The Pimm’s Cup is a light and refreshing summer cocktail, though we drink it year-round here at Zestful Kitchen. Garnish this simple-to-make cocktail with a mixture of fresh herbs, berries, lemon slices and cucumber slices. 

What is Pimm’s Cup?

The Pimm’s Cup cocktail hails from England and is a simple and refreshing cocktail perfect for summer. It’s made with fruit liqueur, most often Pimm’s No. 1, fresh lemon juice, lemonade and ginger ale. 

Stirred together right in a cocktail glass, the Pimm’s cup gets garnished with what can be described as a garden. Nothing is off limits, but the most common garnishes include fresh herbs such as mint and basil, lemon wheels, slices of cucumber and berries. 

What is Pimm’s No. 1?

Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur (also called fruit cup) flavored with fruit and herbs. It was invented in London in 1823 by James Pimm and is still in production today, though it’s slightly less bozzy than it’s original version. Today Pimm’s No. 1 is pretty low alcohol, just 25% (50 proof) and is sometimes compared to Italian Amaro. 

What Pimm’s No. 1 is made from:

Pimm’s No. 1 is made from gin and flavored with fruit and herbs.

What Pimm’s No. 1 looks like: 

Pimm’s No. 1 is brick-brown and clear (not cloudy).

What Pimm’s No. 1 smells like: 

Think mild cola with a dose of orange, herbs and a touch of ground coffee. 

What Pimm’s No. 1 tastes like: 

Pimm’s No. 1 tastes a lot like it smells (not surprisingly) with bittersweet notes of orange, camomile, warm spices, and chocolate. Pimm’s is sweet with a slight bitterness. 

Is Pimm’s No. 1 Worth Buying? 

Depends on how much you like the Pimm’s Cup (it’s not used in many other classic cocktails). If you aren’t sure if you like it, try it sometime when you’re out to eat. You can always play around with Pimm’s No. 1 in a Pimm’s Spritz, Aji Dulce, or Oestersoe Cola. You can even make a version of the Kir Royale in this Pimm’s Royale

bottle of pimms no. liqueur on a wooden tray

How to Make Pimm’s Cup Cocktail

The Pimm’s Cup cocktail is already pretty simple but my version simplifies the ingredient list even more and creates a drink that’s more refreshing and refined. Most often the Pimm’s Cup is made with Pimm’s No. 1, fresh lemon juice, lemonade and ginger ale. My version skips the ginger ale and instead opts for sparkling lemonade to add both lemony sweetness and effervescence.

When it comes to sparkling lemonade I like San Pellegrino or Betty Buzz

Let’s get the obvious out the way—Pimm’s Cup is a British-born cocktail and San Pellegrino is Italian. If you’re a traditionalist, skip the sparkling lemonade and opt for 2 ounces lemonade and 2 ½ ounces ginger ale. Or simply use sparkling lemonade or ginger beer.

  1. Fill a collins or rocks glass with ice. 
  2. Pour Pimm’s No. 1 and freshly squeezed lemon juice over ice into glass and stir to combine.
  3. Top with sparkling lemonade, give it a brief stir then garnish with lemon wheels, cucumber slices, herbs and berries.
  4. Sip, sip, enjoy! 

How to make a Pimm’s Cup New Orleans: combine 1 ¼ ounce Pimm’s No. 1 with 3 ounces lemonade in an ice-filled collins glass. Top it off with 7UP or lemon-lime soda. Garnish with a cucumber slice. 

More cocktails to love…

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pimms cup cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with lemon and cucumber slices, a strawberry and a mint sprig set on a marble tray

Quick & Easy Pimm’s Cup Cocktail Recipe

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail or 1 pitcher 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: no-cook
  • Cuisine: English
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

A classic British cocktail fit for warm weather! This low-abv drink is perfect for long summer days.


Ingredients

Scale

For 1 cocktail:

  • 2 ounces Pimm’s No.1
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces sparkling lemonade such as San Pellegrino Limonata
  • lemon wheels, cucumber slices, fresh berries and fresh herbs such as mint or basil, for garnish

For a pitcher (8 drinks)

  • 2 cups Pimms No.1
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 5 lemon wheels + more for garnish
  • 5 cucumber slices + more for garnish
  • 2 cups sparkling lemonade, chilled
  • fresh berries and fresh herbs such as mint or basil, for garnish

Instructions

For 1 cocktail:

  1. Fill a rocks or Collins glass with ice.
  2. Pour Pimm’s and lemon juice over ice; stir to combine.
  3. Top with sparkling lemonade, stir and garnish as desired.

For a Pitcher (8 drinks)

  1. In a large pitcher combine Pimm’s, lemon juice, lemon wheels and cucumber slices. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. When ready to serve, stir chilled sparkling lemonade into pitcher with Pimm’s and lemon juice. Pour over ice into rocks or collings glasses and garnish with additional lemon wheels, cucumber slices, berries and herbs.

Keywords: pimm’s cup, how to make pimm’s cup, pimm’s cup cocktail

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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