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That's the spirit

I hope you know that I take my job seriously. A number of you asked for a Pimm’s Cup recipe, so I’ve been drinking a lot of it. Just for you.

That’s Brandon’s hand there, and actually, he’s holding a gin and tonic, but it doesn’t matter. The gesture is what counts. Long live Pimm’s Cup! Cheers!

I first tasted Pimm’s in its native city of London, where it came to the table in a pitcher, mixed with fizzy lemonade to a handsome shade of amber. There were slices of cucumber, lemon, and strawberry floating among the ice cubes, and a sprig of mint, and it was very hot outside, very hot, and after I drank a glass of it, I had one of the finest summer afternoons in memory. I cannot prove that the two events were causally related, but in my personal catalog of experiences, they’re on the same page. I keep thinking that somehow, if I drink enough Pimm’s, I’ll wind up back in London, or in an episode of Jeeves and Wooster, but I usually just wind up falling asleep early, fully clothed, forgetting to brush my teeth, in Seattle.

I get the sense that a lot of you have had Pimm’s, but for those of you who haven’t, it’s a gin-based drink containing quinine - the substance that gives tonic water its bitter flavor - and various herbs, and probably a bunch of other ingredients, though the formula is a secret. It was made to serve as a digestif, but few drink it straight. On its own, it’s quite intense, with a flavor that combines citrus and spice with a little burnt caramel. On its own, it tastes like Christmas, only bitter. It tastes like the Christmas when I was fifteen, when I had the flu and my mother gave me a plaid flannel dress and a belt made from recycled car tires and bottle caps, and I cried when she asked me to try it on. Needless to say, Pimm’s is best mixed, if you ask me, and that’s how it’s most commonly served. Once mixed, it mellows considerably. It’s bright, refreshing, embarrassingly easy to drink. The British mix it most often with what they call lemonade, though it’s not the same thing as American lemonade; it’s a clear, sparkling lemon soda, and it’s sweet, but not too sweet. In the States, a decent substitute is 7-Up, or Sprite. It’s also acceptable to mix it with ginger ale or ginger beer.

Except that I don’t really care for that ginger ale up there, Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew, in my Pimm’s Cup. I meant to buy Reed’s Original Ginger Brew. Until I took that picture, I didn’t realize that I had bought the wrong kind.

Much better.

At any rate, there are a lot of possibilities when it comes to making a Pimm’s-based cocktail, and you can find many of them here, or on the official Pimm’s website, which I’m crazy for. To get into the site, on the page where you input your birth date, the “submit” button doesn’t just say “submit,” but instead “Tally ho, IN we go!” That’s the spirit! Then, once you’re in, the home page treats you to a video of a pitcher being filled - mysteriously, benevolently, from an unseen hand above - with ice, Pimm’s, lemonade, and fruit, all of it splashing around and catching the sunlight in a relentlessly juicy way, so mesmerizing that I’ve hit “reload” on the Pimm’s website six times since I started writing this sentence.

This to say that I’ve been reading up on Pimm’s, and doing my homework, and in the name of research, I’ve made Pimm’s cocktails six different ways in the past few weeks. I’ve tried Pimm’s with 7-Up, Reed’s Original Ginger Brew, Reed’s Premium Ginger Brew, Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew, San Pellegrino Limonata, and, finally, a mixture of American lemonade and sparkling water. Whatever you mix it with, it’s standard to use 1 part Pimm’s to 3 parts mixer, and that’s what I’ve done. Plus slices of lemon and cucumber, and a slice of strawberry, and mint.

All told, and with apologies to any lemonade or 7-Up die-hards out there, I like my Pimm’s best with ginger beer. Specifically, Reed’s Original Ginger Brew. It’s a little more complex, a little less sweet, and with a squeeze of lemon, it’s what I’m going to be drinking for the rest of the summer, starting tonight. Happy Friday.

My Pimm’s Cup

The recipe below is for one serving, but to make a pitcher, just scale up accordingly, keeping the 1:3 ratio of Pimm’s to ginger beer. If you don’t have or can’t find Reed’s Original Ginger Brew, pretty much any ginger ale or ginger beer with a decent amount of zing will work. But Reed’s Original has the flavor I like best for this use.

1 ½ ounces Pimm’s No. 1
4 ½ ounces Reed’s Original Ginger Brew
1 thin slice cucumber
1 thin slice lemon, plus more for squeezing
1 slice strawberry
A couple of mint leaves

Combine the Pimm’s and ginger beer in a Collins glass, or something similar. Add ice until the liquid comes almost to the rim of the glass. Add the cucumber, lemon, and strawberry, plus a small squeeze of lemon juice, if you like. Use a straw to bash the fruit around a little bit. Add the mint, and serve immediately.

Yield: 1 serving


Blogger Megan said...

The tone in this post and the way it's written remind me of classic Orangette. I'm not even sure what I mean - maybe your voice seems more immediate. In the end, what I mean to say is that I liked it very much.

2:01 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous Ella said...

I don't know if you guys have it over there, but borage (starflower) is THE traditional thing to put in Pimm's (and so pretty too). Cucumber is easier to get hold of, but borage is the classic. The flowers are edible as well, and taste faintly cucumber-y.


2:11 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger margie said...

I bought a fresh bottle of Pimm's no. 1 on the first warm day of spring, back in April. Since we've seen few summery days since then, it has spent most of its time holed up in the cupboard, but I think it's just about time to pull it back out.

