A Pimm's No.1 Cup is a classic English summer drink served over ice with English lemonade or ginger ale and garnished with cucumber, a slice of orange, a mint sprig, and a strawberry. Pimm's No. 1 Cup is gin-based and infused with herbal botanicals, caramelized orange, and spices.
In the United States, Pimm's is the one and only choice, but take a trip to London and you have a whole new world of options made by both gin distillers and supermarkets. Next time you travel to London bring home one of these options.
Pimms No. 1 Cup
You could go with the classic of course -- the original No. 1 Cup, but they also make a variety of options, including the No. 3 Winter, which is brandy-based. For summer drinking, try the Limited Edition Strawberry With a Hint of Mint or the Pimm's Blackberry & Elderflower, both of which are fruitier and sweeter than the original.
If you really want to up your game, buy a 1970s bottling from Hedonism Wines for £120.
Sipsmith London Cup
Made by gin distillers Sipsmith, their London Cup uses London Dry Gin as the starting point and infuses it with Earl Grey tea, lemon verbena, borage, and other botanicals. The result is a burnt orangey, caramel, citrus, spicy flavored cup.
Fortnum's Summer Cup
Food lovers and pros all agree that visiting the food and drink floor in the basement of Fortnum & Mason is a must when in London. In addition to their own-branded wines, they have also created a Summer Cup made with their London Dry Gin, Pedro Ximinez sherry, that is infused with Moroccan Mint, Chai and Earl Grey teas. It has floral lime accents and rose with sandalwood and sweet raisins.
Heston from Waitrose Fruit Cup
Walk around any Waitrose grocery store in England and you can see famous English chef Heston Blumenthal's range of food and drink. His Fruit Cup uses his Earl Grey and Lemon Gin as a based (which is also worth trying for G&Ts) and has blackcurrant, elderflowers, bergamot infused along some apple spirit.
Instead of the classic cocktail, they recommend pouring the Fruit Cup over ice with raspberries and peeled, sliced fresh ginger, topped with ginger ale and a squeeze of lime, and garnished with rosemary and lime zest.
Pitchers from Sainsbury's
Another ubiquitous grocery store in England is Sainsbury's, so it's no surprise they would have their own version of Pimm's. But it was so close to the original that Diageo tried to sue them until they made a few minor label changes. The flavor though is still similar to the original with more of an orange zest to it and a little more sweetness.
Sacred Rosehip Cup
This is more of a variation on Campari than Pimm's, but worth seeking out nonetheless. It's made with 27 botanicals including English rosehip, English rhubarb, and Peruvian ginger. Instead of a Pimm's, try this in a Negroni with Sacred's English vermouth.
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