Pimm’s O’Clock: Here’s How To Make Summer’s Signature Drink

By Alizeh Khatau

3 weeks ago

Summer starts now

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear British summer? Sunny weather, sunscreen and lazy afternoons outdoors might spring to mind – but when it comes to drinks, it has to be a classic Pimm’s. A staple summer drink, the first Pimm’s bar opened at the 1971 Wimbledon tournament, and every year since it has sold over 80,000 pints of Pimm’s cocktail to spectators. And with Wimbledon season upon us, we’re craving a nice cold glass of the stuff.

What Is Pimm’s?

Pimm’s is a British gin-based liqueur, infused with bitter herbs and citrus. Also known as the ‘Pimm’s Fruit Cup’ or ‘Pimm’s No. 1’, it is traditionally served in a Collins glass with an effervescent mixer – typically lemonade – with a variety of fruit. Think strawberries, apple slices, cucumber, orange, lemon and a small garnish of mint leaves.

@lideylikes The Pimm’s Cup is a classic English summertime drink, and while it might only be spring at the moment, it’s really felt like summer this week in New York. 🥵 What IS Pimm’s, you ask? It’s is an English gin-based liqueur that’s fruity, mildly spiced and just a touch bitter. (It kind of tastes like a slightly fruity Dr. Pepper or Coke to me, in a good way!) A Pimm’s cup is typically made with Pimm’s and some combination of lemonade, ginger ale, and lemon lime soda (Sprite or 7-up.) I use a combo of ginger beer and fresh lemon juice, along with Pimm’s, for a cocktail that’s refreshingly tart and not too sweet. OH, and a Pimm’s cup always has lots of fresh garnishes to mimic the liqueur’s fruity, herbaceous flavors. I stuck to cucumber, lemon, and herbs to make the drink feel more spring-y, but fresh strawberries or other summer fruit are often in the mix too. Ok that’s it for now! Happy Spring sipping and happy weekend!! (Recipe below!) Pimms Cup Makes 1 drink (Easily multiplied) Ice, for serving 2 ounces (1/4 cup) Pimms 2 ounces (1/4 cup) ginger beer 0.5 ounce (1 tablespoon) freshly squeezed lemon juice Thin lemon and cucumber slices, for serving Fresh basil and/or mint sprig, for serving Fill two large water glasses or tumblers 2/3 full with ice. Add the Pimms, ginger beer, and lemon juice, and stir. Garnish with lemon and cucumber slices, a basil and/or mint sprig, and serve ! #fyp #foryou #cocktails #drinks #weekend #pimms ♬ Chrysanthemum Tea – Prod. By Rose

First introduced somewhere between 1823 and 1840, the Pimm’s ‘Cup’ was originally marketed as an aid for digestion by London restaurateur James Pimm. Pimm, who owned an oyster bar in the city, often blended a ‘secret recipe‘ of gin, herbs and spices that he offered to his customers to help digest the oysters. He served his concoction in a small tankard, known as a ‘No. 1 Cup’, which later served as the basis for one of the cocktail’s early names: Pimm’s No.1.

Since then, seven different variations of Pimm’s have hit the market – all fruit cups, differing only in their alcoholic base. In 1851, the brand introduced the Pimm’s No. 2 Cup, which comprised a whisky base, and Pimm’s No. 3 Cup, a base of brandy infused with spices and orange peel. After World War II, the Pimm’s No. 4 Cup was invented, followed by Pimm’s No. 5 and finally No. 6 and 7 in the 1960s. Over the years, Pimm’s extended their range, using other spirits as bases for new “cups” such as rum, tequila and vodka.

Today you’ll find that only two are still in production: the original No.1 and the ‘Winter Cup’, an edition introduced in 2004 with the alcoholic base of the Pimm’s No.3 Cup.

Pimm’s Cocktail Recipe

The Pimm’s cup offers the trust taste of summer, here’s how you make it:

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes


  • 200ml Pimm’s No. 1
  • 500ml lemonade
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced oranges
  • Sliced strawberries


  1. Fill a large pitcher with ice, fruit and garnishes.
  2. Pour over the Pimm’s No.1, followed by the lemonade and then stir gently.
  3. Transfer the mixture into glasses and add any extra garnishes to serve.
  4. Cheers with your friends and take a sip that will guarantee a taste of summer.

Feeling Fancy?

Craving a fresh take on your Pimm’s? In full embrace of Wimbledon, why not combine the two most popular drinks – champagne and, of course, Pimm’s – served at the Championships? Add a tipple of champagne to your summer drink and you get the Pimm’s Royal Cup, an elevated take that will help you embrace the best of the season.

Featured image: Becky Fantham, Unsplash