Pimm’s Cup

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Cocktail History

The Pimm’s Cup is a classic cocktail based on the Summer Cup that was invented by James Pimm at his oyster bar in London in the 1800s. It’s traditionally made with lemon juice, simple syrup, bitters, soda water, and Pimm’s No. 1 Liqueur, a unique spirit that was invented by Pimm himself, and it is usually adorned with cucumbers, fresh fruit, mint, and whatever else your garden can yield, making it a staple at bars in the spring and summer. It’s also since become the official cocktail of the legendary Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Pimm’s No. 1 Liqueur: This is the base liqueur. It adds herbal botanicals as well as caramelized orange and spice flavors.

Lemon Juice: This adds sour citrus flavors that balance out the other ingredients. We always use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with sugar and water. You can buy bottled simple syrup in a store, but we made ours at home using Alex’s recipe because it tastes better fresh and is very easy to make.

Soda Water: This is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. It stretches the drink and adds some fizz. We used Topo Chico because it’s light, essentially flavorless, and refreshing.

Angostura Aromatic Bitters: This is a type of spirit infused with botanicals. They add more spice and complexity to the drink and tie the other flavors together.

Cucumber Slice: This is one of the garnish that was wrapped around the glass. It adds fresh cucumber flavor.

Mint: This is another garnish. It adds fresh mint aroma and flavor.

Lemon Wedge: This is also a garnish. It adds fresh lemon aroma and flavor.

Strawberry: This is a garnish. It adds fresh strawberry flavor.

Tasting Notes

The Pimm’s Cup features an aromatic bouquet of mint, lemon, and strawberry followed by the sharp kick of soda water, accented with cucumber, and chased down with the unique herbal bitterness of the Pimm’s No 1 Liqueur.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: As Kendall described it before ordering another, this is really the perfect garden party drink, and its reputation as such is well-founded. This is a new favorite of both of ours that we’ll for sure be making again.

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Pimm's No. 1 Liqueur
 ½ oz Lemon Juice
 ¼ oz Homemade Simple Syrup
 Soda Water
 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
 1 Cucumber Slice
 1 Mint Sprig
 1 Lemon Wedge
 1 Strawberry

Method
1

Add Pimm's No. 1 liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a highball glass.

2

Stir for 5-10 seconds.

3

Add crushed ice.

4

Top with soda water and bitters.

5

Stir for 5-10 more seconds.

6

Position cucumber slice around the outside of the ice in the glass.

7

Garnish with mint, lemon wedge, and strawberry.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Pimm's No. 1 Liqueur
 ½ oz Lemon Juice
 ¼ oz Homemade Simple Syrup
 Soda Water
 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
 1 Cucumber Slice
 1 Mint Sprig
 1 Lemon Wedge
 1 Strawberry

Directions

Method
1

Add Pimm's No. 1 liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a highball glass.

2

Stir for 5-10 seconds.

3

Add crushed ice.

4

Top with soda water and bitters.

5

Stir for 5-10 more seconds.

6

Position cucumber slice around the outside of the ice in the glass.

7

Garnish with mint, lemon wedge, and strawberry.

Pimm’s Cup

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More Spring Cocktails

If you like this spring cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

The Parasol: The sparkling wine cocktail made with lemon juice, Lillet Blanc, elderflower liqueur, honey syrup, and a lemon twist

Gin Daisy: A gin cocktail made with triple sec, lemon juice, soda water, and a lemon wedge

 Wild Rose: A tequila cocktail made with pineapple gum syrup, maraschino liqueur, Angostura aromatic bitters, dry sparkling wine, and an orange twist

 Final Say: A gin cocktail made with maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, lime juice, and a lime twist

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