Mark and I went to a wedding last weekend which featured a fabulous signature cocktail — the Pimm’s Cup, which is best known as the official drink of Wimbledon, and which was significant as the preferred cocktail of the bride’s father. So refreshing and sweet for a summer wedding, we kept wondering how we’d never had a Pimm’s Cup before — and vowed to find a recipe for re-creating it at home. I’ve tried to do that here.
According to Chow.com, Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based concoction made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices, and spices. Served with lemon soda or ginger ale, it becomes a Pimm’s Cup. Pimm’s No. 1 was created in the mid-18th century by English oyster bar owner James Pimm. The recipe is still a secret; supposedly, only six people know exactly how it is made. It has a dark, golden brown color, a medium body, and a taste of quinine, citrus fruits, and spice. Its low alcohol content of only 25% has made Pimm’s a drink to have when you are having more than one.
- 2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
- 1/2 ounce gin, preferably Hendrick’s
- Ginger Ale
- Cucumber, coarsely chopped or sliced
- Lemon or orange, sliced into thin rounds
Place cucumber in the bottom of a cocktail glass (a tall Collins glass like the one shown is preferable). Add ice. Pour over the Pimm’s, then the gin (you can omit this if you want the drink to be less strong) and fill the glass with ginger ale. Garnish with berries and lemon (or orange) slices. Optional alterations: instead of ginger ale, use a tart lemon soda like San Pellegrino Limonata; I’ve heard this makes a great Pimm’s Cup but some ingredient in that particular brand of beverage — though delicious — triggers a migraine for me. I’ve also seen recipes that called for muddling the cucumber in a shaker first, then adding the Pimm’s No. 1 and pouring over ice, to which you’d then add your preferred soda mixer. Finally, I’ve also seen recipes that call for adding fresh lemon juice to the cocktail, but I didn’t prefer that. However you make it, enjoy a toast to summer!
Just can’t get enough? Neither can the New York Times. Read all about their obsession with this popular summertime libation.