Just recently we were talking about punches. And yeah, punches rock but something like a Fish House Punch takes a bit of organising and preperation. What if we want to make a nice summery drink for a small group or even just individually without all that fuss? Then we turn to the Pimm’s Cup. Before we get to the recipe we’d better get up to date on the main ingredient – Pimm’s (well, what did you expect?)
Waaay back in 1823 James Pimm, owner of a London oyster bar came up with a concoction that was a kind of ready made gin punch containing a variety of (still) secret additions. This he called his Pimm’s No.1 Cup. Now where this gets a little confusing is that this product is called a Pimm’s Cup but so is a drink made using it. Get used to it – that’s just how it is. Over the years other bottled formulas came and went which used other bases; Scotch, brandy, rum, rye, vodka and tequila. Don’t worry about it as they’re all essentially extinct and we now just call Pimm’s No.1 Cup “Pimm’s” and be done with it. Pimm’s is the quintessential English summer drink to sip while watching cricket, tennis and probably fucking polo too I would imagine. Pimm’s is essentially an English amaro if a somewhat light and approachable one. It’s not strong (ABV 25%), it’s not particularly distinctive but, hey, it’s not expensive, it’s damn refreshing and it’s spectacularly simple to mix into a jug or glass. The traditional way to make a Pimm’s Cup is to pour a few glugs into an iced pitcher and top up with either British style lemonade (ie. Sprite/7 Up) or, less commonly, ginger beer (or ginger ale). Usually some combination of sliced citrus, cucumber and mint are thrown in too. And that’s it – you’re ready to hob-nob with Rupert, Jennifer and St John, discussing how wahnderful Brexit has been while wondering why the price of fresh fruit has gone through the roof. Pricks.
Cup it up!
But I think we can do better. What if we did a deconstructed/reconstructed Pimm’s Cup and ditched the cucumber* along the way? It’s not going to be significantly more difficult and it tastes a lot better. Presented here is an individual serving but just scale directly up as required. Chin chin!
Pimm’s Cup (Proof version).
2oz / 60ml Pimm’s No 1.
1oz / 30ml fresh lemon juice.
0.75oz / 22ml simple syrup (1:1) – or optionally ginger syrup.
Build over ice in a tall glass or tankard. Add some sliced citrus and a few mint leaves. Top up with soda and stir gently. You don’t really need to garnish it any further but I did anyway.
Toast Jim Pimm.
*I despise those nasty things that seem to creep into everything these days.