Pimm’s Cup – The Wimbledon Drink

Why is it that certain holidays and sporting events have an associated cocktail?

This is not a complaint, mind you. I just find it fascinating in a good way, and it’s nice to know that the Connoisseur is not alone..!

Now let’s travel across the pond to the British Isles, home of that early summer tennis ritual known as Wimbledon.

Watching a good tennis match can be entertaining, but watching one with a drink in your hand is all that much more so. At Wimbledon that drink of choice is known as the Pimm’s Cup. What is oddly confusing is that the spirit that makes up this drink is called Pimm’s no. 1. This is a gin-based, tea colored spirit with just a hint of spice in the flavor. Pimm’s is also relatively low in alcohol, which keeps the drink lighter in character and less dangerous than some other cocktails out there.

According to the director of catering at Wimbledon, the recipe used at the tournament is roughly as follows:

Pour 1 oz. of Pimm’s into a Collins glass with ice. Fill glass with lemonade. Add half a strawberry, cucumber skin, sprig of mint and stir.

Most of the published recipes will omit the strawberry, add a slice of lemon, orange and apple, and then garnish with the mint and a cucumber slice. Feel free to experiment and find the combination that suites your palate. There are also variations with Ginger Ale or 7-up.

I almost forgot to mention – that catering director stated that they go through over 10,000 Pimm’s Cups per day, sometimes topping 15,000..! Pardon me while I run to the airport. I have a plane to catch for a big party over in England…