I've never had cucumbers in the house when I've also had Pimm's and ginger ale - does it actually do anything for the flavor, or is it just a pretty garnish?

2:14 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recommend diet 7-up, as it's just a touch less sweet and reminds me more of british "lemonade"

2:19 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger AmyDishes said...

tally ho, off to find pimm's i go! (can i get it at a local liquor store in Seattle?)

loved this piece. very jaunty!


2:20 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous Kate @ Savour Fare said...

I like my Pimms best with one of those intense and sour lemon sodas - like Pellegrino Limonata, or the Whole Food's House Brand Lemon Soda (Trader Joe's French Market Lemonade is closer to British lemonade but is IMO too sweet). And preferably drunk outside overlooking one of those giant lawns, shimmering in a heat haze, while wearing an absurdly large hat.

Have you tried the other Pimms? Pimms No. 1 is the classic Pimm's Cup ingredient, but there are five more. Or there were. Wikipedia seems to think they're phased out.

2:26 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous Sarah @ Daily Nibbles said...

Thanks for the recipe Molly. Ironically, I'm in London for a month working on a literature course and just had my first Pimm's earlier this week, on a hot Saturday afternoon, at the Borough Market. It was amazing. As I was slurping it down, I kept thinking what is in this?! Now I know, and will replicate:)

2:28 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

Isn't the Pimm's website the best? And we finally have a warm, sunny, Pimm's-worthy day in Seattle today. Hooray!

2:28 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Ali - YumVeggieBurger said...

mmm i've been wanting to try to make this myself one day! thanks for the recipe :)

2:31 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger donna baker said...

OMG, I have never heard of it, but can't wait to try it. Just sounds so good on hot summer evenings.

2:33 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger getoutofmykitchen said...

I would also like to suggest that you try Gosling's ginger beer. It's the most spicy/complex ginger beer you can find state side in my opinion. You can usually find it in liquor stores.

2:42 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Beth said...

Can't wait to try one! It's really really hot in Virginia! Do you still have the recycled belt?

2:44 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Torrie said...

How very kind and altruistic of you to do so much research and taste testing... just for your lovely readers. :)

Seriously, thank you for the information and the final (best of) recipe! I've never experienced this beverage, so I now must do a little taste testing of my own... for research purposes of course.

2:51 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous CCV said...


3:13 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous Kelly said...

had Pimm's #1 Cup at Wimbledon 3 weeks ago (my 1st trip to Europe, my 1st Pimm's!)It was so hot and it tasted so good! You nailed it, refreshing. The cucumber, mint, orange and lemon all seemed necessary. Did the limonata work? or Vernor's? I'd best get busy...currently 93 here in the midwest, so we need this!

3:17 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous Frank said...

I have had many a Pimm's Cup and tried it many ways. There is even a rumor that the Napoleon House in New Orleans (where it is something of a signature drink) makes theirs with Country Time Lemonade powder mix. I can't speak to that but I prefer mine with a basic "American" style lemonade: water, fresh lemon juice and sugar or simple syrup (I like to make simple syrup with a good raw type cane sugar). I generally use a Collins glass (although a mason jar works in a pinch) filled with ice, one and a half ounces of Pimm's No.1 and then top it off with said lemonade. Garnished with a cucumber or maybe a strawberry of they are in season. Great drink. I think I might go make one right now. Thanks for the reminder.

3:20 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger beth said...

Ooh aren't YOU a trooper to test Pimms so thoroughly? New Orleans also is known for its Pimms' Cup (especially Napoleon House, which has been around since 1797!).

I tend to go with sparkling lemonade, but I'm definitely going to try the ginger beer/brew/ale option next.

3:29 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Kirsten said...

I think I'll probably love this. My first thought was, "Bah. Our dumb state-run liquor stores probably don't carry this." But then I realized you probably bought it at one of our dumb Washington liquor stores, so I was heartened. :) I look forward to testing many variations on the recipes you gave.

3:35 PM, July 23, 2010  
OpenID bferry said...

someone just left you a comment using the word 'jaunty' - i think that's the mark of a good post.

loved reading this. and that afternoon was magic. tally ho! happy weekend.

3:37 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Kathy said...

Oh man, Molly, I love it when people advocate for ginger beer. I left soda in the dust when I took up drinking beer (at the late age of 25), but I have a thing for zingy, sharp, pungent, spicy ginger beer. When I run across a new one, I read the label, and if it's more sophisticated than flavored sugar water, I'll try it. My favorites are these, so far:

All-time favorite for its grown-up bite: Fentimans http://www.drinkfentimans.com/#pi

Recent favorite (a little softer, but still flavorful and truly gingery): Maine Root ginger beer http://allnaturalsoda.bigcartel.com/product/ginger-brew

Standard favorite that I can find most places: Gosling's

I suppose I'll finish a bottle or two of our current spirits before I move on to Pimm's, but it is SO tempting.

3:49 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The world's finest Pimm's Cup is served at the Napoleon House in New Orleans, right in the Quarter.

Just file that away for the next time you are in the Big Easy.

4:11 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous blair said...

I have spent many a late summer afternoon at my neighbor's house, sipping a Pims Cup and watching the kids play in the sandbox (a LATE afternoon, for the record!) I have to try this version! Cheers!

4:30 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger BryanR said...

Saw this post, which inspired me to combine the Pimms (sitting on the kitchen counter) with the ginger beer (http://www.netcooks.com/recipes/Beverages/Dave's.Ginger.Beer.html, made a month or so ago, and probably ~6.5%abv already, without the Pimms).

