Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur, and this cocktail is the preferred vessel to enjoy it. The Pimm’s Cup is a refreshing summer cocktail and has many variations depending on where it is served. The traditional recipe combines the gin liqueur with lemon juice, bitters, and ginger ale to top.
Much like the Mint Julep is to the Kentucky Derby, the Pimm’s Cup is to Wimbledon. Its popularity has stretched across the globe and has a strong fan base in New Orleans. It is also a standard cocktail at both American and British polo matches.
For obvious reasons, the Pimm’s Cup wouldn’t exist without Pimm’s No 1. Its origin begins with an oyster bar owner in London by the name of James Pimm. At this bar Pimm served a signature drink called a “No. 1 Cup,” a drink with a secret mixture of herbs and liqueurs aimed at aiding digestion.
Building on No. 1’s popularity, Pimm created Pimm’s No. 2 (Scotch-based) and No. 3 (brandy-based) in 1851, leading to mass production bottling in 1859. In the more than a century that has followed, the brand exchanged hands and iterations on the No. 1 reached to No. 7, each with their different liqueur base. Today the bottles that remain in production are Pimm’s No. 1, 6 (vodka-based), and 3 (also known as ‘Winter Cup’).
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