Skip to main content

How to use Pimm’s for a refreshing cocktail this summer

Curious about using refreshing Pimm's beyond the Pimm's Cup? We've got a few fine ideas.

Booze and Vinyl Royal Pimms Cup
Jason Varney

Even if your bar has all the essentials, there’s a good chance it’s missing a bottle of Pimm’s. And when summer is in full swing, it’s a pity to be without the gin-based liqueur born in England. Sure, the liqueur is famous for The Pimm’s Cup cocktail, a fruity sensation ideal for the warmer months, but Pimm’s can be utilized in a number of other ways too.

Here’s a breakdown of the liqueur, plus how to make a great Pimm’s drink or Pimm’s cocktail, utilizing a bottle of the timeless Pimm’s Cup No. 1. Your summer just got way more refreshing.

What is Pimm’s?

Think of it as a fruit cup for adults. Pimm’s is built around dry gin, with the liquid infused by a number of herbs and fruit juices. Given the refreshing nature of the liqueur, it does well with fresh fruit and carbonated toppers, often teamed up with things like lemonade or ginger ale.

It’s a great-looking bottle that belongs in your home bar setup. After some mixing and matching, you’ll find that the satisfying liqueur pairs up with a lot of popular bar ingredients and can even add a little extra pizazz to some classic cocktail recipes.

A brief history of Pimm’s

Pimm’s came to prominence around the mid-19th Century in the United Kingdom. Like so many liqueurs of the time, Pimm’s was billed to have health benefits and was made with number of botanicals. Legend has it that an oyster bar owner named James Pimm created the elixir in 1823.

It has since gone on to form the base for many a fruity and relatively low-ABV drinks in Europe and beyond. These are excellent thirst quenchers for summer that won’t leave you feeling groggy.

How to use Pimm’s

Pimm’s is nimble and can be the star in way more than just a Pimm’s Cup. Bartenders like to mix it with everything from sparkling wine to apple juice or sweet wines like Sangria. Because there’s such an emphasis on fruit, it’s fun to go nuts with the garnishes. We suggest skewered ingredients like grapes and melon bouquets of mint, or various citrus twists.

Here are a few of our favorite Pimm’s cocktail recipes.

The Copper Canvas cocktail.
Randy Schmidt

Copper Canvas

Hailing from the tremendous bar scene of NOLA, this drink blends flavored gin with Grand Marnier, Pimm’s, cucumber, and sparkling wine. It’s a favorite at The Peacock Room.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce Mlafy Blood Orange Gin
  • 1/4 ounce Pimm’s
  • 1/4 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 5 ounces cucumber syrup
  • 1/2 ounce lime acid
  • Cava to top

Method

  1. Shake all ingredients except Cava with ice in tin.
  2. Stain into a Nick and Nora glass and top with Cava.
  3. Garnish with cucumber flower.
The Champagne Safari cocktail from Hot Tin.
Randy Shmidt

Champagne Safari

This recipe from Hot Tin takes advantage of the color and complementary flavors of Pimm’s and Aperol, along with the refreshing nature of cucumber, citrus, and sparkling wine.

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ ounce Gin
  • ¾ ounce Pimm’s No.1
  • ½ ounce Aperol
  • ½ ounce cucumber-lemon shrub
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • Sparkling wine to top

Method

  1. Shake and strain gin, Pimm’s, Aperol, cucumber-lemon shrub, and lemon juice into a
    coupe glass.
  2. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a cucumber wheel.
Pimm's cocktails in glasses and jugs.
Mauritius

Pimm’s Cup Italiano

We adore this Italian spin on a classic Pimm’s Cup recipe, fit with the one-of-a-kind bitter kick of Fernet.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce Fernet-Branca
  • 1 ounce Pimm’s No. 1
  • Ginger ale
  • Sliced cucumbers, lemon, mint, and strawberry

Method

  1. Pour Fernet-Branca and Pimms No. 1 in a glass over crushed ice
  2. Top with ginger ale and garnish with sliced cucumbers, lemon, mint, and strawberry.
The Louisiana Harvest cocktail from Bayou Bar.
Bayou Bar

