Meet My New Pal: Pimm’s Cup

I am a lover of gin. Ever since I visited Ye Olde England for New Year’s 2000 (BIG disappointment when the Thames River refused to catch aflame) gin has been a favorite of mine. Many were the freezing-butt-ass-cold December nights I spent in my friend’s dormitory kitchen, getting drunk on Gordon’s and watching terrible TV with poor reception, occasionally breaking for crumpets, though it may have been a full 12 hours shy of High Tea.

Pimms Cup

Pimms Cup

For a long time after that, my Summer Drink of Choice was a gin and tonic. As recently as last year, though, I’ve switched to gin and soda, which is more refreshing and tangier and unusual — all qualities that rank high in importance to me.

But, dig this. Pimm’s. Heard of it???

Yeah, I know you have. Everyone has, apparently, except for me. But in case you are like me, the thing you need to know is that Pimm’s #1 is a gin-based liqueur made in Great Britain since, like, 1820 and is known as the only “cocktail in a bottle”. It’s gin and herbs and alchemy and deliciousness. It may be served on the rocks, or made into a fancier drink called a Pimm’s Cup (or a Pimm’s Cup Cocktail).

It is PURE SUNSHINE. Here’s how I make my Pimm’s Cup, henceforth known officially as my New Summer Drink of Choice, especially if you can find a nice spicy ginger beer!


Pimm\’s Cup Cocktail #1

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  • Yield: 1 1x


  • 21/2” slices of cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/21 teaspoon honey (unless you have ginger beer)
  • 1/2 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce Pimm’s #1
  • Seltzer Water or Ginger Beer to top off


  1. In a highball glass, put the cucumber slices. Muddle around with a fork or the reaming-end of a wooden citrus reamer (or an actual muddler if you are so fancy) until the cucumber is broken up a bit.
  2. Squeeze in the lemon and the honey and mix it about.
  3. Fill the glass with crushed ice if you got it; ice cubes if you don’t.
  4. Add the gin and Pimm’s. Stir.
  5. Top off with seltzer.
  6. Watch some AbFab reruns.

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Cheers, mate!

UPDATE! I’ve since cracked the code on the Famous Napoleon House Pimm’s Cup Cocktail! There’s even a video on it!


  1. Christopher Sharpe on August 10, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I am now a Pimm’s Cup convert! I plan on drinking one of these every day until the weather drops below 100 degrees.

    I like the suggestion on Facebook to add a little Brandy instead of Ginger Beer. We should try that for the next round.

    • Hilah on August 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

      In that case, we may be drinking these through November.

      Also need to try the strawberries and mint suggestion!

  2. Bev Weidner on August 10, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Dear God. Done.

    • Hilah on August 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      Git it, gurl. Git. It.

  3. Great Stone Face on August 10, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Sounds good. Maybe I’ll add this to the menu (along with the Fish House Punch — a great success!) when we next host our euchre group. Our No. 3 Son can use the leftover ginger beer to make Dark ‘n’ Stormy’s.

    • Hilah on August 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Yes! This could easily be converted into a punch for several people.

      I like how you number your children. 😉

  4. Randy on August 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Last summer, my Summer Drink of Choice was a Dark and Stormy, but by the end of the summer I was getting kind of tired of them. Part of the reason was that all of a sudden none of the milder ginger beers like Cock and Bull were available in Austin. The Jamaican style ginger beers are so spicy that they overwhelm the Gosling rum.

    What brand of ginger beer do you use in a Pimm’s Cup?

    Do you have a favorite gin? I have several favorites for making martinis, another for aviations and still another for gin and tonics.

    When I worked in London years ago, I had my first Pimm’s Cup when I was dragged along to the horse races (which, to me, is only slightly more interesting than cricket). There the Pimm’s Cup is like the mint julep at the Kentucky Derby. I loved it and asked my coworkers how to make one. They told me it was Pimm’s #1 and LEMONADE. It wasn’t until I got back to the US that I found out the Brits call lemon sodas, like 7Up, lemonade. Somewhere along the line I started making them with ginger ale instead. I’ll have to try one with ginger beer!

    Oh, crap. I just checked and found that I’ve only got half an ounce of Pimm’s #1. And on top of that my electric ice crusher is broke. But at least my DVD player still works. Just last week I was watching “Bubble’s Greatest Hits” (I am Jane Horrocks’ biggest fan) on YouTube, so I think I’ll watch a couple of AbFab episodes and then head to Spec’s.

