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

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Melting Pot

May 31, 2020

A melting pot of cultures, Liverpool was once the most important port in the world; a title it won due to a rather audacious 18th century gamble.

During the Georgian era, Liverpool evolved from a tepid backwater of 5,000 people into a global city of 80,000 at boiling point.

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In 1716 the ambitious Merchant Corporation effectively mortgaged the city to fund the construction of the first ever commercial wet dock. It transformed ‘Liuerpul' - meaning muddy pool - and by the end of the 1800s it handled 40% of the world’s trade.

Exports of Cheshire salt and imports of tobacco, tea and sugar gave Liverpool the highest proportion of millionaires (and tooth decay) outside of London.

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Wealthy private members groups such as the Ugly Club and Unanimous Club met to do business and throw debaucherous shindigs, necking imported liquor and dining on roasted turtle from the Caribbean.

The source of their wealth was murkier than the Mersey - trading as they did with Africa and the West Indies - but the 18th century also saw an explosion in civic pride and investment including grandiose neo-classical architecture and lush botanical gardens.

Liverpool was Britain’s most multicultural city, home to Europe’s first Chinatown, England’s first mosque and was flooded with flavours, fashion and homewares from far-fetched lands.

Fittingly this Sunday Brunch recipe from @mickeehh at Liverpool’s @aetherbaruk is a hot Bloody Mary with exotic tastes from the Americas and Africa, served in an oriental soup bowl with a British twist on far-eastern crackers.

INGREDIENTS:

45 ml Broken Clock Vodka
3 Dashes Tabasco
50 ml Harissa Tomato Juice
25 ml Red Wine Vinegar

Garnish:
Cheddar Cracker
Burnt Onion and Tomato Leather

METHOD:

Gently heat and stir the ingredients in a pan (do not boil) then serve.

Harissa Tomato Juice:
Heat 250 ml tomato juice and stir in a tbsp of harissa paste.

Cheddar Cracker:
Place a small amount of grated cheddar cheese on a greaseproof dish in the oven until crisp.

Burnt Onion & Tomato Leather:
Caramelise a red onion with a handful of tomatoes in a pot until very soft. Blend until smooth, strain and dehydrate for 12 hours and then slice.