*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.
by Pink Lady
With the long days of August upon us, the ladies of LUPEC can think of few things more enjoyable to sip than a Pimm’s Cup. Born in England and reinterpreted in New Orleans, the Pimm’s Cup is the perfect cocktail to sip on a lazy afternoon. Also, it pairs well with civilized games like croquet, cricket, and bocce.
And thanks to its low alcohol content, you still stand a chance at winning, even if kick back your first one at lunch.
Invented by oyster bar owner James Pimm in London circa-1823 (or 1840, according to some), the original Pimm’s Cup mixed gin, quinine, and a secret blend of herbs and spices. It was offered to guests as a “digestive tonic”, but most likely invented to mask the bitter flavors inherent in the gin of the day.
By 1851 the drink was in such high demand that Pimm stepped up production, expanding the Pimm’s Cup concept to include different versions based on other spirits. The next century saw the invention of six different Pimm’s Cups, ranging from whiskey to vodka as their base. Only Pimm’s No. 1 is widely available in the U.S today
The modern Pimm’s Cup is an iconic British cocktail, and the drink is to Wimbledon what Mint Juleps are to the Kentucky Derby. It also has a home stateside, as a classic New Orleans cocktail prepared with nostalgic expertise at the Napoleon House. We tried them while in NOLA for Tales; you should try them on your porch.
The Napoleon House Pimm’s Cup
Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice. Add 1.25 ounces Pimm’s No. 1 and 3 ounces lemonade.
Top off with 7up.
Garnish with cucumber.