If you’ve decided that electronic cigarettes are for you, then it’s time to start shopping. While there are plenty of options out there, you’ll find that most e-liquid flavors fall into one or two categories: tobacco or dessert-style fruit. But what makes each category so special? What are the main ingredients in these top flavors? How do they taste? These topics will all be covered in this article.
In general, the three primary types of e-juice flavorings are those that use either nicotine (tobacco), vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) (the latter is also used in some pharmaceutical products), or a combination of VG, PG, propylene glycol distillates, and flavorings. The first group includes both tobacco and menthol. The second group consists solely of VG, which is a non-toxic, colorless liquid derived from vegetables like soybeans and corn. It may sound strange, but unlike PG, which has no odor, VG does have a distinct smell. So when you take your first drag on an e-cigarette loaded with VG, you might notice something quite different than if you were vaping a juice made with PG.
If you’re planning on vaping only tobacco-flavored e-liquids, then you can likely skip straight to the next section, since many fruit-flavored e-joints include tobacco flavoring mixed in as well. And if you’re already familiar with the basics of e-cigarettes, you probably know what a wick is, and how to load up your tank. If not, check out our introductory guide to e-cigs before proceeding any further.
But if you want to try a wide variety of flavors without having to buy every single one individually, then you’ll need to get acquainted with some general terminology. Here are the essential terms you need to know.
The taste of any product is determined by its chemistry, and e-juices are no exception. Some of the main chemical compounds that contribute to the taste of an e-cig are Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, Nicotine, Flavorings, and Artificial Flavor Enhancers. In addition to their roles in the overall taste of the juice, these chemicals also help maintain the consistency of the vape fluid, and keep it from getting too thick. They can also make the vapor more appealing than a simple cloud of smoke.
These are the little extras added to give e-juice more personality. Most often, they’re artificial flavorings, which are designed to replicate the tastes found in actual food products like candy bars and cookies. There are also natural flavorings, which are extracted directly from plants such as fruits, herbs and spices. While these are usually less potent than artificial ones, they tend to taste more complex and authentic than synthetics. Either kind can add a lot of character to an e-juice recipe.
As mentioned above, many e-juices contain artificial flavorings. These are available in pre-made blends, or you can purchase them separately from a specialty store. They come in various forms – powders, liquids, pellets, and crystals. You just dissolve them in water or juice before use. They can be very strong, so it’s important to follow directions carefully, especially if you’re using a new bottle. For best results, use at least half the recommended amount.
Natural flavors are extracted from the flesh of fruits, herbs and other plant parts and then concentrated into a powder form. Since they’re usually much weaker than synthetic flavorings, you’ll typically only need to add about 1/4 teaspoon per 750 ml of juice. However, some people report enhanced effects when they use stronger concentrations.
The active ingredient in tobacco is called nicotine, and it’s what produces the “high” associated with smoking. When smoking a cigarette, the burning end releases tiny particles of nicotine, which travel through the bloodstream to the brain where they stimulate the release of dopamine and serotonin. This causes feelings of relaxation, happiness, and heightened senses.
When inhaling nicotine through an e-cigarette, it’s absorbed through the lungs rather than the blood stream, so there’s no risk of overdosing. However, because the dosage is so small, you won’t feel anything until you exhale. At that point, you’ll feel a slight tingle in your throat or chest area. Then, after about 10 seconds, you’ll begin to feel a warming sensation throughout your body. After 5 minutes, this feeling is replaced by a pleasant calmness, followed shortly thereafter by a slight sense of euphoria. All of these sensations are caused by the reaction between nicotine and receptors in your brain.
Vegetable Glycerin is a sweet tasting liquid that comes from vegetable oils. It creates an e-juice base without adding any unpleasant odors or flavors.
Propylene Glycol Distillate
This compound is used mainly as a solvent. It dissolves the flavorings you place in your e-juice, and helps keep your juice clear and consistent. Because it’s extremely viscous, it also functions as an antifreeze, making it suitable for keeping your tanks filled.
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Top E-Liquid Flavors
While there are countless ways to customize your preferences, here are a few popular flavor combinations.
Fruit flavors are among the most popular flavor choices. Citrus juices are particularly effective at masking the harshness of tobacco, making them perfect for those who don’t enjoy the taste of tobacco.
Mango is another favorite fruit flavor choice, thanks to its sweetness and tropical aroma. Although it’s generally considered a summertime flavor, mangoes can actually be enjoyed year round.
Peppermint is a classic minty flavor that works beautifully with other natural and artificial flavors.
Many people associate chocolate with sweets, but it can also work well in savory dishes. Chocolate is sometimes paired with vanilla, orange, coffee, cream, caramel, and tobacco flavors, depending on the user’s personal preference.
Tobacco is a classic flavor that can also be enjoyed in a number of creative ways. It pairs perfectly with mint, vanilla, vanilla bean, peppermint, and strawberry.
Apple is another common flavor used to mask the harshness of tobacco. Sour apple flavors are often combined with other flavors like cinnamon, vanilla, and clove.
This creamy, aromatic flavor works very well with vanilla, coffee, nutmeg, cocoa, and cloves.
Almonds are naturally sweet, but almond flavored e-juices can still provide relief from the bitterness of tobacco.
Strawberries are known for their sweet, tangy taste, which makes them excellent partners for a myriad of other flavors. Strawberry is frequently paired with other fruity flavors like peach, pineapple, raspberry, and grape.
Pomegranates are richly colored fruit that have a distinctive tartness. Pomegranate flavored e-juice comes in fruit varieties like red pomegranate, pink pomegranate, and white pomegranate.
Like strawberries, raspberries are delicious sweet treats. Raspberry flavored e-juice can be used with other fruity flavors like blueberry, blackcurrant, and cranberry.
Oranges are one of the most popular citrus flavors, and can be used with a variety of other flavors including vanilla, strawberry, lemon, lime, and even grapefruit. Orange is also commonly paired with chocolate and mint.
The scent of coffee is instantly recognizable around the world, and coffee flavored e-juice can bring that same taste experience to your e-smoking experience. Coffee is often used with chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, and tobacco flavors.
Cream flavors are extremely versatile, as they pair well with a wide range of other flavors. Cream is often used with vanilla, cherry, coconut, and tobacco flavors.
Some herbal flavors have a relaxing effect similar to marijuana, while others are simply fragrant and pleasant smelling. Herbal flavors are usually paired with tobacco, vanilla, lavender, and tobacco flavors.
So far we’ve seen that e-juice flavorings are primarily categorized according to whether they’re tobacco or fruit flavored. We’ve also learned that flavors are made up of various chemicals, and that these chemicals act together to create a particular taste profile. Finally, we’ve looked at some of the most popular flavor combinations. Now it’s time to learn how to pick the right flavor for you, using the tips we’ve discussed.
There are several things to consider when choosing an e-juice flavor. First, determine whether you prefer fruit or tobacco flavors. If you’re looking for a refreshing treat, choose a fruit flavor. If you’d rather enjoy a mild and subtle tobacco hit, go with a tobacco flavor. Second, think about what type of flavor you’re looking for. Are you trying to avoid certain flavors, or do you just want a change? If you’re looking for something entirely new, why not try a completely unique flavor? And finally, remember to experiment! Try mixing different flavors in order to see what happens.
You don’t need to have a lot of money to start vaping, although you will eventually want a good quality device. Check out our guide to buying an electronic cigarette starter kit if you want to save some extra cash.