Spring has finally hit London: the evenings are longer, the birds are my alarm clock in the morning, and the pollen count is high. As soon as the sun's out around this part of town, I always, always order (or make!) a glass of Pimm's. It's a ritual. The first sip brings me right back to the first time I'd tried it: on the Cherwell riverbank in Oxford, celebrating the completion of John's final exams Trinity term. We'd rented a punt for the afternoon with friends and spent our return nibbling at a picnic on the grass and drinking Pimm's and lemonade from red plastic cups.
Since then, Pimm’s has become somewhat of an “official” signifier of the summer season for me. The familiar, sweet taste instantly makes me think of balmy, lazy days spent in the park. It’s also so undeniably British, which is why I think it’s super popular in the US!
Last weekend, we invited our neighbors over for a Sunday roast - which was so much fun. Instead of offering them wine or prosecco when they arrived, I made these Pimm's cups, which felt celebratory but relaxed. It also felt much more grown-up to be able to offer a variety of cocktails and drinks other than just ... water, which we totally used to do when we were moving from tiny flat to even tinier flat! It seemed like too much of an effort to keep spirits in the apartment since it was too small to host in, so I secretly love seeing the bottle of Pimm's perched at the front of our drinks cabinet now.
Here's the original Pimm’s recipe, but I like to use ginger ale in mine and load it up with heaping amounts of fruit. Ginger ale has a more subtle taste than ginger beer, and it's something we often drink in the States (I always ask for it on flights to settle my stomach!). It’s also not quite as sweet as lemonade (AKA Sprite/7UP for my American readers).
For these, I used slices of orange, lemon, cucumber, strawberries and a generous helping of mint, which was pretty restrained! On any other occasion, I would have thrown in some raspberries, blackberries and probably even more cucumber. I love picking out the Pimm's-drenched fruit at the end and I secretly judge pubs for the amount of fruit they put in their jugs of Pimm’s.
What's your favorite take on Pimm's? The classic, or a twist? Here are more great recipes from thebar, which I'm excited to try outdoors this summer (especially this tasty-looking Pimm’s Royale) assuming our gardens ever get "done"!
This post was sponsored by thebar. All opinions are my own.