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Cocktail, S’il Vous Plait

World’s Greatest Pimm’s Cup

Pimm's Cup

Pimm's LiqueurThis weekend was the Summer Solstice, marking the first day of summer.  I always like to have friends over as it is (1) the anniversary of when we moved into this house and (2) how could you not want to celebrate summer!  And I think a wonderful way to welcome summer via cocktail is a Pimm’s Cup.  A Pimm’s what, you say?  Yes, I thought so, too.  I was introduced to this delicious summery drink by my English friend, Sarah.  The cocktail includes a liqueur popular in England but not as much in the U.S.  That’s because I didn’t know about it until a few years ago.  Now everyone will know about it, right?!

Pimm’s is a gin-based drink containing a “secret mixture of herbs and liqueurs”, first created by James Pimm in 1823.  Pimm served it in a small mug known as a “No. 1 Cup”, hence the full name – Pimm’s No. 1 Cup.  Pimm’s makes other brands based on other spirits – No. 2 Cup is Scotch whiskey, No. 3 Cup was brandy, etc.  But Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is what we want to use for our fun-time summertime drink.  It is dark in color, looks a little like tea, and tastes like a combo of citrus and spices.

Now I’ve had a so-called Pimm’s Cup in a few establishments and it just cannot compare to Sarah’s recipe.  That’s why it’s best made at home.  You can make a single drink or a pitcher for a party.  Either way it will be delicious and I guarantee the World’s Greatest Pimm’s Cup! 

First we need our accoutrements (fancy French word I like to use for “stuff we want to put in this drink”).  I’m sure you could try different fruits and herbs, but she introduced it this way, so I like it this way – with strawberries, oranges, cucumbers, and fresh mint. 

Pimm's Cup Ingredients

Next we need the mixing liquid to add to the Pimm’s.  Sarah uses Sprite or 7-Up (or any carbonated lemon-lime beverage, really – p.s. I tried this with Squirt and it was also delicious).  FYI, the English call lemon-lime soda “lemonade” so don’t be confused if you order it there.  In the U.S. we have our own variation of lemonade – it’s usually water, lemons, sugar (no carbonation) which I don’t think would taste as good.  Also, some don’t like the sweetness that lemon-lime soda provides and opt to use tonic or club soda.  I likah the sweet.  I have not tried a “Pimm’s Royal Cup”, which I believe is a variation using champagne (oohlala!).

Pimm's Cup

Now we are ready to mix.  Cutup the fixin’s (ok now I’m from the South!) and add to the glass of choice, which I think should be a nice-sized stemmed or stemless goblet.  Muddle the fruit a little with a spoon and add some ice.  Pour in 1/3 Pimm’s to 2/3 7-Up.  Stir a little and serve!  

Et voila or Cheerio Cheers, I guess I should say to be a little more English?!  (p.s. I don’t think they really say that, it just sounds fun with the accent).  Ooh, and you know what’s really fun is to serve this on July 4 in America.  Boldly declare your independence from the crown but your dependence on their liqueur.  Viva la Brittania!  Ok, I’ll stop mixing French and English now.  🙂  Enjoy!

Pimm's Cup