We’re now well and truly into summer and the social season lies ahead of us. In the UK we have three of the most social events of the year coming up including Wimbledon this week (where people watch tennis and drink Pimms); the Henley Royal Regatta (where boaters in straw hats row, while people drink Pimms); and the Chelsea Flower Show (where people look at flowers and drink Pimms). Are you picking up a pattern here?
The unmistakable taste of the English summer
Yes, the Pimm’s Cup is truly the drink of the English summer and you will find it on any sunny day being served and drunk in large glasses filled with fruit, ice, lemonade and the unmistakably herby taste of Pimms. Pub gardens will be full of Pimms drinkers and large jugs of the stuff will be perched on bar tables around the country for the authentic taste of the English summer. For those who don’t know, Pimms is a gin cup first made in London by James Pimms way back in 1820. He actually owned an oyster bar and created this herbal concoction to settle the stomachs of any customers who might have over-indulged on his shellfish.
Introducing Pimms No. 1
The restaurant chain grew and his drink became increasingly popular, so he developed a version of the mix that he could sell to other restaurants – and he named it the No. 1 Cup. Today, we just know it as Pimms.
But Pimms comes in different shapes and sizes including the No. 2 Cup (made with Scotch whiskey); the No. 3 Cup (or Pimms Winter) was relaunched in 2008; the No. 4 Cup (made with Rum); and the No. 5 Cup (made with Rye). Then comes the No. 6 Cup (made with Vodka) which is the second most popular of the variants. But this article isn’t about Pimms. It’s about an alternative. What if we could share a recipe for home-made Pimms that is even more delicious than the original and really easy to make?
Well, say no more – your wish has just come true. Here’s an amazing, easy to drink recipe that you can make at home.
Home-made is always best…
This recipe requires first making a fruit cup syrup, which is then mixed with gin and sweet vermouth to give your summer potion an unmistakable and distinctive character. But to do this properly, you’re going to need to gather some ingredients. You’re going to need a little caster sugar, some fresh strawberries, a cucumber, some grapefruit peel and some mint. And then, to spritz it all up you’ll need a juniper-forward gin, some vermouth (rosso), plenty of ice and some fizzy lemonade or ginger ale. It’s already making my mouth water just thinking about it. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe!
Home-made Pimms recipe
For the fruit cup syrup
- 300g of caster sugar
- 200g of thinly sliced strawberries
- 150g of sliced, peeled cucumber
- 30g of grapefruit peel
- 10g of mint leaves
- 300 ml water
For the fruit cup
- 200 ml fruit cup syrup (see above)
- 400 ml of juniper forward gin
- 400 ml of red vermouth
- Sparkling lemonade or ginger ale
- Sliced strawberries, oranges, lavender leaves and bay leaves to garnish
- Sprinkle the sugar over the strawberries, cucumber, grapefruit, mint and lavender
- Place in refrigerator overnight (to draw moisture from the fruit)
- Add the water, then pour everything into a resealable plastic bag
- Heat a pan of hot water to a steady 55C (you may need a temperature probe for this)
- After 4 hours, remove from the pan and strain through a sieve
For the fruit cup:
- Once the syrup has cooled, mix it with the gin and vermouth and store in the fridge, where it should last for up to 6 months
- Mix one part of fruit cup with two parts of lemonade or ginger ale (or both) over plenty of ice
- Garnish as extravagantly as you like – game, set and match
Anyone for tennis?
Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)
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