Drink of the Week: Pimm's No.1 Cup

August 03 2012 - 12:00 PM

PimmsFor a hot summer the British, while occupying India, came up with this adjustment of the Gin and Tonic. It’s easy and tasty and you can drink them all-day-long and not worry about getting too sauced. Pimm’s is only 50 proof and pretty sweet so the lighter the mixer the better. If your bartender covers two big hurdles you are in for a treat.

The first hurdle is having Pimm’s. The second is the availability of mixers. I have never seen Indian-style tonic in the states. The tonic is very citrusy in a bitter musky way and while I’m not sure how much I like it straight, with Indian food it’s uniqueness comes out properly. Go figure. Samosas or pakoras and a Pimm’s on the front stoop in Mumbai… the tandoori smoking away in the yard. The family cow playing catch with the neighbor’s kids. I digress.

The mixers leave you with fairly different drinks. Tonic is a clean highball where the sweetness of the liquor carries the drink. Lemonade brings out the berries and works well with cuke. Ginger-ale is less sweet than the lemonade and in my mind the ideal blend is tonic with a splash of ginger-ale. It helps keep it a proper British drink – if not a kiddie-cocktail more of a tweenager G&T. On a hot night it’s refreshing, nobody else will know what the hell you’re drinking and it’s a good way to start a conversation with the bartender.

approx 3oz. Pimm’s
approx 4oz. Indian-Style Tonic/Gingerale/Lemonade