A Pimm’s cup cocktail (Pimm’s and lemonade) is such a classic, easy British cocktail. It’s light, fresh and perfect for summer barbecues, picnics or any excuse you can find.
Having been brought up in Britain, you might think I grew up knowing about Pimm’s, but I didn’t. Growing up in Scotland, it wasn’t popular there (at least when I was young).
It was only when I became a student and moved to the South of England that I discovered it. It was a part of many a summer get-together, being so easy to mix up, refreshing and light. It’s the perfect drink for a warm day. Actually maybe that’s why it’s less popular in Scotland – we don’t have as many of them!
What is Pimm’s?
Pimm’s No 1 is a gin-based spirit that’s full of herbal flavors. It’s called “No 1” as originally, a whole range of Pimm’s spirits were available, using different spirits as a base . Over time, though, No 1 became the favorite, and it’s only more recently that the Pimm’s Winter Cup has been introduced, that’s basically the old No 3.
Given the complexity of flavors in Pimm’s, it means this cocktail has a much more complex flavor than you’d imagine for only two ingredients. It’s a bit less alcoholic than most spirits and the flavor is very refreshing, which makes it perfect to sip in the sunshine (try my Pimm’s mojito for another tasty option).
Pimm’s Cup Cocktail or Pimm’s and Lemonade?
I was lucky enough to go to Wimbledon one year and it was a fantastic experience. Yes, we saw some great tennis, but there’s also just such a great sense of history and Englishness as you walk around the grounds. And yes, you can buy Pimm’s there.
However in the UK, we don’t actually call it a Pimm’s cup cocktail as in the US, but instead is typically called “Pimm’s and lemonade” since lemonade is the name for Sprite or 7UP in the UK.
Confusing, I know, but there’s nothing confusing about how tasty and easy a Pimm’s cup cocktail or Pimm’s and lemonade is.
How to make the perfect Pimm’s cup cocktail (Pimm’s and lemonade)
It’s really as simple as this to make a Pimm’s cup cocktail:
- Fill a high ball/collins glass with ice.
- Add your garnishes – I recommend sliced strawberry, cucumber, lemon and mint.
- Pour in the Pimm’s No 1.
- Top up the glass with Sprite, 7UP or you can use ginger ale.
Is a Pimm’s Cup also a New Orlean’s cocktail?
You’ll see I mention ginger ale as an alternative above. There’s actually a variation on a Pimm’s Cup that’s common in New Orlean’s, having been made popular in a bar there. The New Orlean’s version uses ginger beer, often with a bit of lemon in there too, to add to the spice flavoring.
As the weather get’s warmer, find any excuse to hunt down some Pimm’s and make this classic Pimm’s cup cocktail. It’s incredibly easy, and perfect summer sipping.
Looking for more summer drinks? Try these:
And why not add some tasty non-alcoholic options:
Pimm's cup cocktail
- 2 slices cucumber
- 1 strawberry sliced
- 2 slices lemon
- 4 mint leaves
- 1 1/2 oz Pimms No 1 45ml
- 3 oz sprite 90ml, or 7Up, can use ginger ale as well
- ice to serve
- Fill a collins/high ball glass most of the way with ice. Add in the cucumber, strawberry, lemon and mint as you go, reserving a slice of strawberry and lemon for garnish.
- Add the Pimm's No 1 to the glass then top up with Sprite (or 7UP/ginger ale). Decorate the glass with the reserved strawberry and lemon slice.
I first shared the recipe Pimm’s Cup Cocktail on the Sunday Supper Movement site, where I am a contributor.
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