When Englishman James Pimm invented this crisp cooler (based off his eponymous gin-based liqueur) at his London oyster bar in the mid-19th century, surely he could not have imagined that it would become the official cocktail of Wimbledon. Today it is to Wimbledon as the mint julep is to the Kentucky Derby and its success has landed it on cocktail lists from the balmy quarters of New Orleans to Denver, Colorado. Typically garnished with cucumber spears and a mix of oranges or strawberries, this drink is a blueprint ripe for riffing with additional spirits, seasonal fruit or large-format batching.
Britain's most lavishly garnished cooler.
- 2 ounces Pimm's No. 1
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup (1:1, sugar:water)
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- ginger ale, to top
Garnish: cucumber spear or slice, mint sprig, seasonal berries and citrus (optional)
- In a Collins glass, add Pimm’s, lemon juice and simple syrup and stir.
- Add ice, top with soda water and bitters and stir gently to mix.
- Garnish lavishly like a flower arrangement with a cucumber slice, fresh mint sprig, berries, citrus and a pocket square.
Bitters are not part of the original formula, but they add a little kick and complexity to the Pimm’s spiced mix.