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Pimm’s Cup cocktail recipe

Pimm’s Cup is actually more a punch than a cocktail. It starts with a potation called Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, created in the 1840s by the owner of Pimm’s Oyster Bar in London. It was served as the house ale, and the recipe was perfected over many years until it became what you can buy today: a gin-based, low alcohol spice and citrus spirit.

Pimm's Cup cocktail with fruit in glass against orange background

To that, you add gin if you want higher alcohol content, then lemonade (or in modern times, some people prefer 7-up or ginger ale), then whatever fruit you want to throw at it. It’s perfect for parties because of the low alcohol content (or not so low, if you add gin – depends what kind of crowd you’re entertaining) and the sheer fun of drinking something that’s got chunks of fruit in it that you can eat after they’ve soaked up the alcohol.

It’s a little bit like a sangria, except less sweet, generally. Because this is a rather light, refreshing cocktail, it works very well with heavy meals. These Cheese Steak Quesadillas from Easy Peasy Pleasy are a nice choice. The seasonings and the savory flavors of the peppers, steak and cheese contrast nicely with the drink. And the fruit and veggie chunks in the drink are a nice finish to the whole meal.

Pimm’s Cup Cocktail Recipe

Makes enough for 6 people:

  • 12 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
  • 6 ounces dry gin (optional – just raises the alcohol content)
  • Lemonade
  • Fruit chunks or slices (cucumber, lemon, lime, strawberries and mint are suggested – cucumber is actually the most common garnish)

Put about twenty ice cubes into a large jug. Add the Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, then the gin and the fruit. Fill the jug the rest of the way with lemonade and stir it. Serve it in highball glasses. Remind your guests they can eat the fruit, too.