Classic Pimm's Cup Makes a Comeback in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Buchanan, Fresh

pimm2.jpg
courtesy of Windsor
Why have a Pimm's Cup when you can have a whole pitcher?
In this new series, Chow Bella blogger Nikki Buchanan shares what's hot right now -- and we're not talking about the temperature. Whether it's the latest trendy ingredient or the right dish for the season, she'll give you the backstory and where in town you can find it.

It's official. Our five-month summer is here. A long haul of this proportion calls for cold, refreshing beverages -- preferably alcoholic. England's favorite summer drink is the Pimm's Cup, and like so many classic cocktails, it's making a comeback here in the States.

Although it's considered an aperitif (a low-alcohol cocktail drunk before dinner to stimulate the appetite), it's so light and refreshing, it makes a great sipper any time.

Here's the backstory:

James Pimm, who ran a popular oyster house in London in the 1820s, invented Pimm's #1 -- a gin-based liqueur with spicy, citrus-y, botanical notes -- for his customers, who were knocking back straight gin (and surely grimacing) with their oysters. Later, he invented a light punch using Pimm's #1, which he served in a tankard and christened "#1 Cup." It's entirely possible that Pimm was England's first mixologist.

Although the English make their Pimm's Cup with lemonade, in the States, we usually use ginger ale or ginger beer. A light effervescence is what we're going for here.

The Brits turn their glasses into a fruit salad, garnishing them with cantaloupe, oranges and cherries, although the traditional garnish is simply a thick slice of cucumber and a sprig of borage (a cucumber-flavored herb with medicinal properties). Nowadays, many bartenders substitute mint, which is in the same family.

Want to find out what the Pimm's Cup is all about? Here are three great examples to taste-test:


Location Info

Windsor

5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

FnB Restaurant

7125 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Az 88

7353 E. Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant


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12 comments
TheCosmicJester
TheCosmicJester

Nikki, mon cher: When Brits talk about lemonade, they refer to carbonated, clear lemon soda. 7-Up and its ilk come close, but are generally too sweet compared to actual British lemonade. I suppose adding a splash of soda water and a squeeze of lemon would bring 7-Up closer, but the substitution of ginger ale is a darn tasty one.

Justin Lee
Justin Lee

Love this! There's little better than an ice-cold Pimm's Cup, especially on a hot Phoenix afternoon. It's great to see a growing trickle of bars and restaurants finally adding the rosy spirit to their menus. It's about time Phoenix hopped on the Pimm's resurgence!

Libbi Johnson
Libbi Johnson

the pimm's cup at Tuck Shop is also fabulous.  we always order it when we go.

Ktovrea
Ktovrea

my fave drink when I'm home in New Orleans.. to hell with that koolaid based beverage The Hurricane!   I agree with Alex - Katie's Pimm's Cup at Beckett's is quite lovely....

Alex Neville
Alex Neville

Beckett's Table makes a Pimm's Cup too and it is quite tasty. Here's the recipe from their website: Pimms No.1, Ketel One Vodka, Muddled Cucumber, Sprite, Ginger Ale,
House-Made Honey Syrup and Lemonade with a long slice of cucumber

Nikki Buchanan
Nikki Buchanan

I love Tuck Shop and need to get back in there. You've given me a great excuse!

Nikki Buchanan
Nikki Buchanan

Thanks, Alex! Sounds delish! Will definitely give that one a shot. 

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