Looking to add a touch of sophistication to your seasonal cocktail menu? Few drinks say summer more than the Pimm’s Cup.
Long considered one of the quintessential cocktails of England, and the official one of Wimbledon, this refreshing, low alcohol sipper will quickly class up brunch or any other gathering, and is fast becoming the new darling for bridal showers.
The Pimm’s Cup was born in 1823, when James Pimm, an oyster bar owner who designed the gin-based tonic as a digestive aid, served it in a small tankard known as a “No. 1 Cup”. This eventually led to his original creation drawing the name “Pimm’s No. 1”.
Pimm’s also released a vodka-based cup flavored with blackberry and elderflower earlier this year.
The standard Pimm’s No. 1 has a dark-brown color with a reddish tint, and tastes subtly of spice and citrus. It is primarily a gin-infused concoction, flavored with a unique plethora of various fruit peels, herbs, and exotic botanicals, including quinine, which provides its dry finish (and which was an early inclusion to aid in the oyster digestion). According to legend, the actual Pimm’s recipe is known to only six people.
There are many variations of the classic Pimm’s Cup recipe. Referred to as “fruit salad in a glass” by many bartenders, most importantly, the cup should include cucumber and mint (or the difficult to find domestically borage) as its garnish.
The traditional drink in England is mixed with “lemonade”, their form of carbonated, sweet lemon soda. Ginger ale is the most common mix here, although simple lemon lime soda or San Pellegrino Limonata work well.
- 2 oz Pimm’s No. 1
- 3 oz Ginger ale or lemon lime soda
- cucumber slice
- Strawberry, hulled and cut into quarters
- Orange and lemon wedges (optional additions: apple slices, lime, cherry)
- Sprig of Mint
In a highball glass, add all the fruit then fill glass with ice. Pour in the Pimm’s No. 1 and slide in the cucumber. Top with the soda and stir gently. Garnish with mint.
You can find the classic Pimm’s, and the recently released blackberry version, at Wyatt’s Wet Goods in Longmont.