I am allll about the cocktails this summer! First white sangria, then snazzy layered cocktails, now a traditional British Pimm’s – with a few impromptu home cocktail nights thrown into the mix as well. I usually just reach for a beer or a glass of wine by default, so it’s been really fun having some more exciting refreshments this summer!
If you’re not familiar with Pimm’s, let me tell you about it very briefly. Although Pimm’s actually refers to the spirit itself, which was created in the 19th century by none other than Mr Pimm, the term is usually used to refer to the summer punch that contains the spirit. It’s a go-to summer staple for a lot of us Brits. It’s not summer without an afternoon sat in a pub garden with a pitcher of Pimm’s!
Pimm’s is one of the staple drinks of the Wimbledon tennis tournament – and if you’re not yet convinced by just how much of a British institution Pimm’s is, the bottle even has this label on the bottom:
I’m not even sure what it means… but it sounds seriously British.
The recipe for Pimm’s is actually stupidly simple, though of course it can be adapted however you fancy. I followed a recipe from thebar.com, which has so many cocktail recipes you’ll be inspired all year round. The main base of the punch is just Pimm’s and lemonade – and I don’t mean the fancy cloudy lemonade made with actual real lemons (pah! I scoff at real lemons), I mean the fizzy see-through stuff that’s probably never seen an actual lemon in its life.
The real key to making a good British Pimm’s is the stuff you put in it. Go for whatever fresh fruit you fancy – strawberries, oranges, lemons and apples are all welcome here – and don’t forget my favourite addition, cucumber!
I know, putting a vegetable in a summery fruit punch might seem a bit strange (don’t even get me started on a Bloody Mary – who puts celery in a cocktail?!), but it adds a lovely fresh fragrance to the drink. Plus, when it comes to eating the fruit after you’ve finished slurping your drink, there’s nothing better than a bit of Pimm’s-soaked cucumber.
Just try it and tell me I’m wrong!
You can also add some fresh mint, but due to the fact that I made a special trip out to go and buy some, I obviously forgot to add it to mine. It’s been one of those weeks.
If you can’t get your hands on Pimm’s where you live, check out thebar.com for some alternative cocktail inspiration. Their recipes are conveniently organised by alcohol, ingredient, or occasion, and they’ve got everything from classy martinis, to fun and fruity daiquiris, to rich and creamy white Russians, to kid-friendly mocktails. As I said – allll the inspiration.
- 250 ml Pimm's No.1 (~ 1 cup)
- 500 ml sparkling lemonade (~ 2 cups) - I used diet
- 1/2 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
- 5 fresh strawberries, cut into chunks
- 4 inch piece of cucumber, cut into chunks
- Small bunch fresh mint
- 10 ice cubes
Add all the ingredients to a large pitcher, and stir gently. Serve immediately.
Note: nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.