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Pimm's Cup

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Calories: 273
    Pimm's Cup cocktail with strawberries, cucumber and basil

    Sparkling lemonade and the herbaceous, sweetly botanical flavors of Pimm’s No. 1 join forces in this classic Pimm’s Cup cocktail.

    Pimm's The Perfect Summer Cocktail

    Fizzing with citrus and the flavor of sweet and bitter herbs, no drink heralds the arrival of summer quite like a classic Pimm’s Cup. Easy to mix up by the pitcher, it’s the perfect drink for serving to a thirsty (over 21) crowd—from barbecues to pool parties, this simple stunner is sure to be everyone’s new favorite cocktail.

    What is a Pimm's Cup?

    Redolent of summer and all things aristocratic and British, the classic Pimm’s Cup recipe involves Pimm’s No. 1, fizzy lemonade, lemon juice, lots of ice and a borderline-ridiculous garnish situation—think whole strawberries and a garden’s worth of basil leaves. Best sipped in the hot summer sun, this classic summer refresher—the official unofficial drink of Wimbledon—is tart-sweet and cooling.

    Basket of strawberries, lemons, cucumber and basil.
    Pimm's Cup cocktail in a pitcher with strawberries, cucumber, lemon and basil.

    What is Pimm's No. 1?

    Fair question! Probably the best answer involves a mini history lesson. So...

    A Bit of Pimm’s No. 1 History:

    Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur that originated in London in the mid-1800’s. It was created by a fishmonger named James Pimm (hence the name). Mr. Pimm mixed up the bitter orange-and-herb-flavored libation initially as a drink to serve at his oyster bar—something unique to offer his customers that would help his restaurant gain a loyal following. The drink quickly grew in popularity, and by 1859 it was being sold commercially—and the rest is history! As for what Pimm's liqueur is made of? Well, of course, Pimm’s would prefer not to share the exact recipe for their famous liqueur, but we know for sure that it’s gin-based, and those bold, bitter herb-and-orange flavors let us know that it’s likely infused with lots and lots of herbs and citrus peel. We also know for sure that it’s delicious, and that you can’t make a Pimm’s Cup without it!

    3 Pimm's Cup cocktails with strawberries, cucumber, lemon and basil.

    What's in a Pimm's Cup?

    Everything good and summery and bitter and sweet and sparkling and refreshing. Oh, but like, specifically, really what goes into a classic Pimm’s Cup cocktail? You’ll need:

    • Pimm’s No. 1.
    • Sparkling lemonade. We love San Pellegrino limonatabecause it’s sweet and lemony with loads of fizz power, but any sparkling lemonade that you love will work.
    • Lemon juice. Pimm’s No. 1 is delicious, but it veers toward sweetness, so we add extra lemon juice to the mix to tart things up a bit. On the dog days of summer, we want something truly refreshing and bright, zingy freshly squeezed lemon juice ensures that your Pimm’s Cup will be ultra cooling.
    • Garnishes galore! Why does a Pimm’s Cup need to be garnished within an inch of its life? Who knows—maybe just chalk it up to typically British eccentricity, since the Pimm’s Cup just might be the most British cocktail there is. (Don’t tell the G&T..) Regardless, you obviously don’t have to garnish your Pimm’s Cup to enjoy it, but we swear that stuffing sprigs of fresh basil, strawberries and cucumber and lemon slices into your glass will make you feel a little extra celebratory when you go in for that first sip, and who doesn’t love that?

    What Does a Pimm's Cup Taste Like?

    We kind of don’t want to answer this one, because we want you to mix one up and see for yourself. But, we also can’t resist taking a moment to revel in the gustatory joy that is a classic, perfectly mixed Pimm’s Cup. It is pure summer in a class—an ice-filled, sunshine-y, lightly-alcoholic cocktail that refreshes and relaxes. Lemon lovers, this is your drink! Pimm’s No. 1 brings just enough bitter herbal flavors to balance out the thirst-quenching sweet-tart flavors of the fizzy lemonade, and that fresh, verdant basil pushes everything over the edge into blaze of sheer summertime bliss.

