Or, LOVE ALL…
Pimm’s cup: the quintessential Wimbledon tipple. The Best of British with a Royal Warrant. But I was almost permanently put off Pimms at a school fete, on a most perfectly sunny Pimmsy day many Junes ago. Having handed over the hyperactive sugar-charged little darlings to their dad, I joined the queue at the very popular Pimms stand with all the other harangued mums. My drink chit was limp with sweat by the time I handed it over to the dad on duty.
Parched and eager as I was, I would have drunk most anything at that moment. As my eyes followed his hairy knuckles grasping my plastic beaker, he plunged them wrist deep into the brown liquid in the aluminium cauldron that served as the school kitchen’s institutional curry pot. I recoiled in horror. The dripping cup was thrust into my hand, as he bellowed “NEXT”!
I am not a very fastidious person. But looking at the bile-coloured apple chunk and sodden mint leaf bobbing in the berry-free, ice-less flat slop that was my curry-tainted, knuckle-dipped Pimms cup, I thought life is too short to drink what makes you gag. I handed the full drink to the grateful parent on duty at the face painting and moved on.
To be fair, I have had some very good Pimm’s cups over the years, but like the curry cauldron, there are some stains that nothing can remove. So my enthusiasm was understandably curbed when a well-meaning friend presented me with a bottle of the new Pimms Blackberry and Elderflower. Ribena-coloured and somewhat viscous in the bottle, it is a variation on the Pimm’s No. 6 vodka-based cup, re-invigorated with some new hip flavourings.
So, on an identically perfect Pimmsy sunny June day during Wimbledon and school fete season, redemption came as I embraced my fear and made a new-fangled Pimms cup. In a glass jug, not a curry pot. It was LOVE ALL amongst my guests! I was smitten. A promising future bodes not just for Laura Robson but also for Pimms Blackberry and Elderflower. Just don’t spill it on your tennis whites…..
Pimm’s No. 1 cup is gin based and 25% abv. Pimm’s Blackberry and Elderflower is vodka based bottled at 20% abv. The recipe on the label recommends you use 1 part Pimms to 3 parts Lemonade, and only use blackberries to garnish. I much prefer the freshness of tonic water on a 2 parts to 1 basis with the fruity Pimms. Together with the cucumber and mint, it lends a gravitas to the cocktail that it prevents it being a sort of Ribena for grownups.
photos: Kathy Whyte