Purists may gasp at this suggestion, and maybe I’m just that over winter (who isn’t) but with days getting longer, most of the snow melted, and enjoying some white wine and a gin and tonic over spring break, now I am thirsty for Pimm’s! Agreed that it isn’t anywhere close to the height of summer and that is undoubtedly the best time to drink Pimm’s . . . but it’s a great way to revive and refresh the palate from the winter doldrums.
With its citrusy, herbaceous, cool, crisp flavors, Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is the gin-based, iced-tea-colored spirit that serves as the cocktail base. The exact ingredients of Pimm’s No. 1 (juices and spices, like an herby-sweet red vermouth) are a guarded secret, known only to the top Pimm’s people, mysteriously called “The Secret Six.”
At a relatively low 25 percent alcohol, Pimm’s blends nicely with lemon soda or ginger ale. Try with an artisanal mixer; I love Fentiman’s Victorian Lemonade, with ginger and herbal extracts. It has a not too sweet brightness, and because of the fermentation, a little extra tang. Q Ginger Ale also makes a superb mixer, complementing Pimm’s spicy-sweetness. Simply garnish with cucumber and lemon, or other fresh fruits and herbs you might have on hand to make a Pimm's Cup (the tall drink). This is one food trend I’m happy to thumb my nose at. Pimm’s for Spring!
Makes one drink
1 1/2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
Fentiman’s Victorian Lemonade
Optional: a slice of green apple, an orange slice, and/or fresh mint leaves
Half-fill a Collins glass with ice and a few slices of cucumber, or other garnishes. Add measure of Pimm’s, then top up glass with soda. Stir gently and add additional ice if necessary. Garnish with slices of lemon and cucumber.
Cheers! —Lindsey Coleman, @surdyksliquor