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5 Perfectly Springy Riffs on the Classic Pimm’s Cup

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It’s a classic tale of cocktail origins: An elixir once touted for its medicinal benefits becomes a common ingredient in casual drinking culture.

Like Jägermeister, Sambuca and Chartreuse, Pimm’s No. 1 was first introduced as a health tonic, meant to aid digestion with its blend of spices and quinine. Eventually, the gin-based beverage spread in popularity throughout the UK, finally landing at the legendary courts of Wimbledon as the tournament’s official cocktail.


The quintessential accompaniment to warm, sunny days, the classic Pimm’s Cup is a low-alcohol refresher topped with sparkling lemonade and garnished with cucumber, mint and strawberries. While that’s a fine place to start, who’s to say you can’t experiment during Wimbledon’s off season? Perk up the traditional proportions with a squirt of hot sauce here or a glug of red wine there.

1. Peach Pimm’s Cup

This punch is a peach. Replacing the traditional bubbles lent by lemon-lime soda or ginger ale, peach soda gives this big-batch bowl a hint of sweetness and coral hue that calls to mind the ripe, fuzzy fruit—without the pits. Get the recipe.

2. Red Rooibos Tea Sangria

Red rooibos tea ice cubes keep this pitcher cool without diluting the goods inside. The cubes swim alongside diced nectarines, plums and berries in a pool of Pimm’s No. 1, red wine and extra fruit-steeped tea. It needs no further enhancement than a patch of sun to drink it in. Get the recipe.

3. Cajun Lemonade

This is what happens when the Pimm’s Cup takes a late-night stroll down Bourbon Street. Doused with Tabasco sauce and spiked with double the booze—either white rum or vodka—the result is a slightly savory glass of gold that’s ready to join the nearest parade. Get the recipe.

4. Pimm’s Jello Shots

In the neverending quest to jellify everyday food and drink into space age cubes, it’s time to note that yet another classic cocktail has been conquered. These springy bricks contain all the pop of a liquid Pimm’s Cup—a feat that’s managed by muddling cucumbers, fruit and mint into Pimm’s. Get the recipe.

5. Pimm’s Elderflower & Blackberry Ice Pops

Poptails are the future. Need proof? Pour special-edition Pimm’s Blackberry and Elderflower into popsicle molds, top with lemonade and chopped blackberries and freeze. The result is hot weather’s ideal handheld edible: frosty, fruity, boozy pops primed for a garden party. Get the recipe.

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