April 5, 2015

Pimm’s and Pimm’s Based Cocktails

By Andrew Barrow In Cocktails
pimms cocktails
Brief background to Pimm’s: The drink was created by James Pimm in his 1820`s Oyster Bar. Pimm began to market it ready-mixed in 1859, such was its popularity. It was taken as a digestive tonic, due to the high level of quinine and the mash of herbs involved in its production. Fashionable society began to drink Pimm`s as a cocktail during the later part of the 19th century, partially for the alcoholic lift and partially because it was weak enough to be drunk all afternoon.

There have been six different `cups` produced over the years. Now only the No.1 cup is in wide distribution along with a spicier winter warmer version. The No.6 Cup, launched in 1964 was discontinued in 2014. But following a social media campaign owner Diageo plans a re-launch (Summer 2015). Each cup is based on a different base spirit –

The Pimm`s Range and Cup Base Spirit Variants

  • No.1 Gin
  • No.2 Whiskey
  • No.3 Brandy
  • No.4 Rum
  • No.5 Rye
  • No.6 Vodka (Vodka Sling)
  • Winter Warmer
  • Pimm’s Blackberry & Elderflower
  • Pimm’s Strawberry with a Hint of Mint
  • Cider Cup
  • Pimm’s Summer Crush

The Winter Warmer was released in 2004 to expand Pimm’s beyond its seasonal (ie Spring/Summer) base. Pimms Winter Warmer is a rebranding of the old No.3 cup and retains brandy as its base. Launched in 2013 Pimm’s Blackberry & Elderflower is another range extension. Pimms Cider Cup was launched in 2015 and blends Pimm’s No.1 and British cider with a hint of strawberry and cucumber. Pimm’s Cider Cup or ‘spider’ is designed to be served in a pint glass over ice has 4% abv and comes in a 50cl brown glass bottle. Pimm’s Summer Crush is a frozen pouched variant launched in April 2015.

Pimms Cider Cup

Throwing in every type of fruit available does not a good cocktail make. A simple Pimm`s and Soda water is just as refreshing. More complicated cocktails are detailed below. Where mint is listed try bashing the leaves first to release more flavour. All should be made over plenty of ice. Optionally you could add frozen cubes of orange juice as well. If you can find fresh borage use some of its smaller leaves instead of the cucumber. Over the last couple of years we have accumulated the following distinctive cocktail recipes. Experiment and enjoy.


Pimm’s and Pimm’s Based Cocktails

Pimms Cocktail: Pimm's and Ginger
Pimms and Ginger
1 measure of Pimm`s
3 measures of Ginger Beer
1 slice of lemon
1 slice of Cucumber
1 slice of Apple
Fresh Mint
Pimms Cocktail: Pimms Original
Pimms Original
2 measures of Pimm`s
2 measure of Ginger Beer
2 measures of Lemonade
1 slice of Cucumber
1 slice of Lemon
1 slice of Orange
1 slice of strawberry
Fresh Mint
Pimms Cocktail: Southern Pimms Punch
Southern Pimms Punch
1 bottle of Pimm`s
1 bottle of Bourbon
1/4 bottle of sweet Vermouth
1/4 bottle of white Rum
300mls of Orange Juice
1 bottle of Champagne or Sparkling wine
Fresh fruit – strawberries, pineapple, cherries, peaches
makes a huge amount!
Pimms Cocktal: Pimms Spritz
Pimms Spritz
1 measure of Pimm`s
1 measure of Gin
3 measures of lemonade
1 slice of Lemon
1 Strawberry
Pimms Cocktail: Pimms Royal
Pimms Royale
1 measure of Pimm`s
1 slice of Orange
1 slice of Lemon
1 slice of Lime
1 slice of Apple
Fresh Mint
Top up glass with Champagne
Pimms Cocktail: Pimms and Champagne
Pimms and Champagne
1 measure of Pimm`s
3 measures Champagne
Pimm Cocktal: Henley Skullfarquar
Henley Skullfarquar
1 bottle Smirnoff Ice
½ pint of Strongbow Cider
50 ml Pimm`s
35 ml Gordons Gin
35 ml Grenadine
50-100ml Soda Water (optional)
50-100ml Lemonade (optional)
Selection of fruit – Orange/Lemon slices
Combine in a large jug and enjoy with plenty of ice.
Created by Rob Hooton & Adrian Ginzler, with a slightly different word begining with F.
Pimms Cocktail: Bacon & Tomato Sandwich
Bacon and Tomato Sandwich
3/4 measure Pimm`s
½ measure dark rum
½ measure white rum
2 measures lemonade

Pimms Cocktail: Melanie Pimms
Melanie Pimm
1½ measure Pimm`s
2/3 measure Scotch whisky
1/3 measure Lemon juice
5 measures lemonade

If bourbon is used in place of scotch this is a Bourbon Pimm`s.

