Black Drop

[ Black Drop ] Sarah Creighton Wilkins

Contributors
Contributor Role
Compiler
Contributor Name
Sarah Creighton Wilkins

Date: Late 18th or early 19th century; exact date unknown.

Publication Format
Manuscript

Type
Medicine

Ingredients
opium
verjuice
nutmeg
saffron
sugar
yeast

Places
Halifax
Nova Scotia

Source: Manuscript Notebook of Sarah Creighton Wilkins
Institution: Nova Scotia Archives | Source Origin: MacDonald Family Fonds | Reference: MG 1 No. 1 / Microfilm Reel 10,618

Description

A recipe for a medicinal syrup with opium. There are a number of extant recipes for Black Drop, which may have been first devised in County Durham in the 1750s.


Images
Transcription

            Black drop

Take ½ a pound of Opium sliced
3 pints of good Verjuice, 1 once & ½ 
of Nutmeg, ½ an once of Saffron
Boil them to a proper thickness
then add a ¼ of a pound of Sugar
2 spoonful of Yeast set the whole
in a warm place near the fire
for 6 or 8 weeks. Then place it
{...} the open air until it becomes a Syrup

Annotations
Black drop
"A dark-coloured liquid medicine composed of opium in vinegar or verjuice with various spices" (OED). The first use recorded in the OED is from 1801.