Pimm’s for the 4th
July 4 is Sunday, and, amid the burgers and firecrackers, there’s the Wimbledon men’s singles finals. I’m not a huge tennis fan, but the event always makes me thirsty for Pimm’s. It’s the quintessential English summer cocktail, and some 200,000 glasses are served during the tournament each year. We certainly enjoyed our share at the women’s semi-finals in 2000; it was the perfect quencher after watching Venus beat Serena en route to winning the women’s singles. Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur that creator James Pimm began serving at his London oyster house in 1823. The recipe is so secret that current brand owner Diageo staggers ingredient purchases to keep snoops from figuring out how much of what is used, according to the Complete Encyclopedia of Wine, Beer and Spirits. Pimm’s goes into in any manner of recipes (see Liquor.com for ideas), but when you order a Pimm’s, it means Pimm’s mixed with lemon-lime soda and garnished with strawberries, cucumber, orange slices and mint. Or, indeed, as the official Pimm’s web site urges, any fruit you fancy. Here’s the traditional take: Fill a glass or pitcher partway with ice. Add 1 part Pimm’s, 3 parts chilled lemon-lime soda, cucumber slices, orange slices, halved strawberries or other fruit. Stir, garnish with a mint sprig and enjoy.
(photo courtesy of Channel 4)