Pimm's Cup

Pimms Cup No. 1

The Spruce

 

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
424 Calories
1g Fat
88g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 424
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 49mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 88g 32%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Protein 2g
Calcium 79mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Pimm's Cup is both a liqueur and a mixed drink. It is a delightful and easy beverage that pairs the namesake liqueur with lemonade and a cucumber garnish. This refreshing cocktail may quickly become one of your new favorites.

The featured liqueur is Pimm's Cup No. 1, a gin-based spirit with the flavor of spiced fruit that originated at London's Oyster Bar in the mid-1800s. Adding a mixer as subtle as lemonade enhances its character and turns it into a stimulating and light beverage.

This recipe is also called "Pimm's Original" by The Pimm's Company. Though there are many variations on it, the mix of 1 part Pimm's Cup No. 1 and 3 parts lemonade is considered the most traditional.

Pimm's is very popular in the United Kingdom and the mixed drink could be considered the "official" refreshment of Wimbledon. It is a spectacular summer cocktail that is fitting for a tennis match in July or any other occasion, for that matter. You can easily increase this recipe to fill a pitcher and serve it as a refreshing brunch drink or an alternative for tea time.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Pimm's Cup No. 1
  • 4 1/2 ounces lemonade
  • Garnish: mint, orange, and/or strawberries
  • Garnish: cucumber slice or peel

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Pimm's No 1 Cup ingredients
  2. Pour the liqueur into a collins glass filled with ice cubes.

    Pour liqueur and add ice cubes to cocktail glasses
    The Spruce
  3. Add the lemonade.

    Add lemonade to glasses
    The Spruce
  4. Garnish with the cucumber and any combination of mint, orange, and strawberries that you like.

    Garnish with mint and add fruit to Pimm's No.1 cocktail
    The Spruce

Recipe Variations

It is more traditional for a sparkling lemonade to be used in the drink, though the fizz is left out in The Pimm's Company's current recipe. It is a fantastic addition, however, and you can bring it back in any number of ways:

  • Use a store-bought sparkling lemonade or carbonate a still lemonade using a soda machine.
  • Use sparkling water (seltzer or club soda) as a portion of the water while mixing fresh-squeezed lemonade. Only go this route if you'll drink all of the lemonade before it goes flat.
  • Add a splash of sparkling water or any clear soda. Even tonic water will do because the original Pimm's Cup No. 1 is reported to have included quinine.
  • Make a Pimm's Rangoon by topping the drink off with ginger ale.
  • For a Pimm's Royal, top the drink with Champagne.

What Is Pimm's Cup No. 1?

Pimm's is the familiar name for a liqueur that is formally known as Pimm's Cup No. 1. It's the same name as the mixed drink, though the drink typically drops the "No. 1".

It is a gin-based liqueur with a deep red color that is flavored with herbal botanicals, spices, and caramelized orange. The exact botanicals and spices are proprietary and strictly guarded by the brand.

The Pimm's story began in 1840 with James Pimm at his Oyster Bar in London. As was customary at the time, he was a master of creating his own liqueurs and he called each of his secret recipes a "house cup." Rather than giving each liqueur a unique name, Pimm numbered his cups, and they quickly became famous. Pimm sold the bar to Sir Horatio David Davies in 1870, and before the turn of the century, the liqueurs were bottled and sold outside the bar. The brand was purchased by Diageo in 1969 and remains in the liquor giant's portfolio.

Over the years, there have been a total of six Pimm's recipes that were bottled and sold. Each began with a different base liquor and used various herbs, fruits, and spices to create the unique flavors. Pimm's fell out of the limelight around the 1970s and dramatic changes have been made to the brand's portfolio. Today, The Pimm's Company produces only the gin and vodka liqueurs (and occasionally the brandy). Of these, only Pimm's Cup No. 1 held onto its original name.

  • Pimm's Cup No. 1: Made with gin, herbs, spices, and caramelized oranges. It remains the brand's flagship expression and is bottled at 25 percent ABV (50 proof).

  • Pimm's Cup No. 2: A Scotch whisky base, this liqueur was discontinued in the 1970s.

  • Pimm's Cup No. 3: The brandy-based liqueur includes cinnamon, caramel, and orange. It was pulled from the market for a few decades, but made a comeback in 2004 as Winter Cup (it continues to come and go and is best found in the U.K. when it is available). This 50-proof liqueur is excellent when topped with ginger ale.

  • Pimm's Cup No. 4: The rum-based liqueur that was discontinued in the '70s.

  • Pimm's Cup No. 5: Rye whiskey was the base for this liqueur that was discontinued in the brand's '70s purge.

  • Pimm's Cup No. 6: The vodka-based cup was not in Pimm's original bar. It was launched in 1964, discontinued for a while, then brought back due to popular demand. It also goes by the name "Vodka Cup." For a time, there was a rendition of it flavored with blackberry and elderflower. Try it in the Pimm's Cup cocktail, mix it with sparkling rosé wine, or blend it into a frosé.

How Strong Is the Pimm's Cup?

The Pimm's Original mixed drink is extremely light and has an alcohol content right around 6 percent ABV (12 proof). That's about the same as the average beer, so feel free to have a second round.