HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
What have you made lately? Tell us about it

Pimm's #1 Cup

betty Aug 3, 2004 09:44 AM

Can anyone tell me what this is and how to serve it?

  1. b
    bg90027 Jun 18, 2012 05:19 PM

    I had always been curious about this drink after having a friend rave about having them at a regatta in England many years ago. This thread gave me the motivation to track down some ingredients and finally try them.

    I used Lorina Sparkling Lemonade as the mixer and garnished with a cucumber slice and strawberry slice. It's quite a refreshing drink, is fairly light on the alcohol so more "sessionable" than most of the cocktails I'd gravitate to, and is much easier to make than most of what I drink. It certainly is a good summer libation. It's more refreshing than flavorful though.

    1. Dapuma Jun 18, 2012 12:14 PM

      The Pimm's Cup experiement never happened, my friend decided not to get a bunch of ingredients and just went with pimm's and some ginger beer and lemonade mixed together - which i didnt think that much of but everyone else liked it

      The Pimm's by itself tasted like a low powered jaeger style of drink, strange tasting - not sure it is worth the effort to make it good or not

      1. EvergreenDan Jun 4, 2012 03:50 PM

        I played around with some Pimm's tonight and am wondering if the best way to drink Pimm's is just on the rocks with some lemon.

        Pimm's is quiet mild and gets easily lost in a cocktail.

        4 Replies
        1. re: EvergreenDan
          hawkeyeui93 Jun 4, 2012 04:21 PM

          And isn't it essentially a "gin" cocktail in its own right?

          1. re: hawkeyeui93
            EvergreenDan Jun 4, 2012 05:22 PM

            Yes. I think Yarm pointed this out at some point in some thread somewhere.

            1. re: EvergreenDan
              hawkeyeui93 Jun 4, 2012 05:26 PM

              Sometimes less is more ....

          2. re: EvergreenDan
            EvergreenDan Jun 4, 2012 05:37 PM

            Perhaps I was a bit hasty. I think that when combined with other low flavor density ingredient (like mild spirits, juice, etc) it can't carry the cocktail.. It *can* work in a cocktail where the flavor is carried by other high flavor density ingredients (like an amaro, an herbal liqueur, sweet vermouth, etc).

          3. Dapuma Jun 1, 2012 09:29 AM

            Anyone have a good variation on the Pimms cup

            I am thinking Pimms, bit of Hendricks to punch it up, with Cucumber Mint and what else and what ratios - do i use tonic or soda in it? seems that there is alot of variety - can use lemon or lime? I do not want to use Sprite in it

            Wife of a friend had Pimms cup a month ago when we were out, and it is my job to recreate a version of it for this weekend

            I have never had a Pimm's Cup or I may have tried one but i dont remember the flavor at all so i just have to go off of experience and what i have read about it

            13 Replies
            1. re: Dapuma
              EvergreenDan Jun 1, 2012 05:13 PM

              The problem with a proper Pimm's Cup is that, well, it's rather a lousy drink. Take perfectly delicious Pimms and add some horrible sugary soda pop, like ginger ale, 7-Up, Sprite. Yuck.

              Much better is to either drink it with soda (or tonic) and some lemon, or try something wonderful like:

              Pimm's Up
              by Kirk Estopinal, Cure

              1 oz Genever, Bols
              1 oz Pimm's No. 1 Cup
              3/4 oz Lemon juice
              3/4 oz Simple syrup (1:1)
              7 dr Celery bitters
              2 dr Celery bitters (as garnish)

              Shake and strain into a chilled coupe; Garnish with two drops of celery bitters.

              My notes: Light and refreshing. 1/2oz of simple is plenty. Used Bols and Scrappy's bitters. Careful with the celery bitters; they are very potent. If you don't have celery bitters, I bet you could muddle a few pieces of celery.

              www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

              1. re: EvergreenDan
                Dapuma Jun 2, 2012 02:33 PM

                I dont have celery bitters, although i do have rhubarb (brooklyn hemispherical)

                The one my wife's friend liked had some ginger ale (housemade) and tonic in it (housemade) so i figured fever tree would be a good sub or perhaps use their ginger beer with tonic / bitter lemon to cut it and use cucumber mint and strawberry lemon? I have seen bitter lemon canada dry suggested as well - not sure why strawberry is mentioned in the recipes online doesnt seem to fit with the rest of the ingredients unless it needs the sweet...

