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The Pimm-Perfect Summer Cocktail

Hi ho, go gos. It’s official. It’s summertime in New Orleans, but we New Orleanians keep the party going. Helping us through those steamy nights is an arsenal of crisp and refreshing cocktails – my favorite being the Pimm’s Cup.

Pimm's No. 1 Cup

Everyone’s drinking them in the city, so if you’re not you need to start. And unlike my beloved Sazerac which varies in sweetness and potency from bar to bar, the Pimm’s Cup remains relatively consistent. Wikipedia explains that Pimm’s is most common in Britain, particularly Southern England, and is one of the two staple drinks at Wimbledon. A “Pimm’s Cup” is also the standard cocktail at British and American polo matches.

Pimm’s was first produced in 1823 by James Pimm, a farmer’s son from Kent who became the owner of an oyster bar in the City of London, near the Bank of England. Pimm offered the tonic (a gin-based drink containing quinine and a secret mixture of herbs) as an aid to digestion, serving it in a small tankard known as a “No. 1 Cup,” hence its subsequent name.

This cocktail isn’t boozy at all. It’s mild and smooth, and often reminds me of “cucumbery” iced tea. You can drink them all night. You’ll look cool and keep cool. How very New Orleans of you.

The recipe isn’t one that you have to follow precisely. In fact, in preparation for this post, I found a number of Pimm’s Cup recipes. The ingredients varied slightly, but the proportions remained relatively consistent. So, we’ll use thirds to get it right.

The Recipe

Take a glass, any glass, and fill with ice. Fill the glass with 1/3 Pimm’s No. 1 Cup. Fill the rest of the glass (2/3) with Ginger Ale; you could use lemon-lime soda, or really any soda you like. Stir and garnish with sliced cucumbers.

That’s it. You’re done.

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