Pastry is an umbrella term to describe a baked product made from flour, water and shortening. Pastry is light and airy and can be either sweet or savoury. Versions of it can be found across the world and the variations are almost endless. Shortcrust, flaky and puff pastry are the types that most commonly appear in eliquids for vaping. The pastry flavour never appears on its own, however it can be found combined with fruits, creams, syrups, ice cream and more to create a dessert blend with a layered taste. Available both in high VG and high PG blends, pastry vapes are kind to coils thanks to their mild sweetness.
Eliquids that include pies, tarts, buns and everything in between create a smooth rich flavour, which can either be intensified by adding layers of cream or ice cream; or sweetened by adding summer fruits, berries and the like. One of the most popular pastry flavours is the apple pie which features heavily in the world of vaping. Those looking for something more adventurous should look out for strudels and meringues. When vaped at higher wattages pastries take on a golden quality with rich buttery notes that act as a solid base. Lower wattage vaping tends to emphasise the sweetness of the sugar and a light savoury note.
Freebase nicotine is the most common type of nicotine used in eliquids and is the same kind of nicotine as found in cigarettes, nicotine patches or gum. Freebase nicotine provides a more noticeable throat hit than salt nicotine and for this reason it is often preferred by heavy smokers or new switchers. However, compared to salt nicotine, this type of nicotine is absorbed more slowly by your body and takes a little longer to have an effect. Compatible with all vape kits, freebase nicotine e-liquids are most commonly available in 3mg, 6mg, 12mg and 18mg strengths.
Salt nicotine eliquids still satisfy cravings in the same way as freebase nicotine does. The big difference is that they provide a significantly milder throat hit even at higher strengths, as well as being fasting acting compared to freebase nicotine. This makes them very popular among people looking for a smoother vape. They are available in a range of VG/PG ratios, salt nicotine e-liquids often come in 50/50 and high PG ratios. You’ll most often find salt nicotine in a 10mg or 20mg nicotine strength, but lower strengths such as 5mg are becoming more common.
Hybrid nicotine is a combination of both freebase and salt nicotine. They aim to find a balance between throat hit and nicotine absorption rate, ideal for vapers who want the fast acting hit of salt nicotine but desire a more noticeable throat hit more akin to freebase nicotine. Hybrid nicotine e-liquids are relatively new, but are fast becoming popular as they mimic the smoking experience authentically.
Flavour is extremely subjective, what one person loves another will hate, so there is no single ‘best flavour’. The best flavour is the one that you can vape all day and not get sick of!
When you first make the switch from smoking to vaping many people opt for an eliquid flavour that replicates their smoking habit, such as tobacco or menthol. Other vapers find they do not want to be reminded of cigarettes at all and will go straight for a fruit or a dessert flavour. Some of the most popular flavours in the UK are Strawberry, Blueberry and Vanilla.
If you want some inspiration, have a look at our selection of staff picks as well as our Best E-Liquid To Buy Guides. Alternatively, you can check out our best selling e-liquids to see the most popular eliquid flavours.
Your ideal nicotine strength will largely depend on how many cigarettes you smoke a day. As a general rule, heavy smokers (15+ cigarettes a day) will do better with higher strengths, such as 18mg to 20mg eliquids. Somebody who smokes 10-15 cigarettes a day may prefer a medium strength such as a 6mg-12mg eliquid, and a light smoker (less than 10 cigarettes a day) will generally be fine with lower strengths eliquids of 3mg-6mg.
The main thing is to satisfy your nicotine cravings, and you may need to experiment a little to find a strength which works for you.
Aside from flavour, picking your e-liquid of choice will largely depend on what type of vape kit you are using.
If you’re using a low powered kit for mouth to lung (MTL) vaping (one that uses a coil above 1.0 Ohm), then it is recommended you use either a 50/50 e-liquid or a high PG e-liquid. Low power kits can be used with almost any nicotine strength, however you may experience more success with higher nicotine strengths if you’re just starting out vaping.
Sub ohm kits and those that use a coil below 1.0 Ohm will generally work best with a high VG e-liquid. Amongst the most popular ratios are 70% VG e-liquids and 80% VG e-liquids. If you plan to use a sub ohm vape kit, we recommend a 3mg e-liquid but definitely no higher than 6mg as it can be very harsh on your throat. All of which makes shortfill e-liquids the ideal match for a sub ohm vape kit.
As a general rule, pods kits are used for mouth to lung vaping and subsequently work best with 50/50 and high PG e-liquids. However, there are also now sub ohm vape kits that are best suited to high VG e-liquids. We recommend you check the resistance of your coil, and any recommendations included in the kit’s manual, to pick your e-liquid accordingly. You can find more in depth information about pod kits in our guide to pod vaping.
Any eliquid which contains nicotine is subject to EU regulations known as the Tobacco Products Directive or the TPD. These regulations include the limit of nicotine strength (max 20mg/ml), and restrictions on tank size (maximum 2ml) and bottle size (maximum 10ml), as well as setting out testing and safety requirements. TPD eliquids are 10ml bottles of nicotine-containing e-liquid and are available in all strengths and VG/PG ratios.
Shortfill eliquids do not contain nicotine when purchased. This allows them to be sold in bottles larger than 10ml, most commonly 60ml or 120ml. The name ‘shortfill’ comes from the fact that the bottles are underfilled with eliquid, leaving room for the addition of a nicotine shot to transform the product to a nicotine-containing eliquid, usually 3mg/ml. Shortfills are usually aimed at sub ohm vapers who use low strength eliquids and require larger volumes than a MTL vaper. This means they tend to be 70% VG or higher, although there are a number of 50/50 shortfill eliquids available too.
Picking your first eliquid or your next favourite isn’t hard when you know how. The best thing to do is learn a little more about eliquid, which is where our ultimate guide to e-liquid comes in handy. You can also contact our dedicated customer service team. Available by phone, e-mail and webchat, they have the latest information on eliquids and are always happy to make recommendations based on their expert knowledge.