Louisiana Harvest

On the menu at Bayou Bar, this drink takes on the lively aromatics of additional gin and treats them to the liqueur, along with the age-old pairing of strawberry and rhubarb.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Gin
  • 3/4 ounce Pimm’s No. 1
  • 3/4 ounce strawberry cucumber shrub
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3 dashes Rhubarb bitters

Method

  1. Mix in a shaker, strain in Collins glass, and garnish with strawberry cucumber shrub.

Keep in mind the many interested other lesser-known liqueurs out there as you ready your summer bar. If you’re hosting, consider making big batch cocktails for you and guests. If you have some leftover, we’re sure it won’t go to waste.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
How to make the controversial Singapore Sling cocktail
While its exact origins might be up for debate, the Singapre Sling has endured
Singapore Sling

Many classic cocktails have an uncertain history because of a lack of record keeping or a long game of telephone where one name or ingredient was inaccurately transformed into another over time. The Singapore Sling, however, might be the most convoluted of all because of the myriad of ingredients it contains, but there are a few things that have been uncovered thus far. For starters, the cocktail isn't even a sling.

According to renowned cocktail historian David Wondrich — who has done the work of the cocktail gods by sifting through various texts and archives to unravel when and where the cocktail originated and what was originally in it — there are a few ingredients that are a part of the recipe for certain. Gin, a cherry brandy (kirschwasser style), Bénédictine, lime juice, and a few dashes of bitters seem to be the constants based on a mention of this particular formula in the Singapore Weekly Sun in 1915.

Read more
This is our new favorite cold brew concentrate for nightcaps and coffee cocktails
Try this cold brew concentrate in everything from desserts to cocktails
People enjoying coffee cocktails.

Some people can have a cup of coffee at 9 p.m. and go right to sleep. The rest of us need to stop drinking caffeine by noon to even try to get to bed at a decent time. But if an end-of-the-day nightcap has you craving something with a coffee flavor, how can you make sure you won't be up all night? The crew at The Manual sampled Explorer's Cold Brew Concentrate — sans caffeine — and wants you to try it shaken, not stirred, in your next espresso martini.
The cold, concentrated truth

Before you make your first creation, know Explorer Cold Brew cares about offsetting emissions, the environmental impact of the whole process, and sourcing organic, fair-trade beans. The company also gives back, with every gourmet purchase leading to a donation to Charity:Water, which brings clean drinking water to areas without it. Every sip of your coffee-themed drink using Explorer Cold Brew is important — remember that.
Pick your caffeine level
Yes, there is a 99.9% caffeine-free option for those late-night drinks to help you unwind. But if you wanted your martini to give you an extra pick-me-up before your night out, choose one of the caffeinated options.
Find your flavor
For the cost of one cup of coffee from Starbucks, you can add a flavor to your cold brew. You could never go wrong with vanilla, but the choice of sea salt caramel is there if you feel adventurous.
Make it an elite elixir
A coffee cocktail will ease you into bed if you add an elixir. The Dreamer is perfect for sleepy time, and The Optimist is there to help you unwind.
A little goes a long way
Remember, this is cold brew concentrate. Don't give the $45 price any side eye. One 32oz bottle will make 20 cups of coffee, making the price per cup around $2.25. Do you know the last time you had cold brew that cheap? Don't lie.
Decaf doesn't have to mean disappointing

Read more
How to make a perfect milkshake at home every time
Summer is almost here, so it's time hone your milkshake skills
Chocolate milkshake and whipped cream on a table

As the summer months are just around the corner, we're always looking for ways to cool off. It may be hard to believe, but sometimes, we aren't in the mood for a cold beer or cocktail. A smoothie could be a great way to cool off, but sometimes, we want something a little more decadent.

Cue the milkshake. This sweet treat has the deliciousness of ice cream, but you don't have to worry about it running off the cone and down your arm on a hot day. Also, the flavor combinations are limitless. You can go with a classic vanilla or strawberry milkshake, or you can blend in your favorite cookies, candies, and fruits. Also, since we're big boys, who's to stop us from adding a little peppermint schnapps to the blend to make a delicious boozy milkshake?

Read more