Pimms Cocktail: Pimm's Spice
Pimm’s Spice
Made with Blackberry & Elderflower
50ml Pimm’s Blackberry & Elderflower
10ml vanilla syrup
6 mint leaves
A pinch of cinnamon
A large mint spring and cinnamon stick to garnish, and ice
Pimms cocktail: Pim Pom
Pim Pom
2 measures Pimm`s
3 measures Pomegreat Juice

A clean and highly refreshing alternative to the classic Pimm’s. Finishes drier and classier than with lemonade. Don’t forget the usual fruit and veg additions.

Pimms Cocktail: Prawn Salad
Prawn Salad
1½ measures Pimm`s
1/3 measure Glayva
1/3 measure Mandarine Napoleon
1/3 measure Scotch Whisky
4 measures of lemonade
Pimms Cocktail: Judy's Korean Pimms
Judy’s Korean Pimms
10cm peeled fresh ginger
2 ripe red plums halved
200ml 100% aloe vera juice
60ml lime juice
200ml Pimm’s No. 1
Lemonade or Ginger Ale to top up
Garnish with grated ginger, slices of plum and fresh mint sprigs

Muddle ginger and plums together. Shake with the remaining ingredients. Strain into glasses with ice. Top up with either lemonade or ginger ale. Garnish.
Judy Joo of Jinjuu, London. From Waitrose Summer Drinks Guide 2014

pimms cocktails

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21 Comments
  1. sam April 17, 2005

    Hey Andrew.
    I have been planning a Pimms post for when the sun comes out. I feel it is my duty to introduce Pimms to the entire population of America. I already have qute a few of them hooked. But whenever I get round to the part when I try and explain the different cups I always get in a muddle. So thanks for the info. No 1 cup is the only one I see in these parts, but I sure would love to get hold of a No6!
    I had a great Pimms champagne cocktail in Oakland the other day. (well actually I had 3 but that is another story). I like to use borage flowers set inside icecubes to decorate my pimms, I am trying to grow some in a pot on my deck, but no flowers yet. Other than that cucmber mint and lemonade would be my first choice.

  2. andrew April 18, 2005

    Hi Sam. I live in the World Capital of Pimm’s (well at least during the Henley Regatta) so it seemed only right I posted about it.
    The details are actually copied from an old Scribblings newsletter page (long since gone but still showing up on Google). This generates a huge amount of interest during the spring and summer – mostly from your side of the pond.
    You really should try the Henley Skull cocktail (the correct name, is toned down for the post but I am sure you can work it out) is incredibly good – you really should try it. I rather like the Sandwich too; but then I am rather partial to rum!
    Incidently they relased a winter Pimm’s last year but I neglected to try it. If they repeat the experiment next autumn I will endevour to remember to send you a bottle.

  3. hb herr April 18, 2005

    Drinking PIMMS for over 30 years – an old flame introduced me to its pleasures – an amazing way to get the attention of the wait-staff in any restaurant –
    Back in late ’70s – came across two original PIMMS Cups – handing on the wall of an old restaurant/inn in western New Jersey – asked politely if I could purchase them – asked again – asked the friend who brought me to the Inn to asked the owner if I could buy the PIMMS Cups – hanging on the wall – gathering dust – tried again – the restaurant owner’s solution ??? – rather than sell them – he took them off the wall – never to be seen again – bummer !!!
    by the by – try PIMMS with Ice Tea – awesome –

  4. Nigel Roberts May 5, 2005

    This winter Waitrose carried Pimms No.3 ‘Winter’. This was unfortunately quite a dissapointment. On balance it is likely that Gin and Vodka are the best carriers for a fruit cup.
    Jane MacQuitty came up with an excellent ‘cheat’ Pimms. Try 1 x shot Gin + 1 x shot Red Vermouth + 1/2 x shot of Curaco (I like Triple Sec). Add greenery and choice of fruits – leave for flavours to mingle whilst chilling. Then add lemonade / ginger ale to suit taste. Sit and watch sun sink!

  5. Rob Skullfarquar May 15, 2005

    I have also heard about a Pimms “cheat” that involves Port, Martini Rosso, Gin, and medium dry Sherry….. I’ve not tried it, but based on my limited experience with mixing alcoholic flavours it sounds like it should be close. Although I do agree with the comment by Nigel that a bit of Triple Sec would add to the mix.

