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Anyone for Pimms? History and Recipe for Pimm's

Pimm's Recipe



The Perfect Summer Drink - Pimms

Elaine Lemm

Watch My Video on Making the Perfect Pimms

A hot English summer's day, watching Wimbledon, perhaps a spot of village cricket or simply lazing in the back garden, one essential drink must be a glass of Pimm's, an English summer drink through and through.Pimm's is so quick and easy to prepare as you can see in the recipe below for a Pimm's No 1 cup.

The drink is so popular it is often thought of as the number two English drink, tea of course being the first.

History of Pimm's

Pimm's originated in an Oyster Bar in Poultry Street, in the City of London, owned by James Pimm in 1840. Here he created the Pimm's 'house Cup' flavoured with liqueurs, and fruit extracts.

He rapidly built up a chain of restaurants in a variety of locations, including The Old Bailey and other places "to be seen" for City businessmen of the day. James Pimm is said to have blended his famous 'No 1 Cup', on the premises and it was then sold in pints in pewter tankards. By 1859, Pimm's was on sale outside of the restaurants and in 1865, the company was sold to Frederick Sawyer and the first bottle of Pimm's was sold for 3 shillings.

The company was sold on again in 1875, this time to Sir Horatio Davies, who in the following years expanded the sale of the drink. It could be found not only the UK, but also throughout the British Empire and the association of the drink with all things British began.

The No 1 cup is as popular today as ever. The first Pimm's bar opened at the world-famous Wimbledon tennis tournament in 1971, and every year over 80,000 pints of Pimm's with Lemonade are sold to spectators.

Recipe for Traditional Pimm's No 1

This recipe is so, so, easy.
  • Take a jug (if you want to make several glasses) or a glass and add as much ice as you like.
  • Pour one part Pimm's No. 1 with three parts lemonade over the ice.
  • Add mint leaves, thin cucumber slices, orange slices and strawberry (all or some depending on what you prefer) and serve.
It doesn't come easier than that.

What are the the Other Pimm's Cups?

The original Pimm's No 1 was made using gin, quinine and a secret mixture of herbs as an aid to digestion. After the Second World War, the range was extended using other spirit bases - Scotch for No. 2 cup, No. 3 brandy, No. 4 rum, No. 5 rye and No. 6 vodka. Only the vodka cup and brandy (now called Winter) remain in production with the original No. 1 cup still the most popular.

Watch My Video on Making the Perfect Pimms

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