There’s a great English tradition that happens every July: Wimbledon. Women put on their nicest sun dresses and big floppy hats, men wear all-white, and everyone gathers around to watch the best tennis players in the world smash a small fuzzy ball across an immaculate grass court with savage fury. What do they drink on this special occasion? Pimm’s. You can find this national treasure at Liquor Barn. What exactly is Pimm’s and how do you drink it? That’s the subject of this week’s blog.
A man named James Pimm came to London to seek his fortune after growing up the son of a farmer in rural Kent. In 1823 he set up shop near the City of London, the English capital’s financial district. Every afternoon, thirsty bankers would stop by his bar, and Pimm served up gin cocktails. Eventually he created a gin concoction with dozens of herbs, caramelized orange, and a mix of spices. The result was a bittersweet, reddish amber liquor with an ABV of 25%.
Over the next few decades, Pimm expanded his distilling operation to meet growing demand from bars all over England. In 1865, he sold the business and rights to his name, and the business changed hands a few times in quick succession. Ultimately, a chain of Pimm’s Oyster Houses was franchised in 1887, with Pimm’s famous No. 1 cup being the best seller.
The next century saw other spirits introduced with the Pimm’s name -- No.s 2-6 -- but none of them ever reached the level of popularity of the No. 1. Most of them have been phased out, with the exception of No. 3, a brandy-based infusion that is currently released during the colder months as Pimm’s winter cup.
Nowadays, Pimm’s has enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the increasing global audience of Wimbledon; the BBC estimated that a billion people in 200 countries watched at least part of a match or highlights. Some savvy marketing campaigns So how do you enjoy a classic Pimm’s No. 1 cup? Here’s the recipe, straight from Pimm’s:
Pile all the ingredients in a tall glass, mix and sip.
- Highball glass
- 50ml PIMM’S No.1
- 150ml of Lemonade
- Mint, orange, strawberries, chopped up into bite-size pieces
Cucumber to garnish and ice