Now I can't walk.

Very good idea, but it may require a health warning!

4:51 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger dharmamama said...

Mmm... I bet it would be very good with Trader Joe's French Market sparkling lemonade.
Found this ad, which is quite quirky -

4:55 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Ryan said...

I tried Pims 2 summers ago and the 7-up and ginger ale were horrendously sweet. But I don't really like how sweet most pop is anyway. I definitely need to try it with ginger beer. I considered making my own ginger infused simple syrup and making it with club soda. I still have some left stashed at a friends house. I'll have to give it a go next time I'm over there.

5:03 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous Tina C. said...

The Trader Joe's where I live carries a sparkling lemonade that, to me, is the perfect mixer with Pimms (with a sprig of mint & a cucumber for me!) - of all the Pimm's mixes I've tasted that one comes closest to what I consider the "real" thing.

Either way, I don't mind trying a bunch of variations just to be sure something else isn't better. :)

5:40 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Kimberley Hasselbrink said...

Lovely! So glad you posted this. It is also on my summer short list. I'm going to try making a less-sweet Pimm's Cup. I am thankful, however, for your diligent research!

6:01 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Ian said...

If you like Reed's, you should try making your own ginger ale. It's not that hard: http://chemistscookbook.blogspot.com/2010/04/ginger-ale-real-ginger-ale.html

Love the blog, loved the book, love the columns in Bon Appetit. Although those Padron peppers kicked my butt...

6:25 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous D. @ Outside Oslo said...

That sounds pretty amazing. I just arrived in Walla Walla from Seattle, where I'm about to relax with a nice, glass of Cab or Malbac or something with nice WW terroir.

But upon returning home, I will be giving your recipe a try. Can't say I've ever tasted Pimm's, at least not on its own. Thanks for educating us!

6:29 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, all! Thanks for so much good discussion here.

Megan, that makes me very happy! Thank you.

Ella, I wish we could get borage more easily over here! It's very hard to find, and actually, if you want to have it on hand, you pretty much have to grow it yourself.

Margie, the cucumber doesn't contribute a lot of flavor, but I do think it contributes a little, yes. I'd call it a slight savory quality.

Anonymous, I'll have to get some Diet 7-Up and try it! I usually steer clear of diet stuff, but if you say so, I'm game.

Amy and Kirsten, you can definitely find Pimm's at liquor stores around here. Brandon bought ours, and he went to one of the stores in Ballard. I can't remember which, but either the one on 15th Avenue (around 80th Street) or the one on Market Street (around 28th Avenue).

Kate @ Savour Fare, to the best of my knowledge, the only types that are still made are Pimm's No. 1 and Pimm's No. 6, but the 6 is very hard to find. There's also apparently a new-ish one called Pimm's Winter Cup, but I can't find a lot of information about it.

getoutofmykitchen, I've heard about Gosling's ginger beer, and I want to try it! I'll keep an eye out.

Beth, the sad truth is that I never wore the belt, and that I hid it away in a closet, and I'm not sure what has happened to it now. It's still a bit of a bad memory.

Kelly, I thought it was alright with San Pellegrino Limonata, but to the tell you the truth, the lemon flavor was sort of overpowering. That didn't stop me from drinking it, but I didn't love it. I might have to try it again, though. And as for Vernor's, I don't often see it around here, so I haven't tried it with Pimm's. If you try it, let me know.

Kathy, I'll have to try Fentimans and the Maine Root stuff! Thank you for the tip. I tend to grab Reed's, because it's quite good and easy to find, but it's not particularly special. You know?

dharmamama and Tina C., I'll have to go to Trader Joe's and get some of that lemonade! I haven't tried it, and now I'm curious! Might turn me from a Pimm's-and-ginger person to a Pimm's-and-lemonade fan...

BryanR and Ian: one of our staff members at Delancey makes an amazing ginger beer that we serve on tap, and she's hoping to market it someday. It's fantastic - very spicy, with a nice kick of lemon and just a little sweetness. When she gets all set up so that she can sell it commercially, I'll have to amend my recipe here, because it's going to make a killer mixer for Pimm's. It'll be sold under the label Rachel's Ginger Beer.

7:00 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Amaranthian said...

Unfortunately, I am one of the few who have yet to experience Pimms. I've read a few blogs about it this summer, but none had posted a recipe I cared to try. So thank you!

I picked up some ginger beer on the way home today to have with Myers's rum and a splash of juice (my current cocktail of choice), and found myself in your same predicament; I had bought the Reed's Extra Ginger Brew by accident. Needless to say, I am definitely with you in preferring the Original Brew. (Though, Capt'n Eli's up here in Maine makes a killer ginger beer, too.)


7:00 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Lisa said...

I only discovered Pimms recently, but I've been practicing for summer! I like mine with lime, strawberries and ginger beer, although lemonade is good in a pinch.

It's winter here but I seriously can't wait to make a big jug and serve it with a great outdoorsy lunch on a warm day. I think I like it even better than sangria, and that's a big call!

7:53 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous jo said...

i'm a british chick who now calls seattle home... been meaning to post on your stuff for a while, but never felt like i had a right to until now... but now i have my IN, baby!! so tally ho & in we go!!

by the way, i grew up in asia & one thing i learned about the wonder that is tonic water & the quinine that it contains supposedly halts the onset of malaria. so there you go. THAT's why all brits drink a g&t at 4 o'clock. just to piss off the mosquitos...

anyhoo, thanks for all the good reading. enjoy the pims & whatnot... pip pip, cheerio & all that!

