The fun thing about this method of infusing cigars with rum under heat and pressure is that it violates just about every cigar purist's rule of keeping cigars, which are:
- Always keep cigars at exactly the proper humidity of 70%
- Always keep cigars at the precise temperature of 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C)
- Expensive cigars are always better than cheap cigars, so buy the most expensive cigars you can afford
Let's get to it, shall we?
Step 1: What You Will Need
- 50 to 80 cheap cigars
- 750ml bottle of cheap 151-proof rum
- 2 large cookie sheets
- 1-gallon ZipLock bags (quantity as needed) or clean ammo box with good seals
- Gas oven with pilot light OR suitable hot box OR proofing box
There are lots of places to buy cheap cigars. The place I use is an online cigar place. I don't want to mention the name which as a "J" and an "R" and the word "cigars" in the web site name, but you can probably find a suitable vendor. I have bought from my source many many times and the product is always great.
The particular cigars I will be using this time are "Presidents" 7.12 x 44 cigars. The numbers mean that the cigar is 7.12 inches long and has a cigar ring size of 44. These are nice long-burning 2-hour campfire cigars with a very dark rich "maduro" wrapper. You can chop them in half for shorter smokes or to share with people who just want to try one out. I pay $49.95 for 50 cigars including shipping. That's about $1 each. You can find them at the place I buy them from if you Google "RBPR3 cigar" without the quotes.
Cheap 151-Proof Rum
Get yourself a bottle of the cheapest 151-proof rum you can find. I don't want to mention store names, but I get my cheap 151 rum at the very popular chain beverage company that sells beverages and more. They carry a brand called "Potter's Brand" which is a generic or house brand 151-proof rum for about $12 for a 750 ml bottle. They have light and dark, but it doesn't matter which one you choose even though I usually choose the dark. Don't use the popular brand of rum for this recipe because it is too expensive and you won't get to drink it anyway. For 50 to 80 cigars, I use a full 750ml bottle of rum.
We have two large cookie sheets that are made of heavy aluminum with rolled edges. I think they are from a restaurant supply house. These are what you will roll your cigars around in to soak up all the rum, so they need to be sturdy. If you don't have these, you can find another way to evenly saturate the cigars later on.
1-Gallon ZipLock Bags
You will need 1 bag for every 10 cigars. You can also use an ammo box, but it must be clean and have good seals. I think plastic bags are easier.
Gas Oven with Pilot Light OR Suitable Hot Box OR Proofing Box
At a previous house we lived in, we had a beautiful iconic old O'Keefe & Merritt stove that was made in 1949, and it had enormous pilot light flames inside the ovens. I used this oven to cook my cigars until we moved and had to leave it behind. The pilot lights kept the temperature of the ovens at right around 130 degrees F (54.4 degrees C). Our stove had two ovens, so when would make cigars, I would put a piece of tape over the oven knob so someone didn't accidentally turn on the oven and burn my cigars or cause the ammo can to explode from the pressure, and ruin the cigars.
Now I use a proofing box that I made with a foam ice chest cooler, a dimmer switch, and a light bulb, a small wall wart and computer fan, and a cheap $2.90 metric-only digital thermometer from Deal Extreme. If you have an electric oven or a gas oven with electronic ignition, your oven won't work because there's no pilot light, so you may need to rig up a hot box or bread proofing box with an incandescent light bulb and a dimmer light switch, but I'll leave that build up to you. You can check out the pictures of my proofing box.