By Allana Mortell | May 11, 2012

Photo: Whitneyinchicago

For centuries, London folk have been sipping on a cocktail that epitomizes summer, sunshine and spending time outdoors. That cocktail my friends, is called Pimm’s Cup, a liqueur of sorts that alongside lemonade sells over 80,000 pints each year to spectators.

The main ingredient in a Pimm’s Cup is Pimm’s No.1, created by James Pimm in the 1840s. While working at Oyster Bar in Poultry Street in London, Pimm’s extracted the ‘house cup’ flavored with fruit extracts and spices. The original recipe is still a secret (it has been said only six people know exactly how its made) however, what we do know is that Pimm’s No. 1 is gin-based, infused with fruits, quinine (quinine has medicinal qualities) and a secret mixture of herbs to help aid digestion.

Low in alcohol content, the liqueur is a dark golden brown color that packs the punches in citrus notes and spiciness. As was customary with the times, Pimm served his special mixture in tankards, hence the name Pimm’s Cup. Additionally, the cocktail is now the signature drink of Wimbledon and can be found in the hands of many spectators watching racquetball and the like.

Now, that is not to say the trend of Pimm’s hasn’t made its way into other countries. Found distinctively on summer menus, mixing Pimms No.1 with lemonade, sprite, ginger-ale or even soda is customary for many restaurants. Garnished with sliced fruit, cucumbers and even mint, this drink screams “summer!” Here, we’ve provided you with the standard recipe, but feel free to play around with different garnishes and mixers, finding your own perfect balance of sweet during these balmy summer nights.

Photo: whitneyinchicago

Pimm’s Cup Cocktail Recipe

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins


  • 2 oz Pimms No. 1
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • cucumber slice for garnish
  • lemon wedge / lime wedge / mint / apple slice / orange slice, for garnish (optional)


1. Fill a Collins glass with ice.
2. Pour the Pimms No. 1 into the glass with the lemonade and stir and shake together.
3. Top off the mixture with club soda or if you prefer a sweeter cocktail, top off with Sprite or lemon-lime soda. Stir lightly but do not shake.
4. Garnish with a few slices of cucumber, lemon wedge and a few sprigs of mint (optional). Be sure to garnish with lots of fruit (apples, oranges, lemons) to bring out the fruit flavor from Pimms No.
* If you don't have lemonade on hand, mix the Pimms No. 1 with 3 oz of 7-up, Sprite or ginger-ale.

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