Around this time last summer, I discovered Pimm’s No. 1, a gin-based liquor made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices, herbs, and spices. The formula is a well-kept secret. It is reported that only six people in the world know how it’s made. The taste is hard to describe. It’s light, fruity, a little spicy, with a hint of cucumber (yes, cucumber). You definitely don’t have to be a gin drinker to enjoy Pimm’s.
The classic Pimm’s drink, the Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, is commonly associated with Wimbledon. As with most classic (i.e., old) cocktail recipes, there are dozens of ways to make a Pimm’s cup. The “official” recipe, from the Pimm’s website, is 1 part Pimm’s No. 1 and 3 parts chilled lemonade, stirred together over ice, and garnished with one or more of mint, cucumber, orange, and strawberry. However, because British lemonade is carbonated and lemonade in the States tends to be still, many recipes call for a 1:2:1 ratio of Pimm’s, lemonade, and lemon-lime soda or seltzer.
I used the classic Pimm’s No. 1 Cup recipe as the basis for a party punch I made to take to a dinner party recently. Here’s how I made it:
Pimm’s No. 1 Punch Cup
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6-8 basil leaves
- 5 strawberries
- 3 limes
- 1 small cucumber
- 4 cups still lemonade
- 1 bottle Pimm’s No. 1
- 6 cups carbonated lemonade -or- 3 cups still lemonade and 3 cups lemon-lime soda
- Muddle sugar and 4 basil leaves and place in large pitcher or container.
- Chiffonade remaining basil leaves and add to pitcher with muddled basil.
- Hull, wash, and slice strawberries. Add to pitcher.
- Zest and juice 1 lime; slice remaining 2 limes. Add zest, juice, and slices to pitcher.
- Slice cucumbers and add to pitcher.
- Pour 4 cups still lemonade into pitcher and mix well, smashing fruit a bit to release juices. Add Pimm’s and stir to mix well.
- Cover container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Add carbonated lemonade (or remaining still lemonade and lemon-lime soda) and stir gently to mix.
- Serve over ice, garnished with one or more of strawberries, lime wedges, cucumber slices, or sprigs of mint or basil.
Variation: Substitute mint sprigs for basil.
This is the last in a series of six posts featuring (or at least including) strawberries. The strawberries were great this year, and I was having so much fun making recipes with them that I decided to host Strawberry Week on my blog. Check out the other posts from this week, including Real Strawberry Shortcakes.