Once upon a time in London there was an oyster bar where the publican, James Pimm, served a tonic designed to ‘aid the digestion’ made from gin and secret herbs and spices. The drink became so popular that he started serving it to other bars in the neighbourhood, and in time the oyster bars were franchised and the Pimm’s Cup brand was ultimately picked up by liquor giant Diageo. Pimm’s is to this day the official drink of high society England - served alongside Champagne at Wimbledon, the Chelsea Flower Show, the Henley Royal Regatta, and at polo matches on both sides of the Atlantic.
It’s hard to imagine this same mass produced product becoming so popular if it was released today, but what if someone came along with a version that tasted as good as it did back then? Enter Sipsmith Summer Cup (we still have no idea what goes into it, nor should we care). If you’ve ever felt like getting a little dressed up and heading out into the garden, or down to a local park, then Sipsmith Summer Cup is your drink of choice. Lightly sparkling, well balanced by bitter, sweet and sour flavours, mildly alcoholic, it’s even hydrating. Whether you make a glass just for yourself, or a jug to share (or drink by yourself as you work your way through a classic novel), this should be the official drink of any final summer weekend hurrah.
This recipe is for one glass, increase proportionately if you’re making a jug:
- 30mls Sipsmith Summer Cup (probably not available at Dan Murphy’s, but a good bottle shop such as Blackhearts and Sparrows should have it. Of course your could substitute Pimm’s, but that would be missing the point)
- 15mls Gin (this part is optional, but it's the last weekend of summer so the choice should be simple)
- Dash Angostura bitters (think of bitters as the ‘salt and pepper’ - without it the rest tastes bland)
- 100ml lemonade (Capi brand is best, made locally from real ingredients which, unlike Sprite or Schweppes, doesn't contain known carcinogens)
- slices of citrus, cucumber, plus herbs like mint or rosemary or any edible flowers from the garden
- Combine ingredients over ice in a long glass and enjoy.
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