There are a few things one must not forget in the mad scramble that the end of the year inevitably becomes.
These include a healthy stock of booze if you’re likely to be entertaining; an emergency supply of Christmas cards, in case someone brings you one unexpectedly or has slipped off the list and appears last minute; a little bottle of that dreadful stuff Grandma likes; a healthy dose of pantry necessities at this time of year (mustard, vinegar, mayonnaise, onions, garlic, celery, carrots). And, of course, a selection of different cigars to suit every occasion.
We’ve said this before, but we’ll say it again – also make sure you have a handful of sound but not great sticks to hand over to those who may be enthusiastic – but who like the idea, more than the actuality of smoking a cigar with you.
A little bundle of short filler Cubans would fit the bill nicely here; like the José L. Piedra Petit Cazadores. It’s a rough and ready cigar made of lesser value tobaccos than your Vuelta Abajo Cubans; but it’s a healthy price and not a bad smoke at all. Offer one of these to your less discerning guests and keep the good stuff for those who would really appreciate it.
It’s also worth keeping a stock of small, more elegant cigars that might appeal to a lady who fancies a smoke, too. Of course, they’re as welcome to smoke a big, fat one as the next man, but you may find that they find something a little more refined is more manageable as well as more palatable.
The Por Larranaga Petit Corona is a Prince among cigars, although now only available in magnificent cabs of 50. Other suggestions would include its stablemate, the Por Larranaga Montecarlo or how about the diminutive but distinctive El Rey Del Mundo Demi Tasse? Perfect with a coffee as the name may suggest.
A note, just in case any of you were wondering about the etiquette of such things; abide by it or not as you see fit, but cigars are traditionally served at the end of a meal by the host. If you have a box of cigars to hand around to guests, let them open and admire the box and select their own cigar, unless they would rather you do it. Have some cigar scissors to hand, or a cutter. This, incidentally, is a great place to parade an unusual or striking table lighter.
Not useful out or about, or indeed something you can slip into your pocket, the table lighter comes into its own when entertaining. There’s a host of vintage and unusual designs on the market as well as more classical lines and names out there – so, if this appeals to you, pop into Sautter, have a word with one of our experts, and we’ll see what we can find for you.