it anyway until the third guy randomly shows up to his house. But you can always keep it basic with a tray of frozen appetizers. You’re lucky if you remember to phone in the pizza order. Beer, wine, and liquor are all friends with cigars, so don’t be shy about including them, but don’t forget how well coffee and espresso can go with a good smoke, either. If your herf is a post-restaurant or night out herf, legit desserts might be a nice addition.

Find the Perfect Smoking Spot

This is pretty much a must. A dedicated spot where smoking is permitted, encouraged, and celebrated is key. Keeps the house clean and the wife happy. That way you can do it again next month. Comfy chairs are great. Smoking accessories like table torch lighters, mega ashtrays, a variety of cutters, and the like complete the picture, and ensure that everyone can kick back and enjoy.

Cigar Party

Track Your Smokes

You can also take notes on smokes if you want to be academic about things. So bring your Cigar Journal along. If you’re drinking a lot, it will help you remember what sticks you like, and which ones to avoid. If you’re a “nice guy” it will help you remember who you “loaned” sticks to week after week, and know when it’s time for them to pay up or get cut off.

Expand Your Social Circle

And by that, we mean electronically. You can post a video or pic of your last herf on social media. If you want to expand your herfing circle, do a “bring a friend” herf at your house, post it a few days ahead of time. You don’t want it to always be the same old dogs, do you?

You can get social with us, too you know. Shout us out in your herf on Twitter, Facebook (or via carrier pigeon – whatever you can handle). We’d love to see what you guys come up with! Our social people are crazy and always looking for new pictures to put online. Seriously, no one ever sends us pictures. Ever. (Insert frowny face here, and best guilt-trip line from your mom).

(Photo Credit:,,

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