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Food & Drink

GoNOLA Top 5: Pimm’s Cups in New Orleans

The Pimm's Cup from Napoleon House (Photo: Zack Smith)

The incredibly refreshing Pimm’s Cup is not just a British staple for the warmer months, it is also widely considered to be a classic New Orleans cocktail. The recipes are as varied as you’ll find for any cocktail. On the simpler end, a Pimm’s Cup is nothing more than some Pimm’s No. 1, lemonade, lemon-lime soda and a cucumber garnish. On the more extravagant and complex side, you’ll find yourself with something approximating a fruit salad/lemonade combo in a glass. One thing that all the recipes share is Pimm’s No. 1 and the fact that they are all delicious ways to keep cool. Here are five Pimm’s Cups that you can grab to sip your way to a sweet summer.

The Best Places to Get a Pimm’s Cup in New Orleans

The Pimm’s Cup from Napoleon House (Photo: Zack Smith)

1. Napoleon House: Napoleon House is known for its Pimm’s Cup, inner courtyard, and muffulettas and I highly recommend all three. To me, Napoleon House is the city’s torch-bearer for the Pimm’s Cup, as the drink has graced the menu for decades. Further cementing Napoleon House’s legendary association with the Pimm’s Cup is the fact that countless people experience their first one here.

2. Bar Tonique: Bar Tonique is a great bar on Rampart Street that brings you classic cocktails in their original glory and modern riffs on the beloved staples. You’re going to be able to get a great cocktail here everyday, but Monday is your day to score a Pimm’s Cup. The Pimm’s Cup is Bar Tonique’s Monday special so all day you get $5 Pimm’s Cups. That’s a great deal and a heck of a way to cool off after checking out the historic Congo Square in Armstrong Park.

3. Kingfish: Just a block from the Napoleon House on Chartres Street, Kingfish offers up a significantly different Pimm’s Cup than its neighbor. Using seasonal berries, lemon juice and soda water, the Kingfish Pimm’s Cup is definitely on the more extravagant end of the recipe spectrum. But don’t worry, it is still unbelievably refreshing and while you’re sipping it down, you’ll be able to snack on delightfully tasty fresh berries!

Cure on Freret Street (Photo: Zack Smith)

4. Cure: I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the undeniably sophisticated Cure makes a great Pimm’s Cup, but don’t think the Pimm’s Cup story ends with that. Kirk Estopinal, one of the bar’s owners, has evolved the classic drink by combining it with another staple – the Bloody Mary. Estopinal’s drink, Red Medicine combines Pimm’s No. 1, lemon juice, celery bitters, a sweet and spicy syrup and soda water with a cucumber garnish. The unexpected combination of of the Pimm’s Cup and the Bloody Mary results in a drink that is both rejuvenating and refreshing.

5. The Rusty Nail: A bar named for a classic Scotch cocktail probably isn’t the first place you’d think to order a Pimm’s Cup, especially not when you see their incredible Scotch list. But the Rusty Nail is the place to find this cocktail in a different form all together — the frozen Pimm’s Cup. The Rusty Nail’s frozen Pimm’s Cup isn’t displayed on the menu, but all you’ve got to do is request one. After a quick disappearing act, the bartender will reward you with a cup of icy Pimm’s goodness.

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