“Stranger,
here you will do well to linger; here our highest good is pleasure”
Epicurus

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November 15, 2020

He was but a common Englishman – yet he forged an empire, led the nation and won the hearts of Somerset’s cider farmers too.

Today marks the birth date of William Pitt the Elder, a commanding gent deemed to be one of Britain’s greatest Prime Ministers, despite spending only two years officially in the role.

He actually spent four decades pulling the political strings in the 18th century and his rather legendary obsession with giving French forces a good pasting around the World meant that Britannia ruled the seas; ultimately giving birth to the British Empire.
IMG_1655_20-11-13_Broken_Clock_Lingering_Vodka_Cider_Mary.jpg Pitt was nicknamed ‘The Great Commoner’ as unusually for a British leader he didn’t come from noble peerage. Even when he was running the country he refused to take the title of Prime Minister – only reluctantly accepting the title at the request of King.

He was a patriotic gent who passionately championed the nation’s people, culture, food and drink – so it’s little wonder he already had gout aged just 21.

Pitt famously blocked a new ten shilling tax on a hogshead of cider, making him a hero in the Westcountry and leading to one wealthy orchard owner bequeathing Pitt his entire Somerset estate and fortune.

William got his friend Capability Brown to remodel the Curry Rivel estate into an exquisite English landscaped garden and despite Pitt having illustrious places named after him across the globe – including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – this green and pleasant corner of Blighty is as fine a tribute to Pitt the Elder as any.

Pitt defended the British Empire right until his death in 1778 when he collapsed in the House of Lords during his last ever speech having declared, “If the Americans defend independence they shall find me in their way!”

Our Sunday Brunch serve is a rather British concoction in honour of The Great Commoner, with Somerset cider, Isle of Wight Yellow cherry tomatoes and our quintessentially English vodka.

INGREDIENTS:

50 ml Broken Clock Vodka
50 ml Yellow Tomato Juice
10 ml Cider Vinegar
10 ml Gomme
5 ml Lemon Juice
3 dashes Green Tabasco
3 Basil Leaves
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Dry Sparking Farmhouse Cider

METHOD:

Build the cocktail over ice, stir and top with cider.