Pimm's Cup

two pimm's cups sitting on a white bar with strawberries, mint and cucumber scattered around

Quite possibly the poshest cocktail on the planet. 

by Erin Henderson

My first job as a sommelier was at a private racquet club. Of course, tennis was a major draw amongst members (we also offered squash, badminton, and pickle ball.)

The executive chef was a proper Englishman who taught me many things: how to shuck an oyster, make classic steak tartare, and whhip up a Pimm’s worthy of his countrymen.

Pimm’s is a gin-based liqueur, ruddy in colour, the 200-year-old recipe top-secret. To make a proper Pimm’s Cup, well, you certainly need Pimm’s, but recipes range (as does the hysteria as to what is “right”) from lemonade, to lemon-lime soda, to ginger beer. A fantastic array of garnish also feature proudly on the drink – some with a basketful of fruit that would rival Carmen Miranda’s hat.

I like the way Andrew taught me: simple and streamlined, a mix of Pimm’s with spicy ginger beer and a refreshing ribbon of cucumber and understated plume of mint.

A Pimm's cup, with mint and cucumber, sitting on a lawn chair with a beach towel and sunglasses in the background
Pimm's Cup

During my time at the racquet club, we slung quite a few of these mahogany cocktails. Wimbeldon or not, Pimm's makes for a refreshing tipple on a summer patio. 

Makes: 1 drink
Bartender level: easy

  • 2 oz Pimm’s
  • 4 oz ginger beer
  • 1 long ribbon of English cucumber
  • 1 sprig of mint
How to Make It: 
  1. Peel off a lengthy ribbon of cucumber.
  2. Into a highball glass, line the cucumber strip along the side. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. Pour in the Pimm’s and top with ginger beer.
  4. Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.


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