I love summer cocktails, mostly because there is such an array of pretty ones to mix up and serve to my friends. I find a signature cocktail is a fun way to begin a dinner party on a festive note. The Pimm’s Cup has to be “the” quintessential English summer libation and a perfect warm weather cocktail. This is a terrific cocktail for July 4th – double or triple it, accordingly, for a crowd.
Inspired by a gorgeous photo of a Pimm’s in a summer issue of Bon Appetit last year, I mixed up a batch, working on an eye-catching garnish. This is a deceptively strong cocktail, so I took a hint from BA and added some ginger beer, my favorite British soft drink. You can substitute sparkling water for the ginger beer, adding just a teaspoon of super-fine sugar.
I used cucumber, the classic Pimm’s garnish, and added some herbs from the garden as well. My orange thyme was in flower and the pineapple mint needed pruning. I only wish my Tuscan rosemary had been blooming. Have fun concocting your own version.
Many thanks to Laura of Family Spice for her patient, helpful and inspirational photo tips.
TIP: Buy Pimm’s No. 1, a fruit and herb-infused gin, at most liquor stores. It is a little price-y, about $20, but you can store the opened bottle in your liquor cupboard until your next summer happy hour.
- 1 3-inch piece English cucumber, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ¾ cup Pimm's No. 1
- 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
- ice cubes
- 2 sprigs each fresh thyme, mint and rosemary
- 2 Meyer lemon slices
- chilled ginger beer
- cucumber spears, thyme, mint and rosemary sprigs (garnishes)
- Place cucumber pieces in a cocktail shaker and mash with the end of a wooden spoon.
- Add Pimm's and lemon juice.
- Fill 2 tall glasses with ice and set aside.
- Add ice to Pimm's mixture, cover and shake for 20 seconds. Strain and pour into 2 glasses.
- Add some ice cubes, then a lemon slice and finish with more ice.
- Top off each glass with ginger beer.
- Garnish and serve.