Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based potation made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices, and spices. Served with lemon soda or ginger ale, it becomes a Pimm’s Cup. Pimm’s No. 1 was created in the mid-18th century by English oyster bar owner James Pimm. The recipe is still a secret; supposedly, only six people know exactly how it is made. It has a dark, golden brown color, a medium body, and a taste of quinine, citrus fruits, and spice. Its low alcohol content of only 25 percent has made Pimm’s a drink to have when you are having more than one. As was customary at the time, Pimm served the cocktail in tankards—hence the name Pimm’s Cup. The rage for this relative of the Sling became so great that Pimm mass-produced and bottled it along with Pimm’s 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6: whiskey, brandy, rum, rye, and vodka, respectively. Detractors have likened the earthy mixture to liquid dirt mellowed by iodine, but the Pimm’s Cup is still the traditional drink of Wimbledon, with visitors to the matches consuming some 40,000 pints a year. The addition of a cucumber slice gives the drink some truck as a health food.
- Yield: 1 drink
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: Under 5 mins
- Active: Under 5 mins
- 1/2-inch thick English cucumber wheel
- 1/2-inch thick lemon wheel
- 2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
- 4 ounces 7UP, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale
- lemon twist
Gently muddle the cucumber and lemon slices in a chilled highball glass. Pour in the Pimm’s and 7UP, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale, and stir to combine. Add ice to fill the glass and garnish with the lemon twist.