Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

How to blow smoke rings

For some it’s the pinnacle of cool, for others, it’s a childish distraction from...
Il Sigaro della Sera
For some it’s the pinnacle of cool, for others, it’s a childish distraction from the pleasures of cigar smoking. Whichever way you look at it, there’s no denying that the ability to blow smoke rings is quite a talent.
A single puff on a cigar is followed by delicate, smoky halos gently rising to the heavens. The real artist can even cause the smoke rings to turn in the air. It may look like magic. But like most tricks, the art of blowing smoke rings can be learnt. All it takes is control and a little practice.

How to blow a smoke ring:
1.    Draw a mouthful of smoke from your Toscano Cigar, but don’t inhale, keep it in your mouth.
2.    Move your tongue to the back of your throat, but keep the tip at the bottom of your mouth and your mouth closed.
3.    Open your mouth as wide as possible and make an ‘o’ shape, with your lips curled out. (Don’t exhale yet.)
4.    Clench the back of your throat and emit a very light cough, lasting just a fraction of a second. (To get an idea of how much pressure to make, gently tap your cheeks and see how much smoke comes out.)
5.    Now, very gently blow this ‘cough’ out, being careful to keep your tongue out of the way and not to move your lips or jaw. You also want to keep some of the smoke in your mouth for a second ring.
6.    To make your rings travel faster or further, push out your jaw and purse your lips just before the ring leaves your mouth.

Advanced technique- add some spin:
Once you’ve mastered basic smoke rings, add some back-spin by pushing your tongue forward in your mouth (keep the tip down) just before it leaves your lips.
That’s all there is to it. But of course, everyone can get a little stage fright with an audience, so best to practice in front of the mirror in the comfort of home.