[GUEST POST by Azlin Bloor] What completes your Happier Place on a warm spring or summer day – wherever you may be? For me, it’s a tall glass of icy cold Pimm’s (or Pimm’s Cup, as it’s more often referred to in the US).
What is Pimm’s, you ask? A Pimm’s Cup is the quintessential British summer drink, as synonymous with long summer evenings here, as Wimbledon and strawberries and cream. To me, a glass of Pimm’s is a thing of beauty – liquid amber adorned with the colors of summer; all at once mysterious and seductive, yet a touch playful.
There are so many different ways to make a Pimm’s Cup. In fact, the brand sells a variety of flavors, marketed at different times of the year. But the basic Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is made with a touch of mint, some strawberries, and a small amount of cucumber, yes cucumber! If you’ve never added cucumber to your cocktails, you don’t know what you’re missing, it adds a fresh aroma almost reminiscent of freshly cut grass to any summer cocktail. Then we add lots of ice, which is why we start off with a good amount of Pimm’s to lemon-lime soda!
Created in 1823 by James Pimm, the original, Pimm’s No. 1, is a gin-based liqueur made from a secret blend of fruit, herbs, spices and spirits. James Pimm first gave out these little “fruit cups” as an aid to digestion to his Oyster Bar customers in London.
Being a gin- and fruit-based drink, Pimm’s does have a natural affinity to fruit; so lemons, oranges, blueberries, apples, peaches and really, just about any fruit will only add to the complexity of the taste. BUT a word of advice. Go easy. Less is more. Remember, you want to enhance the original flavor, not obscure it with too many fruits. For that reason, I prefer to stick with just 2-3 different types of fruit; although the mint, the cucumber and the strawberries are non-negotiable to me.
We love going out exploring on warm days, and living close to the British coastline, offers us many, many different opportunities, some a little more exciting than others.
Because my husband always insists on driving (lucky me!), I get to bottle up my favorite summer drink on many of these trips. And that’s where the Happier Place Double Wall Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle has been a life saver. Seriously. My kids may be the world’s most well behaved tweens and teens, but there are still 4 of them! Know what I mean?
So, are you ready for the Pimm’s Cup recipe? Be conservative initially, and follow mine. Then, when you know what to expect, you can play around with the fruit. Some people even add ginger ale to it; but I can imagine that James Pimm must be rolling in his grave over that one!
And, if you are a tennis fan, make yourself some Pimm’s next time you’re out playing or watching tennis. It has long been the traditional drink sold and served at Wimbledon.
I’m giving you the recipe for 1 small portion. Think of it as a formula. Double, triple or multiply by 10 as necessary!
Pimm’s Cup Recipe Ingredients (makes 1 small portion)
1 part Pimm’s No. 1
3 parts lemon-lime soda (e.g., 7UP or Sprite)
3 ice cubes
2 mint leaves, crushed or bruised
2 strawberries, quartered
1 cucumber slice, quartered
Additional fruit ideas:
blueberries, lightly crushed
apples, in small pieces
peaches, in slices, along with any juices
Pimm’s Cup Recipe Instructions:
1. Place the Pimm’s, ice, mint leaves, strawberries and cucumber in a jug or your Happier Place Double Wall Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle, and stir to mix.
2. When ready to serve, add the soda. Bottoms up!
A Pimm’s Cup is best when the flavors are allowed to mingle and get it on with each other. When I’m taking it out with me to my Happier Place, I mix the Pimm’s, the fruit and some ice cubes in the Double Wall Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle. Then, when I’m ready to serve, all I do, is top it up with some lemon-lime soda, the traditional mixer. And sit back and chill.
Incidentally, lemon-lime soda is called lemonade here in the UK, very different from the American lemonade, right?