Now that I have a slight tan from our Mexican vacation, I’ve decided to ignore the fact that I wore a coat to work today and pretend summer has arrived. And what better way to get in the summer mood than a refreshing cocktail?
I wasn’t always big on cocktails. I did have a vodka soda habit in my early twenties, but well vodka drank through a straw isn’t exactly a proper cocktail. It doesn’t count. Soon after moving to Brooklyn, I discovered The Clover Club, a charming bar and lounge devoted to old fashioned, classic cocktails. They opened my eyes to the delightful world of bitters, fizzes, sours, royales and swizzles – all interesting, all delicious. So at a recent party, when my friend was serving the popular British drink, Pimm’s No. 1 cup, I decided to give it a try. Pimm’s is a mixture of gin, liqueurs, and fruit extracts and was first produced in the 1800′s by James Pimm, a London oyster bar owner. I have never liked gin, but if I was going to be a true anglophile, I had to at least taste the drink of Wimbledon. I was pleasantly surprised. It was light and refreshing, not too sweet – the perfect summer cocktail.
There are a lot of recipes out there and I tried a few of them, but the one below is my favorite by far. It takes a little effort – a simple syrup, lots of slicing – but it is worth it in the end. The recipe also calls for Meyer lemons, which I couldn’t find, so I used normal lemons instead and they worked fine.
We are only a month away from Wimbledon… so as they say in Britain, it’s Pimm’s o’clock!
Pimm’s Cup Cocktails
Recipe by Gabe Soria and Amanda Zug-Moore from bon appetit
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups Pimm’s No. 1
- 1 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 2 Meyer lemons, thinly sliced
- 1 orange, halved, thinly sliced
- 1 6-inch-long piece cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 3-inch-long piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 1/2 cups chilled club soda
- ice cubes
- cucumber spears (for garnish)
Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Combine Pimm’s and next 6 ingredients in large pitcher. Mix in 1/2 cup sugar syrup, mashing slighly to release flavors. Cover; chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
Stir 1 1/2 cups club soda into pitcher. Fill 8 old-fashioned glasses with ice, then cocktail. Garnish with cucumber spear.
MAKES 8 SERVINGS