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Anyone for Pimm’s? The original British Summer drink

British Summer - Pimm's

Can you have a summer without a bottle of Pimm’s on hand? It’s a great a starter when you are creating cocktails but did you know it been around for a very long time?

Pimm’s, which is something between a fruit cup and a liqueur, started life before 1900 with a farmer’s son from Kent called Pimm.  He became the owner of an oyster bar in the City of London, near the Bank of England. He offered the tonic (a gin-based drink containing a secret mixture of herbs and liqueurs) as an aid to digestion, serving it in a small tankard known as a “No. 1 Cup”, hence its subsequent name. Pimm’s began large-scale production in 1851 to keep up with sales to other bars.

The original drink and combination is called ‘number one’ cup, others were created but dropped during the 1970/80’s. However you can still find numbers 1,3 and 6. The list comes from Wikipedia where you can find the longer history of Pimm’s.

  • Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is based on gin and can be served both on ice or in cocktails. It has a dark-tea colour with a reddish tint, and tastes subtly of spice and citrus fruit. It is often taken with “English-style” (clear and carbonated) lemonade, as well as various chopped fresh ingredients, particularly apples, cucumber, oranges, lemons, strawberry, and borage, though nowadays most substitutemint. Ginger ale is a common substitute for lemonade. Pimm’s can also be mixed with Champagne (or a sparkling white wine), called a “Pimm’s Royal Cup”. Its base as bottled is 25 percent alcohol by volume.
    • can also be purchased as a pre-mixed fortified lemonade (Pimm’s & Lemonade) in 250 ml cans or 1-litre bottles, at 5.4 percent.
  • Pimm’s No. 2 Cup was based on Scotch whisky. Currently phased out.
  • Pimm’s No. 3 Cup is based on brandy. Phased out, but a version infused with spices and orange peel marketed as Pimm’s Winter Cup is now seasonally available.
  • Pimm’s No. 4 Cup was based on rum. Currently phased out.
  • Pimm’s No. 5 Cup was based on rye whiskey. Currently phased out.
  • Pimm’s No. 6 Cup is based on vodka. It is still produced, but in small quantities.

From there started a history of a great drink which has become synonymous with summer. Speaking of which…

If you are still celebrating Andy Murray’s win yesterday at Wimbledon then perhaps a few Pimm’s recipes won’t go amiss. These and more can be found on the ‘AnyOne For Pimm’s’  website.

PIMM’s Original

PIMM’s Original

Take a jug or long drink glass and fill it with ice.

Mix 1 part PIMM’S* No.1 with 3 parts chilled lemonade; add some mint, cucumber, orange and strawberry

* When entertaining, fill a jug with 200ml of PIMM’S and top up with lemonade: 5.2 UK units of alcohol, and for a long drink glass use 50ml of PIMM’S and top up with lemonade: 1.3 UK units of alcohol. Makes 4-5 long drinks depending on the size of the glass. Now enjoy the real taste of summer.

PIMM’s Ginger

PIMM’s Ginger

Take a jug or long drink glass and fill it with ice.

Mix 1 part PIMM’S* No.1, with 3 parts ginger ale; add a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint

* For a jug use 200ml of PIMM’S and top up with ginger ale: 5.2 UK units of alcohol, and for a long drink glass use 50ml of PIMM’S and top up with ginger ale: 1.3 UK units of alcohol. Makes 4-5 long drinks depending on the size of the glass. Now, enjoy the real taste of summer.

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