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Recipe for Queen’s Snuff

PhilipSPhilipS Member
edited November 2011 in General
"Oil of lavender 2dr., essence of lemon 4dr., essence of bergamot 1 oz. : mix [1dr. with 8 oz of fine Scotch snuff constitutes Queen’s Snuff]"

Henry Beasley - The Druggist’s General Receipt Book.... 1850

Might be interesting for some readers here to manufacture home-made Queen’s using the recipe quoted by Beasley to see how it compares to the version by Wilsons of Sharrow. Queen’s is now sold as Queen’s Extra Strong (same as Tom Buck) so 1 drop:4 oz seems reasonable. What constitutes "fine Scotch snuff" is debatable, but anyway, there is the recipe.


  • I think maybe a little more lemon there for me. I mean if I were to make it for myself. Thanks for the 160+ years old recipe.
  • I enjoyed that, Thanks!
  • ...Did Whalen just make some?!  :O
  • Thanks, @PhilipS!

    I've got about 4 more batches of my homegrown tobacco this year.  I should make one like Queen's.

    If I do, I'll let you know how it goes!
  • Would this end up as an SP? If not are there any SP recipes floating around? I have tried using the search on here and on google but no luck, hoping someone has a recipe.
  • NachmanNachman Member
    edited November 2011 PM
    I think the dr in the recipe would be dram, not drop.   A dram is about 1/16th of an ounce.
  • "Would this end up as an SP? "

    GreenCrow, unless you have access to a recipe, exact duplication of a manufacturers snuff is impossible. Following this recipe, however, the finished snuff should be vaguely similar to Best SP made by Sharrow if followed to the letter..

    As far as olfactory memory serves, the snuff now marketed as Best SP was called Queens until quite recently, when Queens dropped off the list before reappearing as Queens Extra Strong. (There was another snuff, sold simply as S.P, being less piquant than Queens.)

    "If not are there any SP recipes floating around? I have tried using the search on here and on google but no luck, hoping someone has a recipe.”"

    Look at the recent thread 'What does SP stand for?'. You will see that sources have already been scoured. Anyway, recipes would have varied from manufacturer to manufacturer and you won’t find them online or anywhere else for obvious reasons; they are secret.

    Recipes would usually vanish for ever when a business folded or was consumed. No one knows, for example, what Sales & Pollard used for their S.P, although it was described as a Scotch snuff. Some recipes were made under commission - as witnessed by the following from the National Archives.

    “Agreement with C. C. Harland of Windermere, Cumbria BUS 8/8/3 12-13 May 1932

    Letter of agreement by Illingworth's Snuffs Ltd. to pay commission [to J&H Wilson’s of Westbrook Mill] on sales of 'Best S.P. Snuff' made from Mr Harland's formula; and carbon-copy of testimonial re Mr Harland's services.”
  • "I think the dr in the recipe would be dram, not drop. A dram is about 1/16th of an ounce."

    Yes, you’re right, Nachman, although isn’t a dram 1/8 of a British fluid ounce?

    That inexact measuring tool, the teaspoon, is defined variously as between 1 and 1.5 drams. Nineteenth century British sources (such as Observations on Measurement and Weights by Charles Pasley 1834) reckon on one teaspoon as the approximate measure for a dram, and six teaspoons for a fluid ounce, which makes measurement easy if imprecise.

    Scotch snuff in the recipe possibly means Brown Scotch, which is Scotch that has been liquored (moistened) to make it darker and easier to take.
  • "If I do, I'll let you know how it goes!"

    OK try using stalk-flour for the Scotch, moistened in a salt solution.
  • PhilipS, you are right.  I was just guessing before from the size of a dram glass but I looked it up and it is an eighth of an ounce. Still not a lot of whiskey.
  • A wee dram would be even smaller! But in my experience a wee dram has nothing to do with tea spoons.
  • When my mother's family (Scottish immigrants) said they were going to have a 'wee dram' it usually equated to about a fifth.
  • My great grandfather would let God dram it. :-))
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