I like some swank once in a while. Sometimes through a touch of Antonio Jobim and Brazilian jazz, or the style of a martini glass, or the breeze through a palm tree, or Diana Krall…and my regular ritual in honor of swank is the Pimm’s Cup. Thanks, Greg Cole of Napa’s classic, brilliant restaurant, Celadon.
The Pimm’s Cup is to Wimbledon for the Brits what the Mint Julep is to our Kentucky Derby. It was created by an English oyster bar owner in the 1820′s named James Pimm. I’m most familiar with Pimm’s No. 1, the gin based fruit and spice infused liqueur, though if you are resourceful, I understand you can get Pimms No. 3 (brandy based) and No. 6 (vodka based) from the U.K. There are several variations bartenders make with Pimm’s No. 1 the simplest version being 1/2 Pimm’s, 1/2 ginger ale, on the rocks with a cucumber garnish…and/or you can add mint, lime, a splash of lemon juice, an orange wedge and so on. It is a drink so refreshing and delicious you’ll experience love at first sip. And, with the alcohol at 25%, it is a good deal lower than other spirit cocktails…so I can go the distance at longer events with a Pimm’s. The refreshing ginger ale, ice and fruit makes it perfect as early a noon; that alone makes it a winner outright.
So in addition to wine evangelist, I have this niche passion for the Pimm’s Cup that I am compelled to share. It is as fun to experiment at home as it is to find a new bartender’s version for the cocktail. This weekend I sat with a friend who has a new passion for rum drinks…it is for work purposes so it is part of his research. I have offered my palate for the rum experiments looking toward the next taste of swank. All results will certainly be shared here.