By Kevin Hopper
With summertime around the corner, and after reeling from a particularly nasty winter season, it’s time to start the initial planning stages of your backyard parties. Cold beer and white wine are essential, but if you are looking for a unique and super-tasty summer treat, buy a bottle or four of Pimm’s No. 1.
This storied aperitif was concocted in Britain, circa 1840, by a fishmonger-turned-oyster bar entrepreneur. The recipe for this gin-based potion remains a secret that is purportedly known by only six people in the world. Originally sold as a tonic or digestif, its flavor is herbal and slightly bitter, but is easily rounded out by adding ginger ale and fruit juices. I like to call it an adult iced tea. Known famously as a Pimm’s Cup, the cocktail is the official drink of Wimbledon and could easily become the official drink of your backyard, if you try just one.
Containing only 25 percent alcohol, it’s been called the perfect session cocktail. It’s also very easy to whip up a Pimm’s Cup pitcher, rather than fiddle with individual drinks. Do that, then go mow the lawn and work up a sweat. You’ll be greeted with one of the best summer drinks you’ve ever tasted.
2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
3 ounces ginger ale
1 cucumber slice
Half orange slice
1 strawberry sliced (optional)
1 lemon slice
6 mint leaves
Add fruit, mint and cucumber to a highball glass. Lightly muddle and add ice. Pour in Pimm’s and top with ginger ale. Find a hammock, sip and relax.