Here in the U.S. we are about to enter the long July 4th holiday weekend, and we also have the Wimbledon tournament starting up. The upcoming start of Wimbledon reminded me of the classic tournament beverage — the Pimm’s Cup. These drinks are sold all over the grounds of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club and are traditionally garnished with fresh strawberries which are also a mainstay at the tournament. According to an article on the Trip Savvy website, Wimbledon is the largest annual sports catering event in Europe, and in 2015 320,000 glasses of Pimm’s were sold which makes it the second most popular beverage sold on site – 330,000 cups of tea and coffee were sold.
What is Pimm’s, or more specifically Pimm’s No. 1 which is the original formula you might ask? It is a gin-based “tonic” or herbal remedy first developed in 1823 to aid the digestion. This combination of gin and herbs became popular in England, and is often served as a mixed drink in a cup with either lemonade or ginger beer and garnished with assorted fruits. There are many recipes or approaches to making the drink so I will share mine with you here.
The version I prepared for this post used a ginger beer from a company called Q Drinks. This beverage is intended to be a mixer, and has a very spicy ginger taste and lots of carbonation. Other ingredients in the Q ginger beer include agave, coriander, cardamom, lime, and chili peppers. To prepare the cup, I used 1 part Pimms to 3 parts of the ginger beer.
Ingredients for 4 tall glasses as shown:
- 4 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
- 750 ml bottle Q Drinks Ginger Beer, chilled
- Strawberries (6-8)
- English cucumber
- Mint (4-6 sprigs)
- Cut up a 3-4” piece of the cucumber and place it in a glass or measuring cup with 4 ounces of Pimm’s and a sprig of the mint. Muddle these and set aside to “stew” for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Halve the strawberries, slice the orange and the cucumber. Aim for a couple of strawberries and a couple of slices of the orange and the cucumber for each cup.
- Add crushed ice to each of your serving glasses, as well as the fruit and cucumber.
- Strain the Pimm’s and pour 1 ounce into each glass.
- Top off with the ginger beer, swizzle and enjoy!