8:27 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Amanda Hawkins said...

Oh my! I have to admit after I read your summer list I went right out and bought an embarrassing assortment of tonic, Reed's Original and Extra Ginger Beer, Gin, San Pellegrino, and Pims. I was to try a million or so combination, but hey, you did for me! Looking forward to trying this one.

8:58 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous Teresa said...

This looked so enticing I stopped for a bottle of Pimm's and a 4-pack of Reed's on the way home. I don't know what Pimm's Cup tastes like in London, but this version is my new favorite summer cocktail! Thank you for sharing, Molly!

9:08 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Emily said...

i've never heard of pimm's, and now i'm wondering how this is even possible. you sold me with the jeeves and wooster reference. at any rate, now i must have a pimm's cocktail. my mission for the week!

9:40 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger NiCole said...

Aloha Molly,
It cracked me up when I read Pimm's Cup on your summer 'To Do' list. I'm obsessed with Pimm's cups ever since my first one on a chilly rooftop bar in SF (totally out of place for this drink but I was in love). You can imagine the looks one gets asking for Pimm's No. 1 in a local Hawaiian liquor store! This summer we've been enjoying them under the hood of 1980 Rolls Royce. Once the car is restored maybe I will drive to Trader Vicks, surely they too will understand.

10:39 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger Elizabeth B said...

Heh, wow, I don't even care about Pimm's (sorry), but the voice on this post made me so very gleeful that I had to comment and tell you how very awesome you are.

The End.

(Verification word: jdcutfu. Is that the Fu of a chef called JD, or maybe he's a ninja? Inquiring minds want to know.)

11:06 PM, July 23, 2010  
Anonymous Emily Rae said...

I just love that the title of the website is, "IT'S PIMM'S O'CLOCK."

11:30 PM, July 23, 2010  
Blogger nom. nom. nom. said...

I had the winter Pimm's in a giant igloo tent in London once. They had barrels of apples and fake snow everywhere on guy fox day so everyone was running around with masks and whooping it up in a rather joyous fashion. It was both surreal and wonderful.
Because of this I had never considered Pimm's as a summer appropriate drink. It was solidly connected to igloos in my mind. I am so happy that you have given me reason to challenge my previously held beliefs!!

11:42 PM, July 23, 2010  
OpenID bookssnob said...

My local pub here in London does an excellent Pimms. They make it with Appletiser - which I presume you have in the US? - if you don't, it's fizzy apple juice - and blackberries along with mint and cucumber. It seems an odd combination, but it really works I'm a bit of a Pimms expert - as soon as the sun shines, my usual red wine goes out of the window and Pimms becomes my tipple of choice - and the Appletiser version is definitely a delicious and worth trying variation. I also highly recommend ginger beer, it gives the flavour a richness and spice that lemonade doesn't have, even though lemonade is still delicious with it.

1:50 AM, July 24, 2010  
Blogger Gemma said...

I haven't even had a Pimm's yet this year. What a bad Brit! I do find it too sweet a lot of the time though, it's a sunny London today so maybe time to try the ginger beer...

2:30 AM, July 24, 2010  
Blogger Dodgepot said...

I just found this blog and already I feel right at home! As a hardened Pimms drinker from Blighty I have read with glee the excitement your diligent research has created. If I could mention a (big) splash of Sloe Gin in the bottom of the glass with the mixer of your choice or for a real celebration (or just because you can) then quite frankly only Champagne will do! My day is complete :~) Toodle Pip!

2:57 AM, July 24, 2010  
Anonymous A Plum By Any Other Name said...


If/when you make it out to Boston, you have to try the Pimm's cup at the Marliave. I've taken the mission of finding a decent Pimm's cup in New England quite seriously: they don't mess around. Having a few reminds me of summer ... having a few more reminds me of regret. It's both lovely and dangerous.

Tally ho.

4:47 AM, July 24, 2010  
Blogger newlywed said...

Sadly, I too am inexperienced in the realm of Pimm's...but can get behind anything with ginger beer in it! Thanks for doing all of the homework for us!

6:01 AM, July 24, 2010  
Blogger charlotte said...

brian's so right. that afternoon was total magic. one might even say jauntily magical.

and i've never had pimm's with ginger beer. i think that needs to be rectified.

6:13 AM, July 24, 2010  
Anonymous thedelishdish said...

i used to love pimm's when i was living in england but haven't been able to recreate the real thing myself! can't wait to try this recipe and use up those bottle of pimms i have sitting around!

9:10 AM, July 24, 2010  
Blogger The French said...

Well, now I have to try Pimm's and decide what I like best with it...okay, really that's just an excuse to get snockered. Cheers...in the eyes!

10:23 AM, July 24, 2010  
Blogger Ino said...

Molly, if you find lemonade (aka Sprite) too sweet, you can try substituting some (or all of it) for tonic water. The next logical step is to throw in a bit of gin too, but that makes it more of an evening drink rather than an afternoon refreshment. ;) It's great though!
Winter Pimm's is absolutely lovely, I think it's made from brandy and has a lot of spices. It's normally drunk warm with apple juice. Yum!

10:51 AM, July 24, 2010  
Anonymous burnttoast said...

