Wimbledon isn’t just about tennis. Just like any other sporting event, the tournament also includes parties and mingling galore. By far the most popular drink to quench your thirst is the Pimm’s Cup No.1, which costs between £7-8 and is available in any of the restaurants and is the most traditional drink at Wimbledon.
Pimm’s is a liqueur with 25% alcohol content. In 1823 James Pimm opened an oyster bar in London. James soon saw a need for a drink to accompany his food and that’s how Pimm’s came about. The most popular version is the aforementioned Pimm’s Cup No. 1, which is one of England’s best-selling liqueurs with strong links to, in addition to the aforementioned Wimbledon, Henley Royal Regatta and the Royal Ascot horse race.
Pimm’s Cup No. 1 is based on gin and is served both on the rocks and in cocktails. It is often drunk mixed with lemonade and with fruit. Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is characterised by bitter orange, herbs, wormwood, nuts and liquorice and is described as slightly burnt with a taste of sweetness. A variant with champagne is called Pimm’s Royal Cup.
History of the Pimm’s Cup
In 1851, James Pimm began large-scale production after he started selling the drink to other bars and it spread further, including through gentlemen’s clubs in London. London’s businessmen came to appreciate the different drink’s refreshing qualities and Pimm’s quickly became a hit with society and royalty alike.
Given its rich history, it is perhaps a little surprising that Pimm’s has not been a Royal Court supplier to the British court since 2011. That’s when it was awarded the title of “Distillers and Compounder” to Her Majesty The Queen.
Other versions of the Pimm’s Cup
1851 also saw the launch of Pimm’s No. 2 Cup and Pimm’s No. 3 Cup. Pimm’s No. 4 Cup was launched after the Second World War and Pimm’s No. 5 Cup and Pimm’s No. 6 Cup were launched in the 1960s. The difference between the different versions has mainly been in the alcohol base.
Of the versions still in production, Pimm’s Cup No. 6 is based on vodka, but this is only available in small quantities. The same applies to Pimm’s Cup No. 3, which is usually launched in a special edition called Pimm’s Winter Cup and has a brandy base.
More than 230 000 drinks of Pimm’s Cup No.1 are served each year at Wimbledon.
Recipe Pimm’s Cup No.1
- 6 cl Pimm’s
- Ginger Ale
- cucumber slice
Pour 6 cl of Pimm’s into a collins glass, top up with ginger ale, add ice and garnish with a cucumber slice, strawberries and mint.
The secrecy surrounding the original recipe for Pimm’s No. 1 is rigorous and only six people are said to know what ingredients are included. However, so much has been leaked that it includes London Dry Gin and a blend of liqueurs, fruit extracts and spices.