  6. Thomas April 23, 2007

    I am a keen Pimm’s fanatic and interested in the fruitful history enshrining this wonderful drink. Is there anyone out there that can give me the recipe for the forgotten Pimm’s No 2? I would be most thankful.
    Thomas

  7. Gary July 22, 2007

    I have been on a search for some glassware to highlight my Pimm’s fetish. I am working on establishing an outpost in Northern California. I saw a picture of some some large glasses with the logo from the bottle on it. The pic was a stock photo form the Wall street Journal and they have no idea where to get the glasses. Ebay comes up short as do all my usual stores. Any thoughts from here or across the pond?
    Gary

  8. Andrew July 22, 2007

    Hi Gary – in the UK the branded Pimms merchandise (glasses, jugs etc) are generally included in gift packs or given away free at point of purchase.
    I’ve checked a couple of sites but no one seems to offer the swag for direct sale. Sorry about that.

  9. Tony Wells June 23, 2008

    just had the no 1 with lemonade, apple, cucumber, strawberry and mint – topped off with a ton of ice. I’m now ready for bed – thirst saited but ready to be rude…if you know what I mean!

  10. ryan July 18, 2008

    wow, just found this, and now I have Pimms on my list for tomorrow run to the store! Thanks for this

  11. Jeff July 24, 2008

    I have loved Pimm’s for years, and wanted to try cups 2-6, but even on my travels to the UK have never been able to find them.
    I recently made a batch of cucumber infused vodka which I now combine with my Pimm’s and lemonade or tonic, or…
    Sometimes a little extra kick is needed to help you forget the work day.

  12. Janine August 6, 2008

    The Pimms glassware is available from most breweries. Try Scottish and Newcastle. Most pubs get them free with purchases.

  13. Janine August 6, 2008

    Ryan – they only make 1 and 6 now.

  14. Andrew August 10, 2008

    Hi Lee,
    There are only subtle differences between the two available cups; either would work with the cocktails as listed. Only the winter version is radically different.

  15. Moira O'Mahony October 3, 2008

    One shot of Cointreau, two shots of Pimms. Cool with champagne in refrigerator. Slice lemon, orange, cucumber and a few sprigs of mint. Align tall glasses with a little ice in each, pop in vegetation, mix champagne into Pimms mix and pour into glasses. Deeeeelicious!

  16. Michael May 26, 2009

    Pimms seems to trigger nostalgia in people – so many Pimms drinkers I’ve talked to associate it with a summer spent somewhere, a burgeoning romance, special friends. It takes me right back to undergrad days in Oxford and June punting.
    For people coming new to Pimms, help revive the old traditions and insist on your Pimms being made to occupy a ONE PINT TANKARD and not a mimsy tumbler. Fresh fruit needs room to swim – cobblers are cruel to cucumbers!

  17. Philip Barber May 28, 2009

    Some years back someone spilled the beans on the Pimms No 1 recipe. It is one part full strength gin (40% alcohol+ – stronger and drier the better in my view), one part red martini, half a part Bols Orange Curacao (if you can find it). That produces the original drier (and stronger)drink, before Messrs Pimms reduced the strength and added more caramel to improve their profit margins (but not sadly the drink)!
    Also you do NOT add Ginger BEER to Pimms to produce a Classic Pimms, but Ginger ALE, a completely different mixer. Best to use Schweppes Dry ginger (not that filthy sweet American stuff/Canada Dry (which isn’t)). American ginger ale is really only suitable for the Ladies with a very sweet tooth! All that needs to be added apart from ice is a slice of lemon (there’s enough orange in the curacao, a slice or two of cucumber (vital ingredient) and a sprig of mint). Some like a sprig of borage for decoration. You are then all set to enjoy an afternoon at Henley, Cricket at Lords or Smiths Lawn for the polo with the finest of English summer drinks!

  18. Fergal Mc Grath May 29, 2009

    Hi, can anyone please tell me the name of the person wh created these Pimms cocktails? Thanks.

  19. liese July 19, 2009

    I’ve just had my first Pimms Cup today from some new friends just moved to the USA from the UK.
    I loved it!
    Now for the recipes here when it refers to Lemonade is this Lemonade as we americans know it (sugar water and lemon juice)? Or is this like lemon-lime soda?

  20. wine_scribbler July 19, 2009

    You will need the carbonated stuff Liese; it has to be fizzy!

  21. carole howell December 27, 2009

    I went to visit relatives in England. We had several lovely “winter drinks”, I loved it. Bought me some on way home to states. The two bottles I bought home have lasted me 4yrs. Anyway, Now I need to know where I can purchase more in the US. have Pimm’s No 3 Winter, can anyone give me a store name in Illinois that offers this?

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