Re: Base additive suggestion...
I mix a little jim beam(like 1/10th ounce) in with a mix of irish cream, chocolate, and mint shisha, then put that all in the bowl... the alcohol boils off as soon as you put the coals on, but it adds a nice bit of flavor, and its not like the alcohol is the point.. just the taste.
Sprite in the base is good with most fruit flavors imho, just puff on it long enough to make it flat before you put the bowl/coals on top.
Altoids are good, you can leave them large, but it doesnt really do much. I crush them with a mortar and pestle(ocd) but i don't think you have to take it down to powder to really get the effect.
Rum is good in the base with fruity flavors..
Bourbon is good in the base with what I associate as "winter flavors" i.e. chocolate, cinnamon, plum, cherry, irish cream, christmas mix.
Vodka is okay, but it doesnt really do much for me... after all it is supposed to be tasteless. Don't get me wrong, after bourbon vodka is my fav form of alcohol, but in this situation, for me at least, its a waste.
Gin in the base is good with lemon shisha
Cinnamon schnapps is good as a compliment to cinnamon shisha, but you can also use it to spice up some other flavors.
Absinthe is great if you like black licorice. It has the added benefit of looking kinda cool because when you add water to absinthe it will louche, and turn nice and cloudy.. The anise flavor absinthe contains is good with apple or double apple shisha.