The 190-year-old Pimm’s Cup may be the official drink of Wimbledon, but we’d argue it has a place as the official drink of summer. This refreshing, low-alcohol sipper has just the right amount of booze, citrus, and fresh herbs (and sometimes fruit and cucumbers) that work so well in the warm months.
A proper Pimm’s Cup has four parts: “Pimm’s, mint, some kind of citrus, and something carbonated,” says Maxwell Britten, bar director at Brooklyn-based Maison Premiere, which has an ever-changing, seasonal Pimm’s cocktail. To be more exact, a purist’s Pimm’s Cup would include one part Pimm’s, three parts lemonade, with mint and maybe a cucumber wheel, served on ice. But Pimm’s is a versatile drink and you’re not likely to find agreement on any one recipe – nor much pushback on the many equally tasty variations bartenders have created.
Britten likes to push the Pimm’s far, adding pineapple juice, lime, ginger syrup, and strawberry fennel shrub to give it “a lot of acidity…to really brighten things up and makes it more cohesive,” he says.
He also puts in an extra splash of gin that makes this drink stand up next to boozier cocktails and give this low-proof cocktail a kick, he says. In a couple of weeks, Maison Premiere plans to launch another edition of the Pimm’s cup, which includes a salted watermelon syrup. After a few classes of its current offerings, though, we think we have our recipe to make all summer.
The Current Pimm’s at Maison Premiere
• 1.5 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
• .5 oz. Beefeater
• .25 oz. pineapple juice
• .5 oz. lime juice
• .5 oz. strawberry fennel shrub
• .25 oz. ginger syrup
• 1 slice of orange
• 1 pinch of fresh mint
• 1 pinch black pepper
• Topped with soda
Method: Shake, strain, top with soda
Garnish: Halved strawberry, mint