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Hookah History

Smoking the Hookah is one of the oldest traditions in the Mediterranean and is one of the few affairs enjoyed mutually by men and women.

Smoking a Hookah is extremely different from cigar or cigarette smoking. The habits of the Hookah smoker are customarily dissimilar from the cigar/cigarette smoker. Unlike the anxious and tense demeanor of the cigarette smoker, the Hookah smoker is very serene in his approach to smoking and the way he/she approaches life. Learning to master the art of Hookah smoking is an experience that obliges you to decelerate and take time for yourself, granting you relief from stress and time for reflection.

When you smoke a Hookah, it takes you away to another time and place. You learn patience and tolerance, and it gives you an appreciation of the good company that you're in. Some of the most prolific leaders of past centuries enjoyed the Hookah and respected it for the symbol that it represented.

Traditionally, smoking the Hookah was seen as a symbol of status. It is also similar to our depiction of the handshake. In America, the use of the handshake symbolizes the closing of a deal, which signifies trust and acceptance. Likewise, the use of the Hookah exemplifies bonding and mutual understanding. It has been said that in the early 1840's a political crisis erupted between the Ottoman Empire and France as a result of the Sultan's refusal to offer the French Ambassador the opportunity to smoke with him. It was extremely insulting and politically incorrect. So remember, always share the Hookah if you're in the presence of people that you value!

The pleasure that Hookah smokers receive from this very simple, yet elegant apparatus can be quite remarkable, but one must learn to use respect and play by it's rules. For example: always put the Hookah down first and allow the next person to pick it up; never light a cigarette from the coal of the Hookah; never add anything to the top of the Hookah; never blow outward while smoking; and never pull the Hookah by the hose. The reasons range from safety to bad karma.

In ancient times when the groom wanted to earn the trust and confidence of the father of his fiancé, an assembly would take place at her house with the presence of all the elders of both families. If the father of the "Bride to be" was convinced that his daughter's fiancé was the right man to marry his daughter, he would fire up the Hookah and offer it to him. If all the conditions of marriage were accepted by him, the future son-in-law would then pick up the Hookah and smoke it, then the final celebration would take place at the groom's house.

Historically, in the Mediterranean the majority of business was conducted in the tea houses. When both parties came to a mutual understanding, the person making the offer would fire up the hookah and set it down. When the other person picked it up and smoked it, (at least three puffs) it was a sign that all the terms of the agreement were approved by him. The party accepting the offer would then ask the Hookahman, (the man of the highest respect in the tea house) to freshen the tobacco and order tea and pastries for everyone in the tea house. Hookahmen were some of the most trusted representatives in the Mediterranean. An agreement reached in the presence of a Hookahman was hardly ever broken. No one would ever leave the tea house without saying good- bye to the Hookahman. That would be considered a sign of great disrespect to everyone present. In the Mediterranean most marriages last for a lifetime, regardless of the hardships, because they adhere to tradition. If married, NEVER smoke from the same Hookah with any lady other than your wife, even when conducting serious business. IT IS FORBIDDEN AND CONSIDERED BREAKING THE TRUST IN MARRIAGE. Always order a separate Hookah for other ladies and ask the Hookahman to fire it up first. If single, offering to share a Hookah with another person is no less than asking them to marry you. SO BE CAREFUL!!!

Ottoman Sultans were famous for having up to one hundred wives. The first wife was considered the queen, or the MAIN LADY, and was the only one to share the same Hookah with the Sultan. No other wife was allowed to prepare the Hookah for the sultan but the queen herself. When the first lady wanted to smoke a Hookah by herself or with her friends, the other wives would make it for her. Ladies could share smoking from the same Hookah without any obligations! NO WORRIES...

The Hookah was so popular and fashionable with the elite ladies of the 19th and early 20th century, that it became quite fashionable and vogue to be photographed with a Hookah. If you wanted to be with the "in crowd" the Hookah was a must for popular afternoon tea and intellectual gatherings.

Our 21st century approach to the practice of Hookah smoking is tailored to deliver a pleasurable and unique experience. We have created a venue that is culturally diverse yet very satisfying to the American appetite. Our selection of potable spirits, music, style and ambience make it a warm, seductive and enchanting place to party.