                If i go 1 - 1 Pimms v Hendricks I am afraid i will overpower the pimms...and i want to drink to be on the rocks - did they use bols because the proof is lower in that drink?

                1. re: Dapuma
                  EvergreenDan Jun 2, 2012 05:54 PM

                  Pimm's is pretty strong; I don't think it will overpower the Hendrinks in a 1:1 cocktail.

                  I have no idea why he chose Bols -- may just be availability.

                  1. re: EvergreenDan
                    Dapuma Jun 2, 2012 06:01 PM

                    Ok thanks ED - Ill let you know what i come up with next weekend

                    Guess Ill start with 1:1 then and go from there

                    Never had ginger beer - what is the primary difference from the ginger beer to ginger ale? Is it just the sweetness?

                    1. re: Dapuma
                      EvergreenDan Jun 2, 2012 06:51 PM

                      Ginger beer is spicy-hot, much like fresh ginger. Ginger ale is more similar to dried ginger, as you now -- mild.

                      Ginger Beer varies quite a bit by brand, too.

                  2. re: Dapuma
                    hawkeyeui93 Jun 2, 2012 06:02 PM

                    I thought Bols Genever was highly regarded ... After all, it is the world's most authentic spirit [according to Bols].

                    1. re: hawkeyeui93
                      EvergreenDan Jun 2, 2012 06:50 PM

                      Bols Genever is very good. I didn't mean to imply otherwise.

                      1. re: EvergreenDan
                        Dapuma Jun 2, 2012 11:42 PM

                        Wynand Fockink has their online ordering finally online, was there when I was in Amsterdam, it is pretty awesome stuff, didnt make it to Bols though


                        might have to get an order in...been waiting a year to have some of their stuff again

                        1. re: EvergreenDan
                          JMF Jun 3, 2012 09:17 AM

                          With Bols you have to remember it's a Genever, not a dry gin. Very different flavor profile.

                    2. re: EvergreenDan
                      Jenny Ondioline Jun 4, 2012 02:20 PM

                      US-based claims that British lemonade is akin to Sprite or 7Up are working from bad intel. A closer approximation to British lemonade is San Pellegrino limonata: it trends slightly in the opposite direction from American soft drinks (a bit too tart as opposed to absurdly too sweet), but works much much better in a Pimms Cup than any standard lemon-lime soda. And it's increasingly easy to find in the states as well!

                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                        Dapuma Jun 4, 2012 07:21 PM

                        has anyone had fever tree bitter lemon

                        i can get that pretty easily (or my friend can he is financing the Pimm's Cup adventure for his wife) - so far i have a massive list to make 4 or 5 different variations (should be fun heh) Pimm's Cup Adventures t minus 12 days heh

                        1. re: Dapuma
                          JMF Jun 14, 2012 07:38 AM

                          Fever Tree bitter lemon is excellent, and makes a great Pimm's Cup.

                          1. re: JMF
                            Dapuma Jun 14, 2012 09:40 AM

                            Pimm's Cup showdown is only 48 hours away :)

                  3. k
                    kbm Apr 30, 2011 06:04 PM

                    A Pimm's Chukker
                    2 parts Pimms
                    1 part gin
                    club soda
                    garnish with fresh mint or lime
                    (over ice, of course)

                    1. h
                      hattie Aug 5, 2004 11:59 AM

                      It's such a wonderful drink. They have stands selling it at the Chelsea Flower show in London, and it certainly makes the crowds more bearable. Gotta love English gardeners!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hattie
                        joypirate Aug 5, 2004 08:50 PM

                        This reminds me of a book I saw the other day in an 'Anthropologie' store called 'Meet me in the bar', a pretty cool book that I'm thinking of picking up. It's got lots of good pictures of different hotel bars across the country with accompanying drink recipes unique to those hotel bars. Kind of cool. A Pimm's Cup was included. Also included was a drink or two from Boston's Oak Room, where Dax & I recently did some impressive damage to their booze inventory. It made me nostalgic while here in Philly.

                        Buy it on Amazon through this link and give some money to the 'hound!

                        Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/...