Funny great post. For those in the heat wave part of the country, your local liquor store may be out. Three weeks ago, disgusted by the 90+ degree weather, I looked up Sangria recipes on epicurious. Seemed that and drying wet laundry was what the weather was good for. One recipe asked for Pimm's Cup, and it was sold out, as were other Sangria ingredients. Tis the season!! Can't wait to get some and have it with ginger beer!!

11:16 AM, July 24, 2010  
Anonymous Brooke said...

I have never enjoyed Pimm's, but I get weak in the knees for ginger beer. Maybe that's the substitution I need to become a Pimm's convert. Or, perhaps I'll just stick to the ginger beer. I'll be looking for Reed's Original when I do my Sunday grocery run!

11:20 AM, July 24, 2010  
Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I think I'll try this, precisely as you've outlined. A little more complex and a little less sweet is just what I'm sure to enjoy. Thanks for researching and testing for us.

12:46 PM, July 24, 2010  
Anonymous KahunasFoodandWine said...

Love this and will give it a try - Lately I have been working on 10 different ways to enjoy Campari so I feel your pain when it comes to research like this!

2:32 PM, July 24, 2010  
Blogger Elyse said...

Thanks for clearing that up. I've been confused by various recipes, some calling for lemonade and some for lemon-lime soda. I remembered the Pimm's I had in London had something fizzy from the tap.

Great suggestions in the comments, too - looks like I'll have to start doing some testing myself! Thanks to westcountryorganicherbs for the mention of Borage - too bad I just pulled all mine out (it was about to go to seed...)

4:50 PM, July 24, 2010  
Anonymous Edie said...

Can't wait to try this! My current favorite summer drink is gin, fresh lemonade, fresh watermelon puree, a little mint and lots of ice. Scrumptious.

9:25 PM, July 24, 2010  
Anonymous Tamara said...

I loved your Pimms post. Having been brought up on this quintessentially British Summer drink. "Anyone for a Pimms" certainty heralds summer for me. I like to drink mine with tonic water.

I was once asked if I wanted a single or double - I was horrified - Pimms should not be made like that, for a perfect Pimms it should never be made too strong, but it will always leave you giggling.

When I was a kid we used to take narrow boat holidays and my mum would make up a big batch of Pimms for sipping on deck (For the adults!) She would fill the jug with fruit but never give that much out because at the end of the trip she would serve up a fruit salad made from the marinated fruit, cucumber, strawberries and apples with mint.

2:18 AM, July 25, 2010  
Anonymous Tamara said...

Pimms Winter is Brandy based drink rather then Gin. I think that was why there were 6 varieties at first all based on different liquors, but now there are only the two, and the Winter one has been a recent relaunch in the UK about 4 years ago.

It's recommended you drink 1 part Pimms to 3 Parts warm apple juice, we served it up for a Fireworks party as a punch with orange and apple juice and slices of orange and ginger root, but it works just as well cold with lemonade or appletiser.

2:32 AM, July 25, 2010  
Anonymous Javacurls said...

Hello, Your post made me think back to when I first fell in love with Pimm's but not the popular No.1 instead I fell head over heals for Pimm's No.3 Winter. I know the weather is too hot for you to think about warm, winter drinks but this one is fabulous. I simmer it with ginger ale and add slices of apples. Delish! Here's my posting about how I fell in love with Pimm's No.3 Winter if you're interested.


2:49 AM, July 25, 2010  
Blogger Jessie said...

Thanks so much for this! I've been trying some very dissatisfying Pimm's recipes this summer and this one finally hit the spot! Just the ticket for this hot South Texas summer.

7:37 AM, July 25, 2010  
Anonymous Jean at The Delightful Repast said...

A sparkling pitcher of Pimm's has often been the highlight of one of my "veddy British" afternoon teas in the gazebo on a perfect summer day. Of course, my secret recipe had to be arrived at through careful testing like you've just had to endure!

7:52 AM, July 25, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been drinking Pimm's all summer thanks to you and Deb at smitten kitchen reminding me about it. I have been mixing mine with French sparkling lemonade as I cannot find ginger beer here (sniff). My first introduction to Pimm's was a day at the races at Sandown race track on a visit to England - magical! Thanks for this lovely post!

7:55 AM, July 25, 2010  
Anonymous Marisa said...

Oh, Pimm's, how I love thee. It's impossible to find it here in Quebec, but just a hop, jump and skip over the border in New Hampshire, you can find it. I don't know how I managed to make the last bottle I bought last a year but I'll be sure not to make the same mistake again.

Pimm's Cup: the quintessential summertime drink...right after gin & tonics.

Also, if you are a fan of gin, do seek out Victoria Gin from B.C. It should be available in Washington state and it is, quite frankly, one of the finest gins I've ever had the pleasure to taste.

9:01 AM, July 25, 2010  
Anonymous Rose said...

Pimm's tastes much better if you ditch the fruit and serve it with mint and cucumber. Please try it that way!

11:23 AM, July 25, 2010  
Anonymous molly said...

Oh, Molly. This is just so classic you. Even if you did turn over a new leaf, "starting today".

For my part, I've loved Reed's Ginger Brew ever since managing a wee thriving cafe on the UW campus, when it was new and no one would buy it. Am in love with the idea. Thx for following through.

1:43 PM, July 25, 2010  
Anonymous dc sarah said...

