Pimm’s Cup Cocktail

This easy to make drink, is not only full of great flavors, and a wonderfully refreshing drink during the summer, but it also is slightly lower in overall alcohol content then most drinks and so is a good way to introduce folks to classic drinks. The common garnish is just a slice of cucumber, but it was also once popular to “festoon it with fruits in season”.


2 oz Pimm’s Number One

Ginger Ale


Pour Pimm’s over ice.

Top with ginger ale.

Garnish with a cucumber spear.


Andrew Fawcett 21 Jul 2008
9:18 am


Where can you purchase Pimm’s No 1 in Washington State? It’s not listed in the LCB’s price book.


- Andrew

Thomas 21 Jul 2008
9:50 am

Oh yes!  Pimm’s is a summer favorite in our household.  Whenever I prepare I glass, I remember with deep gratitude my college pal from England who introduced me to Pimm’s years ago.  Maybe that’s why we’re still close friends. 

I’ve found that using of “fruit in season” adds a lot to the drink.  I usually squeeze and drop in wedges of lemon, lime or orange before pouring in the Pimm’s.  Blackberries or raspberries are great, too.  Sprigs of fresh mint or lovage are excellent garnishes. 

I’ve never been able to figure out what secret herbs and botanicals Pimm’s contains.  A drop on the tongue is always, “interesting” but I can’t recognize specific flavors.  Whatever the mixture, it is a great refresher.

Kent 21 Jul 2008
2:52 pm


why do you use a cucumber for decoration. Is it because of the
flavours or what???

Mike 21 Jul 2008
6:30 pm


Could you do a video covering Sangria? I just got back from Barcelona, Spain and loved the Sangria over there. I have since tried to make a good Sangria here and haven

Kelly Boyle 21 Jul 2008
10:07 pm

If you are in Scottsdale Arizona, stop by AZ 88 some time for the best Pimm’s Cup cocktail you have ever had.  They muddle the cucumber to release the essence and serve it in a traditional frosty copper mug.  It rivals a Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic with a cucumber garnish as the most refreshing summer drink you can have.

Ron Davis 23 Jul 2008
5:05 pm

I have been a fan since stumbling over your Drink Boy web site a couple of years ago - you caught my interest because you made an Old Fashioned and Sidecar cocktail the same way I was taught. Now I am a Pegu fan. With this episode I had to write in - I was introduced to a Pimm’s cup in 1972 at the Raffle’s Hotel in Singapore. It was served with a cucumber spear and a slice of lemon - simple and perfect. Many of my guests have not heard of a Pimm’s Cup - but after introduction they are amazed. Thanks, Great show,  Ron

Robert Hess 25 Jul 2008
9:36 am

@Andrew, Pimm’s is indeed available in Washington State. Go here: http://www.liq.wa.gov/services/brandsearch.asp and just type in “pimm” (I often try to shorten things down as far as I can and be unique, since sometimes they enter names oddly).

@Thomas, let me see if I can remember the ingredients for home-made Pimm’s… gin, punt-e-mas, orange curacao, muddled lemon, lime, orange peel. and… I think that was it.

@Kent, cucumber has just become the “common” garnish for this drink, sometimes, as others have indicated, with a wedge of lime as well.

@Mike, I’ve been meaning to do some research and investigation on Sangria, so perhaps it might make for a good future episode.

Note: While at Tales of the Cocktail, I had a Pimm’s Cup at the Nepolean House, where it is sort of their “house cocktail”. There, they use a lemon sour mix instead of the ginger ale and then add a dash of 7-up. They are using the sour mix because they mistakenly assumed that this is what was intended by the “lemonade” which they saw in the old recipe they use. When they should of course have been using just 7-up, since “lemonade” is how they refer to “lemon-lime soda” in England.

Mark 9 Sep 2008
4:40 pm

I suggest hot tea, 0.25 - 0.5 oz Pimm’s (to taste) and a dollop of honey.

Lee Linford 13 Oct 2008
11:19 pm

I have recently been trying to research the Pimms Rangoon. (Pimms & Ginger Ale) I think i remeber it being in a Kipling book? Served at the Rangoon Club Burma. Do you have any more history on the Rangoon.

Also the Pimms Cup (with Lemonade) Wouldnt it have been served with traditional lemonade (Lemon juice, Sugar & Water)?

Robert Hess 14 Oct 2008
5:04 am

The “Lemonade” which is referred to in the traditional Pimm’s Cup recipe is what we would call Lemon-Lime Soda, or 7up. This is because Schewpps, the first company to make a lemon soda, called their product “Schwepps Lemonade”. This brought about the term “Lemonade” referring to a lemon soda in the UK and several other countries. Which then brings about many US bars (Such as the Napoleon House in New Orleans) making their Pimms Cup with American lemonade (or sour mix) instead of 7up.


Kelly 27 Oct 2008
5:54 pm

Hey Robert,

Nothing but top respect for your site and videos! Good stuff!

I just wanted to chime in on one of my favorite drinks, since it’s a hot debate among my British friends. As you say, lemonade is usually what the British call 7up. However, the Pimm’s Cup was created in the mid-18th century by English oyster bar owner James Pimm, which predates Schweppes introducing its brand of bitter lemon in 1957. Hence the original recipe using actual lemonade.

Now personally, I prefer the drink with ginger ale (as personified by my friends at Sun Liquor in Seattle), but the original recipe is definitely worth trying out (fresh lemonade, soft apples, oranges and borage leaves, if you can find them!). Fruit salad and drink in one!

Speaking of borage leaves (almost impossible to find in the states), that’s the taste the cucumber slice mimics.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cents. All the best,

Robert Hess 2 Nov 2008
12:58 pm

Great Points! And probably why I too prefer Ginger Ale in my “Pimm’s Cup”, since that would have had more time historically to be an ingredient.
This whole “lemonade” thing is far too confusing. :->

Jack 4 Feb 2009
5:32 pm

What sort of ginger ale do you folks use?  At ratios like these, I’ve always felt that the ginger ale overpowers the Pimm’s.  Lemon-lime soda (7up, I believe) has been much more effective at showcasing the unique qualities of the Pimm’s itself.

Robert Hess 5 Feb 2009
4:02 am

I find ginger ale to be rather gentle in flavor, and the slight bite that it does have, blends well with the Pimm’s… now ginger beer on the other hand, that would be a bit much here.

Kevin Harris 4 Feb 2010
12:06 pm

Just in case anyone is curious, the recipe for the way the Napoleon House makes it is:

1 1/4 oz Pimm’s
3 oz Lemonade
Top with lemon-lime soda and a cucumber slice garnish

I actually prefer the recipe this way, but I’m not too fond of ginger ale in general so that may be why.

Matthew Parks 19 Feb 2012
3:01 pm

Pimms cup is one of my favorites on a warm spring day especially when strawberries are in season. Try this one on for size when you need a quick refresher:

Slice of cucumber
Half a strawberry
1.5 Hendricks gin
1.5 Pimms #1
.25 Canton Ginger Liqueur
.25 Rich Simple
.25 Lime Juice
2-3 mint leaves

Shake hard with ice, double strain over ice in collins glass, top with soda.



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