There are a ton of things in life you hear about, have some idea of what they might be, but don’t really understand. There are bands I have heard of, might even have heard one of their songs, but I really know nothing about them. Well, that’s not quite true, I have preconceptions. Good example, The Tedeschi Trucks Band. I had heard the name for years, but never listened to them. Did not even want to, I knew they weren’t my kind of thing. Believe it or not, in the 80’s I was a bit of a skate rat. Skateboards, Vans, my BMX, pack of chewy sweet tarts, the whole thing. For anyone who cares, Vision Old Ghosts, Gullwing Trucks, Orange Juice Wheels, well at least until I defected to Powell Peralta Bones Brigade. Somehow, my brain connected the Tedeschi name to skateboarding, I mean Tedeschi Trucks makes sense. So I assumed they were an old school skate punk band, in the same vein as Black Flag. As much as I love Henry Rollins, I am just not cut out for the music. Anyway, I even skipped going to see their shows because I never bothered to check them out, until a couple of years ago. Turns out, I love them. Not a little, they are exactly my kind of music. So that’s a long way to go to say, you should definitely try things or at least learn something about them before making any judgements. The same thing goes for today’s drink. I thought I knew what it was about, I had made assumptions and I was wrong. So join me as we stand and make, the Pimm’s Cup.
I read a lot of books and try to get out in the world from time to time, so I had heard of the Pimm’s Cup for most of my life. I knew it sounded fancy. It was British, so I assumed that it would be perfect for a day at a cricket match, Wimbledon or even performing the Ascot Gavotte. A proper drink that requires striped pants and a tie, perhaps even a monocle. Not to say that the Pimm’s Cup isn’t fancy, it is, but that’s no reason to not try it. This is one of those weird drinks that I actually recall the very first one I ever enjoyed. It was with my brother at the exquisite La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona. We stumbled across this great, old Fred Harvey Hotel and fell in love with the place. In fact, every trip to Arizona since then has included at least one night at this amazing property, right on the railroad. We settled down to dinner in the Turquoise Room and found the Pimm’s Cup was the special of the evening. Feeling a bit fancy, if tired from the road, I ordered one and fell in love. As it turns out, the Pimm’s Cup is just fancy, alcoholic lemonade, but so good. Let’s make one.
We will call this one a built drink, because I am just going to make one and build it in the glass, but you can size this up and make it by the pitcher for entertaining. In your glass, add 2 ounces of Pimm’s No.1 and a slice of cucumber and muddle them. Top this with 3 ounces of “lemonade”, but remember that British lemonade is clear and carbonated and doesn’t contain lemons, so if you don’t have that, you can use sprite. Mix it all together and add lemon wheels, strawberry slices, a sprig of rosemary and some thyme. Pop in a straw and you are ready to drink.
This drink is super light and refreshing, perfect for a hot afternoon in the shade. It is relatively low alcohol, so you can enjoy several without stumbling and it is just a very pretty drink. The golden color of Pimm’s No. 1 plays well visually and flavor-wise with the botainicals in the drink. So what is Pimm’s and why is it No. 1? Well, it is a gin based alcohol, (only 50 proof) with herbs and liqueurs added that was originally sold as a digestion aid. Over they years, Pimm’s has made 6 variations based on different alcohols, although currently you can only get No. 1, No. 6 and a seasonal version of No.3. so, now you know and knowing is half the battle. It’s a fine drink and makes me feel fancy just to have one in my hand, well as long as I am wearing my cravat and diamond stickpin. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.