Pimm's Cup

Pimm’s Cup

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

Want a refreshing cocktail? The Pimm’s Cup is easy to make with a recipe for simple, vibrant ingredients, perfect for a relaxing drink.

Pimm's Cup Recipe

Get into the summer vibe with this easy Pimm's Cup recipe! Pimm's, lemonade, and ginger ale are mixed for a refreshing drink.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

257 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Pimm's No.1
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 2 oz ginger ale or soda water
  • Ice cubes
  • Mint sprigs, sliced cucumber, orange slices, and strawberries , for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Pimm's: Pour 1½ oz Pimm's No.1 over the ice.
  • Add Lemonade: Measure and pour 3 oz lemonade into the glass.
  • Add Ginger Ale or Soda: Top with 2 oz ginger ale or soda water, as preferred.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to mix the ingredients carefully.
  • Garnish: Add mint, cucumber, orange, and strawberries for a colorful, flavorful touch.

Notes

Substitutes:

I've experimented with a few tweaks here and there over the years. If you can't get Pimm's, a splash of bourbon with a bit of red vermouth gets you there — it's all about that balance of spicy and sweet. Ginger ale is my go-to, but I've swapped it for ginger beer for an extra kick. For a fruitier vibe, try adding clear, fruit-flavored carbonated beverages; they add a fun twist!

Making a Pitcher of Pimm's Cup:

  • Scale: For a gathering, multiply all the ingredients by 8 for a pitcher. You'll need 12 oz of Pimm's, 24 oz of lemonade, and 16 oz of ginger ale or soda.
  • Mix: In the pitcher, combine Pimm's, lemonade, and ginger ale/soda. Stir it well!
  • Serve: Dive into the spirit of communal sipping — pour into individual ice-filled glasses, garnish, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Pimm's Substitute: Replace Pimm's with a concoction of non-alcoholic red grape juice, a splash of bitters (non-alcoholic), and a cinnamon stick for warmth. Let it infuse a bit before using.
  • Proceed As Usual: With your non-alcoholic "Pimm's" ready, follow the original steps and enjoy your mocktail version.

Making it Vegan:

Good news, Pimm's Cup aficionados — the classic recipe is inherently vegan! However, watch out for the lemonade and ginger ale; some brands might use non-vegan sweeteners or additives. Opt for certified vegan products to keep your drink animal-friendly. And, of course, enjoy the natural bounty of garnishes!

Nutrition Facts

Calories
257
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sodium
 
10
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
49
g
16
%
Fiber
 
0.3
g
1
%
Sugar
 
43
g
48
%
Potassium
 
62
mg
2
%
Protein
 
0.2
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin C
 
11
mg
13
%
Calcium
 
8
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.2
mg
1
%

 

Pimm's Cup

Pimm's Cup Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Get into the summer vibe with this easy Pimm's Cup recipe! Pimm's, lemonade, and ginger ale are mixed for a refreshing drink.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 257

Ingredients
 

  • oz Pimm's No.1
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 2 oz ginger ale or soda water
  • Ice cubes
  • Mint sprigs, sliced cucumber, orange slices, and strawberries - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Pimm's: Pour 1½ oz Pimm's No.1 over the ice.
  • Add Lemonade: Measure and pour 3 oz lemonade into the glass.
  • Add Ginger Ale or Soda: Top with 2 oz ginger ale or soda water, as preferred.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to mix the ingredients carefully.
  • Garnish: Add mint, cucumber, orange, and strawberries for a colorful, flavorful touch.

Notes

Substitutes:

I've experimented with a few tweaks here and there over the years. If you can't get Pimm's, a splash of bourbon with a bit of red vermouth gets you there — it's all about that balance of spicy and sweet. Ginger ale is my go-to, but I've swapped it for ginger beer for an extra kick. For a fruitier vibe, try adding clear, fruit-flavored carbonated beverages; they add a fun twist!