Cheers to you! The Pimm's Cup is my very favorite summer brew and my kitchen seems lackluster and lonely without a bottle on the counter. Very much enjoyed reading this post, and am wishing my dad had a bottle here somewhere (we're visiting him in Santa Fe, and off to a tapas restaurant tonight to decided what we want to serve at our wedding next summer! Tally Ho!). Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

3:18 PM, July 25, 2010  
Anonymous anie said...

I shared my first Pimm's cup with an old geezer friend of mine when it was over 100 degrees outside and I was in the VERY late stages of pregnancy with my 2nd babe.
It was joyful and memorable in an odd but "stolen moments" kind of ways. Neither of us should probably have been having a cup, but no one was there to mind us! I need to do that again sometime~with the old geezer, but responsibly leaving the baby safely at home ;)

6:44 PM, July 25, 2010  

You are too funny! I have never tried this--but I guarantee you, I will now!

10:52 PM, July 25, 2010  
Anonymous Val said...

There's nothing better than a jug of Pimm's to cool away the heat and humidity of summer. I'm getting all homesick for Sunday afternoon's at a London pub garden with friends all sat around a ice cool pitcher of Pimm's and lemonade.

5:09 AM, July 26, 2010  
Anonymous Samantha said...

Ah, love Pimm's. Had some this weekend, and used a lemon ginger simple syrup I had made as the mixer (with seltzer and the usual garnishes).

I actually picked up a bottle of the Pimm's Winter (Pimm's No. 3 Cup) last time I was in London, and have been rationing it. It's really nice with apple cider in the fall, the warm spices certainly add a new dimension. A friend went to London for work this week, and I asked him to pick up a bottle of Pimm's Winter if he can find it. I resisted the urge to send an entire shopping list (Branston, Angel Delight, everything from Borough Market). :)

6:48 AM, July 26, 2010  
OpenID esdelope said...

I remember drinking these when living back in London - oh the memories! Any recommendations as where to find Pimms?


6:55 AM, July 26, 2010  
Blogger caroline said...

Pimm's is one of those things I've always been casually curious about, but apparently not curious enough to research what the heck it is. Thanks for educating me! I'll admit, the garnishes are what really reeled me in. Do you think this would be weird with diet ginger ale?

9:02 AM, July 26, 2010  
Anonymous Whitney said...

I haven't wanted to hit up a liqour store before noon on a Monday in quite a while.

I so need to try this.

Loved this post. I feel like you finally have your blog mojo back after the crazy year you had with Delancey and the Book.

9:51 AM, July 26, 2010  
Blogger Pyjammy Pam said...

Pimm's is awesome, no doubt. I have many happy memories of drinking it in sunny pub gardens.

But on our honeymoon to England in November 2005, a lot of pubs had Pimm's #5 (I think), which is brandy-based, and was served hot, mixed with apple cider (non alcoholic, I think) and in a pitcher filled with floating orange and apple slices. Also heavenly!

9:53 AM, July 26, 2010  
Anonymous Katharine (Meal Muse) said...

I've never actually tried Pimm's, but I'm now inspired to do so. I love ginger, too, so this seems like the perfect summer cocktail.

Also, just finished reading your book this weekend and I'm so inspired. Thanks for all you do.


11:03 AM, July 26, 2010  
Blogger Jessica said...

Love my Pimms! Been tipping these back since Memorial Day. I can't wait to try it with some real deal ginger beer!

11:30 AM, July 26, 2010  
Blogger Lainey Seyler said...

awesome! i want! sounds fantastically summery.

1:12 PM, July 26, 2010  
Blogger Janet said...

As they say, it must be 5:00 somewhere in the world. Cheers!

2:17 PM, July 26, 2010  
Anonymous Julia Parsons said...

Oh, how great to see you covering Pimm's! I'm a typical English girl in that I love Pimm's in the summer. I've blogged about it several times, and video blogged it too! Fabulous drink.

2:49 PM, July 26, 2010  
Blogger John said...

Molly, this is perfect!!! It is 95 degrees in OKC and I have a NO. 1 bottle of Pimms that has been my bar since, well since you and Jennifer were hanging out by the pool. Never knew what to do with it till now - headed to the store to get all the other ingredients! Thanks, Sweetie!

4:59 PM, July 26, 2010  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

For the life of me, I cannot remember my first Pimm's (it will come to me tomorrow), but the hubby and I have been hooked ever since. We love serving a pitcher of Pimm's Cup as an aperitif at parties and have been known to resort to the more standard Pimms and 7-Up as an everyday summer sip. Move over Dark and Stormies, it's time for Molly's Pimm's Cup. Cheers!

9:04 PM, July 26, 2010  
Blogger Kate said...

Just read the lovely little write up of Delancy in Culture. Wish I lived closer so I could try your ricotta. I'm about to try and make my own. Any hints or suggestions before I start?

6:09 AM, July 27, 2010  
Anonymous Amy said...

I adore cucumber in Pimm's -- it's kind of a green sweetness -- so much so that I found a cucumber sparkling water, and added that to the Pimm's/lemonade instead of plain soda. Delightful!


3:17 PM, July 27, 2010  
Anonymous fotographiafoodie said...

I've never even heard of Pimm's. Maybe its just not to be found up here in Canada. But your post sure makes me want to find it!

4:37 PM, July 27, 2010  
Blogger carolph said...

I too was introduced to Pimm's Cup in London. Lovely! But it was the Winter Pimm's made with the addition of Brandy I think. Anyway it was the perfect drink for a cold winter night with Christmas just around the corner. More ideas for your research!!!!

9:14 PM, July 27, 2010  
Blogger TinaW said...

