The recipe for Pimm’s is a closely guarded secret. It was created by James Pimm during the reign of George IV to accompany the oysters which Pimm’s sold in his restaurants. The base is often gin which is flavoured with various herbs, spices, fruits, and botanicals. The result is a dark brown “summer cup” which is perfect with croquet, cricket or golf. Unfortunately, given it tastes delicious and has lots of fruit in it, the alcoholic content is occasionally forgotten!
Makes 1 litre/1¾ pints (serves about 4 people)
1 apple, cored and chopped
½ a small cucumber, finely sliced
6 large strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 orange, thinly sliced (keep 4 or 5 slices in reserve for garnish)
250ml (8½fl oz) Pimm’s
750ml (1¼ pints) lemonade
Handful of mint leaves
Put the chopped apple, cucumber, strawberries and most of the orange slices into a large jug with some ice. Pour in the Pimm’s then the lemonade, and stir gently. Mix thoroughly and then garnish with mint leaves and the reserved orange slices.
For an alternative to lemonade, try the same proportions with ginger ale, or Maggie’s tip (who looks after the horses at Highclere) is to use champagne instead of the lemonade.
Pimms looks so refreshing! In Texas, Sangria is popular, and this is such a nice alternative. I like the champagne suggestion too.
I also live in Texas and am wondering – can I get Pimms here in Texas and where might I find it? I would be so pleased if you can answer this question.
Love Pimms! We visit London often and there’s nothing like a pitcher of Pimms while sitting in Hyde Park on a warm day.
I love Pimms – the thing is it is just fruit really isn’t it?!
I first had Pimm’s at The Grand Hotel in Torquay. Devon. It was a hot, humid afternoon and the drink was a wonderful pick-me-up!
Ann Marie Simons February 10, 2018 at 9:50am
We Love Pimms!!! We were introduced to it in London as we visited our life long friends.
It is a wonderful tall summer cocktail. We serve it with a clear soda, Sprite, 7 UP etc BUT always with a long peel of cucumber. The cumber seals the deal. Enjoy.
PS-sometimes difficult to find in our stores. Try a DUTY FREE if you fly international.
I had my first Pimm’s Cup in San Diego, California many years ago. Since then, I have only found one other bar/restaurant that knew what I was talking about, but alas, they didn’t have any Pimm’s!
When I first went to Bermuda in the 50’s, there were at least 6 flavors of Pimms: for rum, scotch, gin, vodka, burbon, etc. Sadly ,now I can find only one. I really miss the one for rum. Even Stoners in St Thomas, arguably the best liquor store in the Caribbean, doesn’t have them all. Are they not made any more? Hate progress! Best,
There are definitely two versions here – vodka and gin but you are right – there were about 9!
Being a Rum drink aficianado and lacking rum Pimms, but given you being in the UK where Schweppes bitter lemon (the best) is still being sold – not any more in the US sadly for 18 odd years! – a refreshing rum drink can be made from Myers rum (or any dark rum, not overproof!), bitter lemon, 2 dashes of bitters, & two squirts of lime juice. I use equal portions of rum and bitter lemon, but other ratios work well too Served in silver goblets with lots of ice, it’s hard to beat! Drink it right away for while silver makes a drink very cold, the ice melts quickly. Enjoy.
For us in the States who can no longer get what you call lemonade (Schweppes) the soft drink Squirt is a perfectly acceptable substitute.
I’ll never forget enjoying a pitcher of Pimm’s during intermission at the Chichester Summer Theatre.
Good thank you for that advice!
Something similar to this was served at my Bridal Shower. Instead of lemonade it was ginger ale (ginger beer/soda). Indeed, we easily forgot it contained alcohol and the church ladies all got plastered. Honest mistake, good fun, lots of laughs and then some pain killers! Thanks for the recipe!
It is just fruit and something delicious so it is very easy to enjoy!!!!
33 Bottles of Pimm’s on the wall… sing along if you love Pimm’s! Yes, that was my summer of Pimm’s- tailgates, flower shows, polo matches – enough to warrant 33 bottles of Pimm’s used from April to September.
I first enjoyed Pimm’s at the Chelsea Flower Show in London many years ago. I introduced it to my tailgating friends, and we have it as a staple in our drinks repertoire ever since. Lord Wedgwood used this particular recipe as stated here. When he passed, the company had a Celebration of Life party and we enjoyed his recipe of Pimm’s in his honor.
Pimm’s is my go to drink! Mix with either lemonade or 7-up and it is a refreshing sipping drink for summer (or anytime!). Also mixes well with champagne! Everyone I’ve introduced to Pimm’s is a fan
Surprisingly not too easy to find in Edinburgh!
I was a fan of Sangria, which has cinnamon. But, Pimms looks delicious. The combination of cucumber and strawberries is amazing. I should make it someday. Thanks Lady Carnarvon, for your great recipes.
Champagne!!?? Now there’s a thought! Thank you, thank you!
While in London earlier this month, I ordered a Pimm’s from one of the local Pub’s. It was delicious and I felt very English drinking a local beverage. Thanks so much for the recommendation. Now I will look in my local liquor store for Pimm’s
I accidentally found Pimms #1 Cup when I was in my early 20’s and have been drinking it with Ice and Squirt for the last 50 years! I drink it in the summertime and I love it, it is so very refreshing, discovering it was a British favorite was a surprise, had no idea! Now is the time of year I love my Graham’s 40 y.o. port, something else I accidentally stumbled upon on a first-class flight to Hawaii, I thought it was for old men and their cigars! Our flight attendant talked me into trying it as she wanted to take the opened bottle home with her, now I know why, so very, very good!
Such a lovely recipe given we celebrate Christmas and High Summer at the same time here in New Zealand! Thank you, as always
My brother-in-law makes me a Pimm’s in very backwoods Maine, overlooking the cows and meadows.
Very good brother in law!
We had the pleasure of visiting your home a few years ago. I was with my 7 year old grandson. We watched the Downton Abbey series with me. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. It is a very special. He walked with in the tour and recalled moments from the series. We had a bite to eat downstairs. The highlight of the experience was, you standing very close to us while you were arranging transportation for someone. I was so empresses with your kind assistance with that person. Wanted to say hello to you and thank you, but I was too nervous LoL
Howe kind of you to write now – thank you
I love this! I was first introduced to Pimm’s in Kenya in 1985 after a long, hot dusty drive from Nairobi to Samburu. Sitting on the patio overlooking the river, a waiter offered a tray of drinks. I chose the Pimm’s and ginger ale because of the cucumber spear in it and have been hooked ever since. I live in Texas and it’s such a refreshing drink in our hot weather. I never knew there was another way to drink Pimm’s until I found your recipe. I love it with lemonade, and make a pitcher whenever I have guests by the pool.
My absolute favourite summer drink to be enjoyed with friends in the garden or whilst watching the tennis.
We always had Pimm’s “punch” at social gatherings with the family here in Canada. None of our non-British friends knew about it, but left with a new appreciation for it and I still make it for myself all year round. The punch version we would use ginger ale and float lots of fruit and ice cubes made with various berries and citrus wedges especially frozen blueberries. We would always muddle some mint as well as adding fresh sprigs. So lovely and makes me long for days of socializing once again. I think I will make myself a Pimm’s right now just to sit and reflect. Thank you for your blog and I enjoy reading new bits about yourself, the castle and so many other fascinating things.
Be safe and be well.
There are different numbers of Pimm’s. This looks like Pimm’s number 9. All the different numbered Pimm’s give a different taste.