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It's Pimm's O'clock

On a hot day, there's nothing more refreshing (and British!) than a Pimms Cup to quench your thirst. We've found, though, that there aren't many out there who know what a Pimms Cup is.

"Pimm's is a gin based liqueur favored by the British. Resembling tea in color, the flavor is reminiscent of currant and is both spicy and citrusy. It's one of the official drinks at Wimbledon, as well as polo matches and other upper crust, gentile sporting events. The drink varies from recipe to recipe, but generally includes sparkling lemonade and/or ginger ale and is garnished with refreshing slices of cucumber, oranges or lemon. "

Pimm's is also sometimes mixed with champagne (or a sparkling white wine), and called a "Pimm's Royal Cup"

We found a recipe - via Well Fed - for making your own Pimms Cups from scratch. Generally, we use bottled Pimms (whose recipe is apparently very secret). You can find Pimms at any Washington State Liquor Store.

Classic Pimm's Cup Recipe:

  • 2 oz. Pimm's No. 1
  • 1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Ginger ale
  • Ice cubes
  • Tools: barspoon
  • Glass: highball
  • Garnish: cucumber
Pour Pimm's and lemon juice into an ice-filled glass, top with ginger ale, stir and garnish.

Or to make a Pimm's Cup pitcher for your next garden party:

  • 2 oranges, cut into half-moons
  • 2 lemons, cut into half-moons
  • 1 Persian cucumber (see Notes) or one 3-in.-long piece English cucumber, washed and sliced
  • 2 cups Pimm's No. 1 (see Notes)
  • 4 cups Sprite or other lemon-lime soda
  • 6 to 8 large sprigs mint, crushed gently, plus a few loose leaves
Fill 2 pitchers 1/4 full with ice. To each, add a layer of orange slices, a few lemon slices, and a layer of cucumber slices. Repeat the layering. Pour in the Pimm's and Sprite, dividing between pitchers, and mix with a long-handled spoon. Poke mint sprigs and leaves down into drink. Divide drink among 8 tall glasses, with a few slices of fruit and cucumber in each glass, along with some mint leaves.

We've found that bartenders who wish to make a Pimm's Cup without its main ingredient (the bottled liqueur) usually mix one part gin with one part red Vermouth and 1/2 part to 1 part of triple sec or Orange Curacao.

Part of becoming a better bartender is being knowledgeable about your drinks. Thinking of becoming a bartender? AACEA provides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit

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