Could this be any more delicious?

6:27 AM, July 28, 2010  
Anonymous Natalie said...

This may be a stupid question, but since it is an infused alcohol (as I understand it), does Pimm's ever go bad? I ask because I inherited a bottle from an old roommate when he moved out... but that was five apartments ago. Think I've had this bottle about ten years. Never been used because I was scared of it, although I think it might have been opened once. Still good? No good? I don't think of alcohol as ever going bad, per se, but I just wonder if I'm pushing it here...?

7:47 AM, July 28, 2010  
Blogger the purcells said...

one of our favorites - and haven't had one in at least a month, thanks for the reminder, cheers!

8:03 PM, July 28, 2010  
Anonymous The Leftoverist said...

We have been drinking so much Pimms Cup around here this summer. The current iteration is a ginger simple syrup, lots of lemon juice, mint, cucumber, maybe a thinly sliced lime, and a splash of seltzer water after it's poured in the glass. I don't know, though...your post means more research might be necessary. Twist my arm.

10:42 PM, July 28, 2010  
Anonymous Mel said...

Happy blog birthday, and wedding anniversary!
I remembered, because it's my birthday too :)

4:22 AM, July 29, 2010  
Anonymous mixedsoup said...

Looking forward to concocting this one. Beautiful site. Lovely photos.

9:06 AM, July 29, 2010  
Blogger Anna said...

Now I totally want to go out and try this. Thank you for such a fun post!!!

6:51 PM, July 30, 2010  
Blogger Gary Allen said...

As someone (way up the list of comments) said, borage flowers are the classic garnish.

Oddly enough, I don't think Wodehouse ever mentioned Pimm's -- while the alcohol-related comments made by Bertie Wooster could fill a small anthology. A couple of favorites:

"She was rather like one of those innocent-tasting American drinks which creep into your system so that, before you know what you're doing, you're starting to reform the world by force if necessary, and pausing on your way to tell the large man in the corner that, if he looks at you like that, you will knock his head off."

"There is no doubt that Jeeves' pick-me-up will produce immediate results in anything short of an Egyptian mummy."

"Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin."

"I have never been in the West Indies, but I am in a position to state that in certain of the fundamentals of life they are streets ahead of our European civilization. The man behind the counter, as kindly a bloke as I ever wish to meet, seemed to guess our requirements the moment we hove into view. Scarcely had our elbows touched the wood before he was leaping to and fro, bringing down a new bottle with each leap. A planter, apparently, does not consider he has had a drink unless it contains at least seven ingredients, and I'm not saying, mind you, that he isn't right. The man behind the bar told us the things were called Green Swizzles; and, if ever I marry and have a son, Green Swizzle Wooster is the name that will go down in the register, in memory of the day his father's life was saved at Wembley."

Oh... and thanks for the link to Jeeves & Bertie section of YouTube. I will now waste the rest of the afternoon, possibly with a restorative B and soda.

11:09 AM, August 01, 2010  
Blogger marisa said...

Bubble-Up. My parents used to drink them with Bubble-Up. It was totally their drink.

8:43 PM, August 01, 2010  
Blogger Selina. said...

whenever i have pimms i always have it with oranges they add a lovely citrus flavour also i omit the cucumber because i dont really enjoy that taste as much. winter pimms is also lovely :)

4:43 AM, August 02, 2010  
Blogger MsJess said...

You get an A+ gold star happy dance for reed's ginger beer, my favoritest ginger beer ever. The other day I was walking to the library and I saw a whole car with Reeds logos all over it, I guess the librarian or patron was a huge fan of it?

1:41 PM, August 02, 2010  
Blogger Philip Brocklehurst said...

Try using champagne instead of fizzy soft drinks, and add a good glug of gin too. Summer afternoons will be glorious, and you could wake up anywhere [even London], fully clothed or otherwise!

5:49 AM, August 03, 2010  
Blogger gingerrose said...

I've never actually had Pimm's as far as I can recall, but the nice simple cocktails sound delicious. :-) And, I mean, who wouldn't want to end up in an episode of Jeeves and Wooster? Sounds good to me!

10:42 AM, August 03, 2010  
Anonymous Sophie said...

Mmm sounds delicious! I loved reading the post, reminded me of my first (and only) time I had it in New Orleans and it was so yummy and fun to carry around on the streets in the rain. This makes me want to drink it all over again, even in the fog!

5:43 PM, August 05, 2010  
Blogger Sherry said...

While on vacation in Oregon, I picked up your book,A Homemade Life, in the bookstore. I have made about 10 of the recipes so far, and am going to make the stew this morning. My daughter got it on my recommendation and enjoyed it as well. Thanks for the blog and the book.

7:14 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Melissa said...

My first Pimm's experience was in a city outside of London and I was hooked - it too ended up being a great day (Pimms, the UK, and Richmond Gardens what more can you want?) and I have been looking for a good Pimms recipe. Ginger beer seems to be the answer.

7:26 AM, August 06, 2010  
Blogger Miss B said...

I have been drinking So Much Pimm's this summer. I use Hansen's ginger ale usually, only because it's the only _actual_ ginger ale sold in any nearby-to-me stores that comes in cans instead of harder to store, easier to break bottles.

I use way more cucumber than you do (and muddle it a bit first, to get the flavor in there) and a combination of fresh basil and mint. Also a couple of lime slices, squeezed and left in the glass. Sometimes I add a bit of other fruit (strawberries or other citrus) if I have it around. But I really like it to be somewhat cucumber-heavy, personally.

