Pimm's, The Quintessentially British Summertime Drink

The time is ripe, some things are just of a season; they help to celebrate the turning of the year from one segment to another. And in this, Pimm's shines brightly in her colored glass, glimmering with ruby jewel tones, spiked with colored berries, citrus slices, and cool cucumber, all bobbing about happily, making people glad that summer is finally upon us. Yes, the sun is going to shine.

Pimm's may sing summer, but Spring is an excellent time for that first glass.

I encountered my first Pimm's at the fabulous Borough Market in London. Gib bought me a glass to enjoy as I wandered among the stalls. It was love at first sip.

Beautiful Borough Market in London.

My Handsome Hubby at Borough Market. 

Pimm's is the quintessential summertime drink in England. Most everyone seems to have a favorite way to make it, but it's tough to do badly. I'm starting to see it here in the United States, but no one makes it like they do in England.

This little lady needs a Pimms!

A Pimm's on my kitchen deck in Lincoln, England.

So what is Pimm's? It's a gin based liqueur infused with botanicals, citrus and spices. It's really unique and so summery. Here's the basic recipe that I like the best.

Add equal parts Pimm's and lemonade* (see note below) to a tall glass of ice. Add sliced strawberries, mint leaves, a slice or two of orange or lemon, and a few chunks of cucumber. Sit in the sun and enjoy this glassful of summertime! 

You can make the base ahead of time in a pitcher, by adding the Pimm's and all the fruit, mint and cucumber to marinate in the fridge. When it's time to serve, just pour it into a glass, and top off with lemonade*.

*Now, as for the lemonade. When Brits talk about lemonade, they are referring to a lemon lime soda, such as Sprite or 7-Up. Pimm's should NEVER be made with American lemonade, although I've seen it done in a few misguided establishments here in the States. However, it can also be made with a dry ginger ale, such as Canada Dry or Schweppes Ginger Ale. I like it both ways, but sometimes prefer the less sweet flavor of a ginger ale.

On a side note,  I've seen some people add a bit of gin to a pitcher of Pimm's. No one complained! Pimm's is versatile, go ahead and experiment with different fruits and herbs, and enjoy some golden sunshine in a glass. And if any Brits happen to read this, please tell us your secret recipe for Pimm's in the comments below.