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June 27, 2009

Pimm's Cup: A Taste of Wimbledon

Soho House in New York will screen the Wimbledon finals on its roof.

by Ashley Cirilli

With Wimbledon in full swing this week, it seems like the whole world has tennis fever. Even if you don't know your backhands from your forehands, the tournament is a good reason to sample one of Britain's tastiest exports: the Pimm's Cup. Traditionally made from Pimm's No. 1 Cup, lemon juice, a soda like ginger ale or 7-Up (or sometimes lemonade and soda), and garnished with a cucumber, the cocktail first made its mark in the mid-nineteenth century as a British summer favorite. London bar owner James Pimm began serving the concoction as a digestif, and it became so popular that he bottled his own gin-based liquor, Pimm's No. 1 Cup, for sale.

What started as hand candy for British socialites is now the official drink of Wimbledon. Several London restaurants are rolling out their own versions of the classic drink: Mixed Doubles (Pimm's, strawberries, and Lanson Champagne) at Bluebird, for example. And stateside, the New York branch of London's Soho House is serving up the Wimbledon Pitcher. This party-sized Pimm's-with-a-twist includes strawberries, oranges, and some Hendrick's Gin for an extra kick. Not a member? We've got the classic and the Soho House version after the jump so you can make them at home. Just don't attempt to hit the courts afterward.

Pimm's Cup

1 1/2 oz. Pimm's No. 1 Cup
1 dash lemon juice
7-Up or ginger ale, chilled
1 peeled cucumber wheel

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the Pimms and lemon juice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Stir in the 7-Up and garnish with the cucumber wheel.

Wimbledon Pitcher (serves 4)

5 mint leaves
4 cucumber slices
2 strawberries, chopped (rough chop)
3 lemon wedges
3 orange wedges
8 oz. Pimm's No. 1 Cup
2 oz. Hendrick's Gin

Chop all the fruit and put it in a pitcher. Then, add some ice and the Pimm's. Top with Sprite, finish with Hendrick's Gin, and stir gently with a big spoon or ladle.


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