So, I smoke.  Not a lot, you understand, but even a rock such as myself (ha!) needs a crutch to take the edge off life.  I smoke cloves.  I’m not a goth, I just really like them.  Also, regular cigarettes kill me.

As of September 2009, it is illegal to sell (but not illegal to possess) clove cigarettes anywhere in the US, along with beedis and flavored blunt wraps.  There was some malarkey about how these “candy cigarettes” are more attractive to children and, therefore, a “gateway smoke”.   *rolls eyes*  Yeah, bullshit always goes in quotes.  I’m not going to into all the problems with this stupid, ill-conceived and murky piece of legislation because that would be boring.  At least, for you guys.  (All two of you.)

Djarum and a couple other kretek manufacturers got around the ban by wrapping their cigs in cigar paper.  But these new cigars taste like crap; I would rather smoke herbals than light up another one of them.  So, after researching just how expensive it would be to import my own private stash of clove cigarettes, I just said fuck it and started making my own.  Here’s my recipe for all you desperate clove smokers out there.

50g Pipe tobacco (regular tobacco doesn’t make a good mix)

20g Whole cloves

Bagged tea (one bag makes 6-8 oz)

Brewed tea (use 1 tea bag for 6-8 oz)

Grind your cloves, preferably by hand, being careful not to grind them too fine.  (This will make your tobacco taste like shit.)  Combine ground cloves, tobacco, and the contents of one bag of tea and mix thoroughly.  Pour in enough brewed tea to saturate the mixture.  Place in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place for one day.

Next day:

Thinly spread your tobacco on a cookie sheet.  Heat oven to 200° (at the most) and place tobacco in oven to dry.  Check every 10 minutes until done.  Tobacco should be dry to the touch but not crispy.  Store dried tobacco in airtight container.

Raw papers and filters are, to me, the best stuff out there.  The few others that I tried gave a noticeable menthol-y taste to my cigarettes, even the non-menthol ones.

If you’ve never rolled before, or, like me, can’t manage a hand-roll, my little Job cigarette rollers have worked the best for me.  I tried the roll box, and the metal flap hand roller, but I just couldn’t get them to work.  The plastic ones, by the way, make really good, tight, fat rolls, but those rollers break easily.

If you do use this recipe, please leave feedback.  I’m always looking to refine my recipe, and would appreciate any comments.

EDIT:  So I kinda messed up on the bagged tea measurements.  The ratio should, more accurately, be 20:50:1 instead of 2:5:1.  Oops.  Sorry, ya’ll.


About The Drunken Spinster

Aspiring writer. Lazy Bum. Shameless self-promoter. Sneaker pimp. View all posts by The Drunken Spinster

4 responses to “Vices

  • Cathy

    yeah, i’m pretty sure that banning flavored cigs was an effort to “save the children” as opposed to granting Phillips their monopoly. And menthol is not a flavor. At least not according to the law.

    Anyway, as to your recipe – interesting. Haven’t tried the tea yet, but have thought that a mix of Chai and Earl Gray would kick my fancy.

    To add to your recipe, I also mix in clove essential oil, vanilla extract and ground Cardamom. Without the essential oil, there is no numbing; without vanilla, there is no sweet, without whole cloves (mic for a minute, THEN use mortar and pestle), the flavor is for naught and cardamom kicks the clove.

    Cloves are 2:1; spices are to taste (as they always are). I LOVE my spice, so a capful of vanilla, a capful of essential oil to a quarter of a 5oz bag of tobacco.

    Happy cooking!!

    • The Drunken Spinster


      Thanks for your input! It’s interesting that you should mention Philip Morris, especially since it was nowhere in my post. I do have to disagree with you on this point because menthol, which is a mint blend, was specifically defined as a flavor and just as specifically excluded from the ban. According to the FSPTC Act, the Secretary of Health was supposed to go back and review menthol cigarettes no later than one year from the enactment date. Menthols, which make up about 40% of tobacco sales, were not banned, while all other flavorings accounted for only about 1%. Yeah, I call shenanigans on that.

      I don’t use clove oil, as I’m not fond of the tingling sensation. That was the one thing I never liked about Djarum Blacks. : / Also, I don’t have a microwave. I instead try to compensate with the temperature of the tea. I’m going to try the vanilla and spices this weekend, as well as CHAI! Thank you for bringing up such an amazing option. I can’t wait to see how my sample batches turn out. ^_^

  • kevin

    thanks for the recipe tips !! new to rolling my own.
    have been trying to perfect my own blend,
    to taste something like the recently discontinued djarum black teas.

    following alot of your tips,
    soaked some american spirit tobacco in strong peach/red rose tea,
    mixed with crushed cloves and a hint of vanilla extract, cardamom, cinnamon & the residual tea in the brewed bags
    (along with a little dry stuff),
    and left overnight in a sealed container.
    the ratios were not exact by any means, but were about:

    25 gm of tobacco
    5 gm of cloves (with petals removed before grinding, then added back for the crackle)
    a large pinch of cardamom
    a large pinch of dried cinnamon
    1 bag of dried peach tea
    1 bag of used peach tea (after brewing)
    1 bag of used red rose tea (after brewing)
    a capful of vanilla extract
    didn’t have clove essential oil, or i woulda added a few drops. 😦

    then slowly dried it in an partially open oven on about 150 degrees (mixing it up now & then) & left it just a little moist, like tobacco out of a can or pouch.
    MAN did it smell good.

    the resulting smoke (after injecting it in a tops filter tube),
    was SURPRISINGLY good and smooth.
    unfortunately, i think it needed more flavor,
    with a little more clove, a little more peach,
    a different filter tube (with denser filter)
    a little LESS powder (chunkier mixes smoke better),
    DEFINATELY a little essential oil,
    and some high-quality indonesian or asian tobacco (maduran or “srintil”).
    american spirit OK, and loaded with nicotine, but not robust enough.
    don’t know enough about tobaccos to elaborate more.

    will keep experimenting & post back if more successful.
    already happy with my mix more than any packaged cloves
    other than the black teas or sampoerna dji sam soe’s.

    hope others add their tips & experiences.

    • The Drunken Spinster


      Thanks for commenting! You’ve given me some great ideas. I’m going to experiment with different flavors and methods this weekend, and will definitely keep the vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom in mind. I also heard honey is a good additive. I’ve primarily used plain teas in my sauce, so I’d really like to see what more exotic teas might taste like.

      As to robustness, are you talking about the initial flavor of the tobacco or the fragrance of the of the shag and mellowness of the smoke?

      Here’s a site I found today:

      Mighty interesting stuff. I wonder if I can find a text on the subject.

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