Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pimm's Cups

In which a friend of mine displays a Pimm's Cup of my creation
Greetings! I write this as Seattle experiences one of its heat waves, i.e. temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s. Last week, I made the alcoholic summer fruit cup Pimm's Cups for friends. I first learned of Pimm's Cups through Tanita S. Davis' historical fiction book Mare's War. If not for Tanita, I would still be shaking Ramos Gin Fizzes (and shaking, and shaking....)

 People's preferences for what actually goes into a Pimm's Cup differ greatly, though there is a consensus that one starts with Pimm's No. 1. Some people like the fizzy soda used to be lemon-based, while others prefer a ginger counterpoint. I am a fan of ginger beer.

 I've experimented with a number of different recipes to come up with a concoction that has delighted my summer guests thus far. Please feel free to add, modify, refute, hotly contest, or otherwise enrich the discussion of How To Make a Proper [Fill in the Blank With the Recipe of Your Choice].

 To make one Pimm's Cup as seen in the photo, you will need the following:

 1.5 ounces of Pimms' No. 1
.5 ounces Hendrick's gin (though other gin will work, too)
 2 ounces ginger beer
2 strawberries
1 orange wedge
1 slice of cucumber
borage flowers (optional, for garnish)
1 orange twist for garnish
1 English cucumber circle (for garnish)
mint leaves

Regarding the mint, I meant to use mint for muddling and for garnish, but alas, I forgot to add it. I was showing off by assembling the drink from memory.

 Directions for assembly:

1. Cut a length of orange peel (2-3 inches) and curl it around a bar spoon or something else that will give it the cork-screw curl... or not. If you do, be sure to prepare the garnish over the glass so that the glass catches the All Important Citrus Oils.

 2. Muddle the fruit and cucumber slice (plus 2 leaves of mint, if you are using it) in the glass in which you will serve the drink.

 3. Shake the alcoholic spirits with ice in a shaker until the liquid is cold.

 4. Pour the alcohol through a strainer into the glass with the muddled fruit.

 5. Add 2 ounces of chilled ginger beer, and mix.

 6. Cut a notch in the the cucumber circle, roll the edge in salt of a fine grain, and affix the cucumber to the side of the glass.

7. Add a few optional borage flowers to the mixture as a perky reminder that the drink started out with the beautiful bright blue flower as the garnish of choice before the cucumber showed up. 8. If you remembered the mint, add a perky sprig to the fruit cup. If you can't find Pimm's, here is a link that has a recipe to a Pimm's "cheater." I haven't tried it, but if you do, let me know how you like it.


tanita davis said...

It amuses me greatly that I have so added to your knowledge of alcohol.

Lone Star Ma said...

You are so multi-talented!

Lone Star Ma said...

May I add- 70s and 80s are a heat wave?! We have a word for that kind of weather down here, y'all - we call it winter.

Saints and Spinners said...

Tanita: I, too, am amused. How could you have predicted?

LSM: I knew you'd mock our heat wave. Come on up, it's balmy around here.

adrienne said...

Tammy and I got a bottle of tequila and some frozen margarita mix last weekend and made margaritas. Your cups are making me feel like our efforts are half-hearted and we need to step up our game.

Saints and Spinners said...

Adrienne: I am too devoted to you to let "margarita mix" slip by. You deserve fresh lime juice! Limes can be stubborn when it comes to yielding juice, which is why a lime squeezer is satisfying.

germandolls said...

Oh my gosh, I cannot believe it. Hubby and I have been making Pimm's Cups all summer. We do them rather simple though. Just the Pimm's, over ice, lemon wedges, a cucumber slice, and Pelegrino lemonade. It is so good!