Y’all – fall is right around the corner. It’s strangely hot and muggy here in the Bay Area (grrrrr….), but I know soon enough the heat will break and I’ll be in sweaters and boots.
This time of year I still want to enjoy an icy cold cocktail every once in a while, but I like my cocktail to give me a hit of autumn as well. Enter Pimm’s No. 1. Have you tried it? It’s a British gin-based liquor that, according to Wikipedia, “tastes subtly of spice and citrus fruit.” See? The perfect fall liquor.
I don’t want Pimm’s drinks once the weather cools off. But, when it gets into September and it’s still hot? Pimm’s No. 1 to the rescue.
So, to celebrate my love for Pimm’s, here are a few favorite recipes I’ve found over the years.
Official Wimbleton Pimm’s Cup
I had to ask my friend Courtney for insight into this drink for two reasons: 1) She’s my go-to for quite a few questions regarding alcohol, and 2) She’s the only one of my friends who has had a real Pimm’s Cup at the REAL Wimbleton. (She also met Jimmy Fallon at Wimbleton, which prompted severe jealousy on my part, but I’ve since come to terms with this.)
There are lots of recipes out there claiming to be the official Wimbleton recipe, but they’re all different. So, I had to go to my expert Pimm’s Cup drinker. Apparently, the real ones are made with carbonated lemonade and Pimm’s No. 1. So, I just grabbed a couple cans of sparkling lemonade from the grocery store and poured some over ice with Pimm’s No. 1. I don’t even have a link to a recipe for you, because you really don’t need one. Just add the ingredients together until it tastes good to you.
Super easy. Super refreshing.
Pimm’s Cup Recipe #2
Like I said above, there are all types of Pimm’s Cup recipes online. This one from Epicurious is also super easy, but takes it up a notch with the cucumber and mint sprigs as garnish. Cucumber has become my favorite garnish, because the smell adds a layer of freshness that can’t be beat on a hot day. Also, be sure to use a good ginger beer. The Q brand I used has a great spicy kick to it.
This one may be my all-time favorite summer drink. I found it a few years ago on the exceedingly brilliant Smitten Kitchen and have served it at many summer gatherings. I made one for my sister last night, actually, and she requested seconds. I’ve even made pitchers of Porch Swings for family and neighborhood gatherings. One such pitcher may or may not have led to Andria and her brother (aka my husband) to push each other around the yard in an old wheelchair. Good things come from Porch Swings my friends. And, they pair especially well with vinegar based North Carolina pulled pork sandwiches.
A Porch Swing is the first drink I experienced a cucumber garnish in, and I’ve never turned back. It’s basically a fancy, alcoholic Arnold Palmer. I’ve made it with good store bought lemonade, but it’s especially good when you squeeze the lemons yourself as directed in the recipe.
I discovered this recipe a few weeks ago on West Elm’s blog. They describe it as a riff on a French 75 and a classic Pimm’s Cup – hence the name Pimm’s 75! It’s essentially a Porch Swing that uses sparking wine to add some effervescence instead of lemon-lime soda. It’s very light and refreshing, and less sweet than a Porch Swing. I highly recommend this one – especially if you’re a fan of sparkling wine.
So, there you go folks! Pick one or two of these, add the ingredients to you grocery list, and plan on cooling off with a nice, cold, spicy cocktail in your hand while you make the most of these last dog days of summer.
How about you? Do you have any favorite cocktail recipes for when it’s really hot? I’d love to hear them!