    • Hilah on August 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      I got a small-brew ginger beer from Vermont, I think. It said “Jamaican style” and it was real spicy. I’d have to dig the bottle out of the recycling bin to get the name, though.

      I like Gordon’s gin. It’s what I and my English cohorts drank in London so I figure it’s pretty good. It’s also inexpensive. But, anyone who’s ever drank with me will tell you I am no snob when it comes to booze, so Gordon’s may be terrible but I wouldn’t know. 🙂 I remember the first time a boy in a bar bought me a drink and “upgraded” my order of gin and tonic to Tanqueray and tonic. I thanked him, but honestly it made no difference to me.

      That said, someone recently gifted me with a bottle of organic gin and that was good and very interestingly spiced. Again, no recollection of the name. Help me.

      • Randy on August 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm

        Was it TRU2?

        I’m glad you’re not that picky about gin, but I’ll now have to give Gordon’s a go in The Hilah Cocktail.

        • Hilah on August 12, 2011 at 9:53 am

          No, it was definitely clear… I’ll have to look around and see if I can find it again. And then find someone to buy it for me. 😉

      • Randy on August 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm

        Well, I had an eye-opener last night. I went to Spec’s to pick up more gin and peach liqueur (for research and development, of course). I had no problem finding the Beefeater because I buy it all the time. But I had trouble finding the Gordon’s because I was looking for green bottles (which is what it came in the last time I bought some…in the U.K.) And after I found it I was blown away by the price. It was almost less than half the price of the Beefeater. When I got home, I tried a shot of Gordon’s followed by a shot of Beefeater. Slightly different taste with the Gordon’s ever so slightly less full bodied. Eager to get to the bottom of the price difference, I read the Gordon’s label and immediately found the answer: it’s made in the USA, so no import tax. A little Googling revealed that the U.K stuff still comes in a green bottle, but the gin they produce elsewhere comes in clear bottles. I also found a site that rated gins and gave Gordon’s and Beefeater identical scores. I have to add Gordon’s to the very, very short list of great booze bargains along with Rittenhouse 100 rye and Black Bottle blended scotch.

        • Hilah on August 15, 2011 at 9:23 am

          I found the gin! It is Farmer’s. It’s “small batch” and “organic” and tastes like air. Made fabulous Pimm’s cup cocktails with it.

          • Randy on August 15, 2011 at 9:47 am

            You must have a friend in NYC: Spec’s doesn’t carry it. I can’t afford to go to NYC this month 🙁

          • Hilah on August 15, 2011 at 10:42 am

            He is a traveling salesman so that makes sense. I’m sad now, too. I liked that gin.

  5. rsimpson3 on August 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Hey, did you move the blog? It doesn’t “remember” me and most of your replies are gone!

    • Christopher on August 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Sorry about that. Everything should be back to normal. You commented during a period where we were briefly testing out a few possible new features. We decided not to implement any of them.

      We are always experimenting, but only with the idea of making the site simpler and faster. We definitely don’t want to make it more complicated.

      • Randy on August 11, 2011 at 5:06 pm

        No problem! I was a little stressed out after having Google log me out of two of their apps after I’d switched emails. I think they try to punish me for having a dozen tabs open in my browser.

  6. Randy on August 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Well, it’s obvious now that things are different. I’m starting to really dislike the “social interaction” between Google, Twitter and everything else. I very carefully set up email accounts for a personal me and a business me. Somewhere along the way, the two have become mixed up. But at least I’m semi-straightened out here and switched over to the personal me, although I think that business me is still on record somewhere..

  7. Randy on August 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Okay, now I’m really confused. The old blog is back. And my old email address is back. And your comments are back.

    • Hilah on August 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      Sorry, Randy!

  8. Mary Helen on August 12, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Aha! I think I remember seeing the bartender whipping these up at The Tigress recently, and they looked pretty swell. I’ll have to get my hands on one (or more). Have you tried a Plantation yet? It’s another awesome gin based cocktail that I’m a big fan of.

    • Hilah on August 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      Oh damn, girl, I still haven’t been there! I need to check it out.
      Yes, Pimm’s Cups are the bomb but I’m taking a cue from you and making myself a Plantation soon! I just looked it up and it sounds effing rad. Thanks for the tip!

  9. Randy on August 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I finally found a picture of the sort of Pimm’s cup you’d get at a UK race track. I guess the beauty of the Pimm’s cup is that you can make it as simple or as fancy as you want.

    • Hilah on August 21, 2011 at 11:31 am

      That’s how one of the FaceBook commenters described it: A Fruit Salad in a Cup.

      It’s gorgeous!

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