Making a Pitcher of Pimm's Cup:

  • Scale: For a gathering, multiply all the ingredients by 8 for a pitcher. You'll need 12 oz of Pimm's, 24 oz of lemonade, and 16 oz of ginger ale or soda.
  • Mix: In the pitcher, combine Pimm's, lemonade, and ginger ale/soda. Stir it well!
  • Serve: Dive into the spirit of communal sipping — pour into individual ice-filled glasses, garnish, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Pimm's Substitute: Replace Pimm's with a concoction of non-alcoholic red grape juice, a splash of bitters (non-alcoholic), and a cinnamon stick for warmth. Let it infuse a bit before using.
  • Proceed As Usual: With your non-alcoholic "Pimm's" ready, follow the original steps and enjoy your mocktail version.

Making it Vegan:

Good news, Pimm's Cup aficionados — the classic recipe is inherently vegan! However, watch out for the lemonade and ginger ale; some brands might use non-vegan sweeteners or additives. Opt for certified vegan products to keep your drink animal-friendly. And, of course, enjoy the natural bounty of garnishes!

What is a Pimm’s Cup?

A Pimm’s Cup is a cocktail that combines Pimm’s No.1 liqueur with a lively mix of lemonade and fresh garnishes, often including cucumber, orange, strawberries, and mint. The cocktail owes its name to its primary ingredient, Pimm’s No.1, which James Pimm concocted in the mid-1800s. While it originated in London, the Pimm’s Cup has crossed borders, becoming a staple at summer garden parties and prestigious events like Wimbledon.

A side shot of a Pimm's Cup cocktail in a highball glass on a wooden board placed on a brown placemat with a jigger around.

What is Pimm’s Cup Cocktail made of – The ingredients

Prepare the making of your Pimm’s Cup by gathering these ingredients:

  • Pimm’s No.1: A gin-based liqueur with herbal infusions, providing a rich, slightly spicy base.
  • Lemonade: Adds a sweet, tangy brightness to counterbalance the herbal notes.
  • Ginger ale or soda water: Introduces a fizzy, refreshing element; ginger ale adds a touch of spice, while soda water lends a more neutral effervescence.
  • Mint sprigs: Contribute a fresh, cooling aftertaste.
  • Sliced cucumber: Enhances the drink with a crisp, refreshing texture.
  • Orange slices: Offer a subtle citrus complexity.
  • Strawberries: Infuse a natural sweetness and vivid color.

Pimm's No.1, lemonade, and ginger ale laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Pimm’s Cup?

To make a great Pimm’s Cup, follow our simple instructions:

1
<p>Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes to ensure your drink stays refreshingly cool.</p>

Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes to ensure your drink stays refreshingly cool.

2
<p>Pour Pimm’s No.1 directly over the ice, establishing the foundational flavor of the cocktail.</p>

Pour Pimm’s No.1 directly over the ice, establishing the foundational flavor of the cocktail.

3
<p>Add lemonade to the mix, introducing a sweet, citrusy dimension to the profile.</p>

Add lemonade to the mix, introducing a sweet, citrusy dimension to the profile.

4
<p>Top the concoction with ginger ale for a spicy kick or soda water for effervescent simplicity, enhancing the cocktail’s texture and complexity.</p>

Top the concoction with ginger ale for a spicy kick or soda water for effervescent simplicity, enhancing the cocktail’s texture and complexity.

5
<p>Add a couple of ice cubes to refill your glass, if necessary.</p>

Add a couple of ice cubes to refill your glass, if necessary.

6
<p>Stir the components gently yet thoroughly, combining the flavors while preserving the carbonation.</p>

Stir the components gently yet thoroughly, combining the flavors while preserving the carbonation.

7
<p>Garnish with fresh mint sprigs, cucumber slices, orange slices, and strawberries, enriching the drink with aromas and a visual flourish.</p>

Garnish with fresh mint sprigs, cucumber slices, orange slices, and strawberries, enriching the drink with aromas and a visual flourish.

8
<p>Enjoy your Pimm's Cup cocktail!</p>

Enjoy your Pimm's Cup cocktail!

Pimm’s Cup with Gin or Vodka?

