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

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Quintessentially English

April 30, 2020

Broken Clock’s quintessentially English vodka pairs perfectly with our nation’s inclement climes; and what could be more stereotypically British than sheltering under the humble umbrella?

England’s love affair with the weather is legendary and we have an uniquely affectionate tolerance for drizzle and downpours. It is said that Eskimos have 50 ways to describe snow and it’s no surprise that the English language has nearly as many ways to talk about the rain! So it’s little wonder that wet weather and indeed the umbrella has long been the subject of many a wise crack.

Our vodka is crafted in the frequently soggy North of England and the Broken Clock story and recipe come from English country gardens and books written in the Georgian era, which as it happens is the very same period that umbrellas were first unfurled and made popular in the British Isles.

Described as an Englishman’s dearest and truest friend, it’s surprising to learn that the first gentlemen to brandish the brolly in public not only received a torrent of ridicule but were also seen by some as a dangerous threat. ⁣

In his oft-forgotten 1855 book Umbrellas And Their History, William Sangster writes that 18th century gents seen in society with these new-fangled apparatus were held to be ‘legitimate butts’.⁣

⁣As more people adopted this functional contraption, the hackney coachmen began to see the umbrella as a fundamental danger to their trade - just as their coaches had once been looked upon by the watermen - and pedestrians carrying umbrellas on London’s streets would have rubbish tossed at them by irate cabbies as they passed by.⁣

But the British are not without common sense and thankfully attitudes soon changed and the umbrella became an indispensable accessory for any respectable Englishman, particularly when protecting your afternoon tipple from being diluted by an unexpected shower.