Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based beverage made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices, and spices. Served with lemonade and ginger ale, it becomes a Pimm’s Cup. Pimm’s No. 1 was created in the mid-18th century by English oyster bar owner James Pimm. The recipe is still a secret; supposedly, only six people know exactly how it is made. It has a dark, golden brown color, a medium body, and a taste of quinine, citrus fruits, and spice. Its low alcohol content of only 25 percent has made Pimm’s a drink to have when you are having more than one. As was customary at the time, Pimm served the cocktail in silver tumblers—hence the name Pimm’s Cup. The rage for this relative of the Sling became so great that Pimm mass-produced and bottled it along with Pimm’s 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6: whiskey, brandy, rum, rye, and vodka, respectively, all of which are now extinct except the No. 1. Detractors have likened the earthy mixture to liquid dirt mellowed by iodine, but the Pimm’s Cup is still the traditional drink of Wimbledon, with visitors to the matches consuming some 40,000 pints a year. The addition of fruit slices gives the drink a fresh taste, as we discovered at the Blue Ridge Hunt in Virginia.

  • 1/4-inch thick English cucumber wheel
  • 1/4-inch thick sliced strawberry
  • 1/2-inch thick lemon wheel
  • 2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
  • 2-3 ounces ginger ale
  • 2-3 ounces lemonade
                    Fill a silver cup with ice and put fruit slices on top. Pour in the Pimm’s and lemonade and ginger ale, and stir slightly to combine.