When crafting a Pimm’s Cup, the original recipe calls for Pimm’s No. 1, a gin-based liqueur with a spicy, citrusy flavor. While using vodka might cross one’s mind, sticking to the traditional ingredient ensures the authentic taste that Pimm’s Cup is known for. Pimm’s No. 1 is a brand and a specific liqueur, so there’s no need to consider other brands. If you’re thinking of replacing Pimm’s with a spirit like gin, unfortunately even brands like Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, or Tanqueray miss the mark as they lack the unique herbal and citrus qualities of Pimm’s No. 1. The same goes for vodka; even top brands like Grey Goose or Smirnoff can’t replicate the distinctive flavor profile. Pimm’s Cup has no true substitute for Pimm’s No. 1.

A Pimm's Cup cocktail, shot from above, in a highball glass on a wooden board on a borwn placemat with a jigger around.

Variations on the perfect summer Cocktail

If you want to change up the original, try one of our recommendations:

  • Pimm’s and Tonic: A crisp, bitter edge from the tonic water perfectly complements the herbal, slightly spicy flavors of Pimm’s. The quinine in the tonic water brings out the herbal notes in Pimm’s, making it incredibly refreshing, particularly on a warm day. I really enjoy how the tonic water enhances Pimm’s herbal qualities.
  • Pimm’s Winter Cup: Tailor-made for colder months, it mixes warm apple cider and spices for a cozy, comforting sweetness. The added spices contribute a delightful warmth. The spiced apple cider’s warmth and comfort make this my go-to choice on chilly evenings.
  • Pimm’s Royale: Champagne replaces soda or ginger ale, adding a luxurious, bubbly twist to this elegant mix. The champagne’s effervescence lends a lively and sophisticated character, making it perfect for special occasions. I find the celebratory feel of the champagne particularly enjoyable.

A side shot of a Pimm's Cup cocktail in a highball glass on a wooden board placed on a brown placemat with a jigger around, in front of a beige wall.

History and Origins of the Pimm’s Cup

The Pimm’s Cup cocktail story begins in 1823 with James Pimm, an oyster bar owner in London’s financial district. Keen to offer his patrons a digestive aid to accompany their shellfish, Pimm created the first Pimm’s known as the No. 1 Cup, a gin-based drink infused with a secret mixture of herbs and liqueurs. The cocktail proved so popular that it transitioned from being a local specialty to being mass-produced for broader distribution in 1851.

As Pimm’s No. 1 Cup continued to gain popularity, it became synonymous with British summertime social events, particularly garden parties and prestigious sporting events like Wimbledon, the Chelsea Flower Show, and the Henley Royal Regatta. The Pimm’s Cup cocktail, as we know it today, came into existence when English drinkers started mixing the herbal spirit with lemonade and various fresh ingredients, including fruit and mint, to lighten the drink for summertime consumption.

A Pimm's Cup cocktail, shot from above, in a highball glass on a white marmol table surrounded by Pimm's No.1, lemonade, and ginger ale.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Pimm's Cup?
A typical Pimm's Cup has around 150-160 calories, depending on the specific mix of ingredients and the serving size.
How strong is a Pimm's Cup?
Pimm's No. 1 has an ABV of 25%, making it 50-proof. However, the cocktail's strength lessens with the added lemonade, fruits, and other non-alcoholic ingredients.
What alcohol is used in a Pimm's Cup?
Pimm's No. 1, a gin-based liqueur infused with herbal botanicals, is the primary alcohol used in a Pimm's Cup.
In which glass is a Pimm's Cup typically served?
A Pimm's Cup is traditionally served in a highball glass.
What does a Pimm's Cup taste like?
A Pimm's Cup offers a complex taste — it's slightly spicy, fruity, and citrusy, with herbal undertones, and it's not overly sweet.
What is the ratio in a Pimm's Cup?
The classic Pimm's Cup follows a 1:2 ratio, with one part Pimm's No. 1 to two parts lemonade and a touch of ginger ale or soda water, though some variations exist based on personal preference.
How is a Pimm's Cup typically served in terms of ice and presentation?
A Pimm's Cup is usually served over ice, ensuring the drink remains chilled and refreshing.

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