Pimm’s at large has a few tricks up its sleeve. You rarely give it a second thought, save for ordering it in sweltering heat with a helping of summer fruits and a crown of ginger ale or lemonade.
So did you ever stop to think about why it’s Pimm’s Number 1 Cup. Or what it really is?
Pimm’s Number 1 Cup was so named by James Pimm in 1823. He owned a series of fancy Oyster bars in central London and came up with an in-house concoction that was served with fruit and topped with lemon soda. This concoction was a gin-based liqueur, infused with spices, juices and tea, then served in a metal tankard, known as the ‘number 1 cup’ – hence the name. All of these elements remain largely unchanged today: the sign of a true classic.
James went on to expand his concept and released five more ‘cups’, all similar, just having a different base, including Scotch whisky, rum, brandy, vodka and rye whiskey. He also expanded his ‘gentleman’s oyster bars’ and the chain went on to be owned by the one-time mayor of London, Horatio Davies.
The enthusiasm for Pimm’s amongst the British upper classes is phenomenal. Served on tap at Wimbledon, the thirsty tennis-goers consume an unseemly 40,000 pints over the event and try their best to get through as many again at the Henley Royal Regatta.
Owing to this large and unchanged consumption of Pimm’s for over 180 years, we feel it’s time to think outside the square and give you a fresh spin on another, lesser-known Pimm’s concoction. This version has a little more depth and pleasantly reminds you that you are drinking something, rather than the standard Pimm’s Cup, which brings you all too abruptly to the bottom of your glass.
Seamstress’ Pimm’s Rangoon
3 mint leaves
50mls Pimm’s No.1 Cup
15mls sweet vermouth – try martini rosso
20mls lemon juice
10mls pomegranate molasses (any good health food store)
Muddle fresh ginger, strawberry, cucumber and three mint leaves. Shake and strain and top with ginger ale.