1:13 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Nina said...

The Napolean House in New Orleans did a good Pimm's, but a little sweet for my English taste buds.My favourite mixer is the French Lemonade, but with a tiny squeeze of lemon or lime added, or the Lemonata San Pellegrino
Has anyone found borage here. I grew it specially in England, and it was hardy, but then so is rosemary, and it won't winter in the Boston area.

2:08 PM, August 06, 2010  
Anonymous Amy said...

Molly- thanks! I've been meaning to make Pimms Cup all summer for our beach house and it just worked out perfectly this weekend...we made 2 varieties- a ginger beer (Goslings) kind and a ginger ale kind (for those with daintier palates). Both were a huge hit, we had to make a 2nd run to the liquor store for more Pimms. Your Pimms Cup is now in the running for "drink of the summer".

12:11 PM, August 09, 2010  
Anonymous Natalie said...

Oh my God. I had never made Pimm's cup before, but I decided it was time to use the 10-year-old bottle I've been toting in my liquor collection forever. I used Gosling's ginger beer also, and although I was tempted to cheat and skip some of the garnishes, I'm so glad I didn't. Got real lemon, mint leaves, cucumber and strawberries. Oh man oh man. Awesome.

6:47 PM, August 11, 2010  
Anonymous iamtoast said...

As a UK girl, I have tried many variations on Pimms; my favourite is a version we call Classic Pimms, which involves 1 x bottle of Pimms, 1/2 bottle Cointreau, 1/3 bottle brandy, 1 x bottle of lemonade and 2 x bottle tonic, split evenly into pitchers, muddled with mountains of mint and topped with wafer thin cucumber slices - absolute heaven for a big party punch!

I also have a soft spot for the Pimms ads, as in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_Vw3lNqWvw

2:17 PM, August 18, 2010  
Blogger nic said...

The perfect summer drink here. Lovely! Thanks for providing us with a great recipe here. Keep up the good work!


10:17 AM, August 21, 2010  
Blogger Fishly said...

I just stumbled upon your blog today and Pimm's caught my eye. It always does as it is close to my heart. My great-great grandfather invented it way back when. And this is not just bragging rights and by no means indicates that I am set for life as my family sold it all way back when,but when I see the love for the best summer drink ever (no bias here :)) it makes me smile and I enjoy that people around the world are enjoying it.
Keep on enjoying, regardless if you use ginger beer, ale, lemonade...the key is the strawberry and cucumber in my opinion.

11:51 AM, August 23, 2010  
Anonymous gary said...


That was such a tease! Tell us more:

Who was your great-great grandfather?

Where was he when he made his great discovery?

What was the situation (was he trying to do something else when divine intervention struck)?

8:26 AM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger erin said...

i wasn't going to leave a comment even tho i've had pimm's cup on my mind for months. it seems to keep popping up in magazines or books i'm reading and then you have to go and write a whole article about it! i was just at a restaurant that had pimm's cup on the bar list - so exciting! - but of course they'd just run out of pimm's no. 1 the night before. :(

but then tonight i decided to go back thru my old bon appetits and found, in the feb 2006 issue, a little blurb right at the beginning (pg 20) describing the pimm's rangoon: pimm's no. 1, ginger beer, cucumber slices, an orange wheel, a strawberry & a lime wedge. hmmm.....

(still haven't had a pimm's btw)

10:51 PM, August 26, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your book...my wife and I have folded 14 pages on recipes to make...We are both 73 so can relate to you and your dad...luv from pdx/suds

6:16 PM, March 14, 2011  
Anonymous Ellen said...

I'm a relative latecomer to your lovely blog and saw your interest in ginger beer with Pimm's. I have recently been making home made ginger beer and thought I might suggest this very simple recipe if you want to go to a little trouble and can find a good fresh piece of ginger at your market. Blend together in a very clean blender, one 2 inch piece of thinly sliced pealed ginger the juice of two reamed out limes and enough water to liquefy completely. strain into a clean 2 L. soda bottle add a cup of sugar and fill with room temp water leaving a cups worth of space for the yeast and water and shake to dissolve the sugar. I used raw sugar. In a cup of warm water add 1/4 tsp either bread yeast or champagne yeast and a Tbsp. sugar to proof the yeast. Combine the yeast with the ginger lime water and shake with lid screwed on. leave it out on your counter for a few hours checking periodically until in feels as hard as a store bought bottle of soda is then refrigerate over night. you can use it within a day or two. Just don't open it fast or you will have an overflow. Release a bit of pressure once in a while if it needs it. It is lightly cloudy as the starch from the ginger and some yeast gets a little agitated with the effervescence, but it doesn't effect the taste. Looks a little like Fresca but tickles the nose. You can substitute lemon instead, but limes are less expensive around here. Just thought since you like food projects you might like this one. I'm going to have to try the Pimm's with my next batch.

2:21 AM, April 05, 2012  
Blogger HadleyEG said...

Finally tried a Pimm's Cup at El Moro, the new cool bar in town where I live in Durango, CO! It was a hit.

6:49 AM, July 23, 2014  
Anonymous Juanita said...

My thermometer says it is 103F outside in The Dalles, Oregon, hot enough for a Pimm's Cup. Plus I had a bottle of real ginger beer (A.J. Stephens) on hand. Here's to you and your great recipe for a very refreshing drink! Cheers!

3:47 PM, July 30, 2015  

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