I love summer, as it means I can make a jug of my favorite drink, Pimms. It’s refreshing, fruity, and you can drink it all afternoon without getting too boozy (although that depends on how strong you mix it and how many jugs you make!).
Pimms No1 Cup, to give it its official title, was first produced in 1823 and is a type of ‘fruit cup’ (a specifically English drink designed to be made into a long drink with the addition of a soft drink such as lemonade or ginger ale, see Wikipedia entry on ‘fruit cup’ for a full explanation). Its base is gin and it is flavored with various herbs and spices, as well as having its strength reduced. Seen as the quintessential summer drink, Pimms is one of two staple drinks at Wimbledon, the Chelsea Flower Show, the Henley Regatta and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (the other being champers of course!).
The most traditional way to make a pitcher of Pimms is to add three parts ‘English-style’ lemonade (e.g. the clear lemonade, not cloudy) to one part Pimms to a large jug with lots of ice then drop in a cup of chopped fresh fruit (such as apple, orange, strawberries) plus cucumber and fresh mint leaves (originally borage).
Top tip: Use frozen strawberries to replace some of the ice. They soak up the yummy Pimms and don’t water it down the way the melted ice does.
You can also make up the Pimms pitcher with half and half lemonade and ginger ale or replace the lemonade fully with ginger ale. Or rather than making a jug of Pimms, you can make a ‘Pimms Royale’ which is 25ml of Pimms poured into a champagne flute and topped up with champagne.
However you drink your Pimms, and I strongly advise you to try it, remember, it’s always Pimms o’clock somewhere!