With Wimbledon right around the corner (it starts July 3), it’s time to start sipping the popular British cocktail known as a Pimm’s Cup. The liqueur featured is Pimm’s Cup No. 1, a gin-based spirit with a spiced fruit flavor that originated at the Oyster Bar in London. Legend has it that back in 1832 the owner, James Pimm, started serving guests a gin-based beverage containing quinine and a secret blend of spices, which would supposedly aid digestion. This magic elixir was served in small tankards known as No. 1 Cups. The drink’s popularity steadily grew, and by the end of the 19th century, it was well-known throughout the United Kingdom. The first Pimm’s bar opened at Wimbledon in 1971, and these days, they serve 320,000 glasses of Pimm’s each year. Even if you aren’t a tennis fan, this refreshing summer sip is perfect for brunch or cocktails on the deck. So grab a pitcher and these simple ingredients and get mixing.
Pimm’s Original Recipe*
- 1 part Pimm’s Cup No. 1
- 3 parts lemonade (the British version is clear and carbonated*)
- Mint, orange and/or strawberries for garnish
- Cucumber slice or peel for garnish
- Pour the liqueur into a tall glass filled with ice cubes.
- Add the lemonade.
- Garnish with the cucumber and any combination of mint, orange or strawberries.
*To make your drink fizzy, use sparkling lemonade or any clear soda (or use sparkling water as a portion of the water while mixing lemonade).