Fresh and invigorating; mint is one of my favorite flavors to smoke. Sadly, many mint flavors are a bit lacking and leave me wanting something more. I have heard every suggestion you can imagine for increasing the minty intensity of a tobacco. From crushed up Altoids in the base water to a bunch of freezable accessories that don’t really do much; there are a lot of different techniques being tossed around. Finally, I’ve got the answers that will make the Ice King do a jig and slap you in the mouth.
Adding some high quality, mint flavoring to the tobacco before you have your session is going to offer a boost in flavor as well as the chilling effect of the smoke. You don’t need to add much, maybe a few drops, but you do need to buy the right stuff. I suggest LorAnn flavoring oils because they are very high quality and ridiculously concentrated. They offer a spearmint and peppermint oil, both of which pack a serious punch, but the peppermint is the one you want if your looking to replicate the icy grip of Tangiers Cane Mint or Mizo Mint. Spearmint is more of a mint gum flavor and delicious if that’s what you’re looking for. There is a standard strength, which is perfectly fine, but I suggest picking up their super strength flavors. You won’t need more than one dram unless you are a serious mint addict.
If you can’t get your hands on the LorAnn flavoring oils there are other options, but you need to know what to look for. Avoid anything that is alcohol based. Generic Glycerin based flavorings are fairly easy to find in most kitchen supply stores and will even add a little boost to the smoke because of the glycerin content. I hate to suggest spending more money but I have to recommend avoiding the cheapest and lowest quality extracts that you’ll find in places like dollar stores. They never taste good and use the smallest possible amount of actual mint flavoring they can get away with, so you’ll end up having to use more to even feel an effect and probably wind up buying higher quality flavoring to replace it anyway. It may seem like a great deal and a cheap way to do some flavor alchemy but it will actually end up wasting your time and costing you more money over all.
This is definitely not one of my top suggestions as it can get expensive really quickly. Mint flavored e-cig juice, added to a bowl of tobacco, might help the flavor a bit if it’s a very strong mint to be begin with But, that juice is basically just flavoring in a mixture of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. That means you can save a lot of money and get a stronger mint flavor by jumping right to the concentrated flavoring mentioned above, which is what most of the e-cig juice makers are using anyway. Besides, the mixture of PG and VG is not the same as what you’ll find in hookah tobacco. The addition might change the smoke properties and it might not be for the better. Keep the juice in your mod.
If mint flavoring is a turbo boost then menthol crystals are a shot of nitro. For those who are more concerned with the cooling effect of the smoke rather than the flavor of the mint, menthol crystals are the solution. This is pure frostbite in crystalline form so take some safety precautions when handling. I suggest at least a particle mask to prevent getting maced when you open the bag and some glove to prevent screaming the next time you visit the lavatory.
These crystals need to be dissolved in glycerin before they can be used in your tobacco but even a tiny amount will make each draw feel like your tobacco just punched you in the lungs. Use too much and it can easily become too intense for even the most stalwart mint smokers, so start with less and work your way up. Also, make sure to always use food grade, plant based glycerin. It’s easily found at most drug stores and menthol crystals can be ordered from countless places online. All you do it add crystals to the glycerin, cap it off and shake it up. Keep adding crystals until they’ll no longer dissolve and you’ve made liquid nitrogen. Go fight some terminators.
If you mix menthol crystals into LorAnn flavoring oils and add that to the tobacco… see you in 1000 years after the cryogenic chill wears off.
JAon February 25, 2013 at 10:53 pm
What about propylene glycol base? I have a strong, expensive chocolate extract I’d like to try. It has a propylene glycol base rather than alcohol or glycerine. Any knowledge of how that would work? What compounds would it form in combustion?
Kalutikaon March 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm
PG is pretty benign. It’s one of the solutions used in ecig juice and fog machines. It should never actually reach the point of combustion. I used to spend 12 hour days in PG fog for about a month at a time in the theater and it didn’t kill me.