    Overhead of 3 Pimm's Cup cocktails with strawberries, cucumber, lemon and basil.
    Close up of Pimm's Cup cocktails with strawberries, cucumber, lemon and basil.
    Pimm's Cup cocktail with strawberries, cucumber and basil
    3 Pimm's Cup cocktails with strawberries, cucumber, lemon and basil.

    How to Make a Pimm's Cup:

    Dump everything into a pitcher and stir—mixing up a pitcher of Pimm’s Cups really is just about as easy cocktails get, and yay for that. Here’s what you do:

    1. Squeeze half a cup of lemon juice. This takes about 3-4 lemons, depending on how juicy they are.
    2. Pour the lemon juice into a large pitcher along with your Pimm’s No. 1 and sparkling lemonade.
    3. Add some of your fresh basil leaves, strawberries and cucumber slices to the pitcher, and let it infuse for ten minutes.
    4. Fill everyone’s glasses with lots of ice, and pour everyone a Pimm’s Cup. Garnish like crazy. Toast to the host(ess) with the most!

    Other Favorite Summer Cocktails

    3 Pimm's Cup cocktails with strawberries, cucumber, lemon and basil.

    Cheers!

    So, did you mix up a Pimm’s Cup? Or are you planning to? If you make this cocktail recipe, post a picture to Instagram and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can see how it turned out! Pinkies up!

    Pimm's Cup

    • Serves: 4
    • Prep Time:  10 min
    • Calories: 273

    Ingredients

    • 2 cans of Limonata San Pellegrino
    • 1 cup Pimm's No. 1
    • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 cucumber, sliced
    • 8 strawberries, quartered
    • 8 basil leaves, torn
    • lemon slices, for garnish

    Method

    1. In a pitcher mix the Pellegrino, Pimm’s, and lemon juice. Mix in cucumber, strawberries, and basil. Let stand for 10 mins.
    2. Fill 4 highball glasses with ice and pour cocktail evenly over the ice, making sure each glass gets equal amounts of cucumber, basil, and strawberries. Garnish with lemon.

    Nutrition Info

    • Per Serving
    • Amount
    • Calories273
    • Protein2 g
    • Carbohydrates48 g
    • Total Fat1 g
    • Dietary Fiber5 g
    • Cholesterol0 mg
    • sodium3 mg
    • Total Sugars26 g

    Pimm's Cup

    Questions & Reviews

    Join the discussion below.

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    • Benjamin Facer

      Pimm’s has always been served with mint in all the years I have consumed it and never basil. Where/when did basil get introduced? Not that I don’t think it would be good with basil just not the traditional way to make it. I imagine Kaffir lime leaves might be an interesting addition too but again not traditional.

      We love the twist with basil but feel free to use mint if you prefer!

    • Barbara A Morrison

      Is Pimms No 1cup the only one available now? I am a publicans daughter from London and have served and drank Pimms for many years. I am a Brandy girl and loved # 4.Since Living in the US for far too long I miss many things from home and someone asked me about Pimms the other day and I could not answer the question. . My dad's pub was in Soho, so when I say I am a Londoner, I truly mean that. Born in the East end grew up in the West End.

      We believe they only have NO. 1 and NO. 6 now.

    • Sheri Jett

      I need to know if Pimm’s is Gluten-Free.
      That means it has no ingredient w/wheat, barley, rye, or oats(grown in a rotated field w/previous grains) exposure. Thanks.

      Yes, it is.

    • Edward Kerner

      How many bottles of 70cl Pimms No 1 cup mixed with lemonade does one need to fill say 12 highball glasses?

      Well we would recommend tripling this recipe since it serves 4. So you will need 3 cups (1 750ml bottle). Hope you enjoy Edward!

    • David Dickerson

      Are the cans of lemon San Pelligrino 12 ounces?

      They are technically 11.15 fl oz but yes, just the regular can! Hope you enjoy, David!

    • Jenn

      This was very delicious!

      Thanks Jenn! We are glad to hear you enjoyed it!