                      2. f
                        fladd Aug 4, 2004 01:05 PM

                        I keep it really simple - 1 part Pimm's to 3 parts soda water, garnished with cucumber. A huge hit at summer parties.

                        1. s
                          Sallie Aug 4, 2004 12:48 PM

                          We make ours with ginger ale and lemon juice, garnished with a cucumber slice floater. Sometimes one over the side to stay near the nose, as well. (Perfect summer drink; minor crisis this spring when there was a distributor issue....)

                          1. w
                            woo! Aug 3, 2004 05:06 PM

                            I generally use ginger ale instead of sprite/7up... cucumber slices, lemon wedge, and good sized piece of cucumber skin/rind as a garnish. Also have heard it referred to as a Pimm's Chukker... as in Polo.

                            It is one of my wifes FAVORITE summer drinks.

                            I believe, but cannot be certain, that Pimm's may be a gin derivative.

                            1. j
                              JudiAU Aug 3, 2004 01:12 PM

                              Garnish is key. Cucumber, mint, and strawberry are the minimum garnishes in our house.

                              We use imported British lemonade if we can find it or one of the French sparkling lemondades or sprite with extra soda water if we are pinched.

                              1. l
                                lucia Aug 3, 2004 11:30 AM

                                It's important to know (which neither link below is clear on) that the classic Pimm's recipe in England calls for "lemonade", but English lemonade is not at all like American lemonade, and the link below calling for "fresh lemonade" is absolutely wrong. The closest American appoximation is Sprite.

                                To make a classic Pimm's (as opposed to the "royal Pimm's cup, given in the other link below}, mix:

                                1 part Pimm's
                                2-3 parts Sprite

                                in a tall glass. Garnish with cucumber slice, orange slice, lemon slice, mint. May be served over ice, but usually not in England.

                                True that it's the drink of choice at Henley, but also a very good garden party drink. Don't have too much, though. The various aromatics in Pimm's are similar to those in Campari (though the drink is very different) and will give you a giant headache taken in excess.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: lucia
                                  WLA Aug 3, 2004 11:40 AM

                                  "In England Pimms Cup is served with lemonade, that is, the British style of lemonade, comparable to our lemon-lime soda."....

                                  From the body of the link I provided.

                                  1. re: WLA
                                    lucia Aug 3, 2004 12:13 PM

                                    My apologies, WLA. I missed that!

                                    1. re: lucia
                                      WLA Aug 3, 2004 12:20 PM

                                      The author went on to say that they liked to use lemonade and then add a splash of soda to the mix as they opined that since, in the days when the drink was first invented there was no lemon-lime soda, they thought that this came close to what the drink actually tasted like "way back when". I kind of like that type of thinking, where you analyze the original recipe from a hundred years ago and then see how close you can come to duplicating it.

                                      I thought that this was a pretty carefully reached article in terms of authenticity after reading it through.

                                      1. re: WLA
                                        Nathan P. Aug 3, 2004 01:54 PM

                                        Though I did not see it credited that author of that is Dale DeGroff and it is included in his Craft of the Cocktail book. Interestingly his Pim's cup recipe in the book is slightly different using only 3oz of lemonade.


                                  2. re: lucia
                                    GretchenS Aug 3, 2004 01:00 PM

                                    The giant headache part I can testify to from personal experience!! That's a very sneaky, albeit tasty, drink....

                                    1. re: lucia
                                      bulavinaka Apr 30, 2011 06:36 PM

                                      The British lemonade is far less sour and seems to rely more on the zest and pith for its flavor. I'd probably muddle some spent lemon wedges in a mixing glass, add the sprite and strain. It might also be worth experimenting with some of the European lemonades that come in the bottles with resealable stoppers. I've tried some in the past that taste very similar.

                                    2. g
                                      GretchenS Aug 3, 2004 10:39 AM

                                      It's what they drink (in large quantities) in England while watching the Henley Regatta. See link for more info.

                                      Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabast...

                                      1. w
                                        WLA Aug 3, 2004 10:36 AM

                                        See link

                                        Link: http://www.bevaccess.com/bb_pimms_cup...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: WLA
                                          TroyTempest Jun 3, 2012 10:24 AM

                                          link is dead :(

                                        Show Hidden Posts