It’s always Pimm’s O’Clock!
Raspberry & Elderflower Pimm’s Cocktail
Let’s just set the scene……..a hot English summer’s day, leather on willow, floral tea “frocks”, stripy deck chairs, lazy days in the garden, the chink of ice on glass, full-blown roses and scented lavender, the buzz of bees, Wimbledon, strawberries and cream, old straw hats and the scent of freshly mown grass – these are all the things that make summer in England so special and one would not be without the essential beverage for days like these, and that essential beverage for me has to be Pimm’s, namely Pimm’s number 1 cup, served in a large jug with borage flowers, cucumber, strawberries, mint leaves and citrus slices, and oh yes, lots of ice.
Pimm’s has an elegant history, created by Mr James Pimm in 1840 for his Oyster Bar in Poultry Street in London, it was designed to provide a thirst quenching beverage that would also aid digestion. He developed the secret brew with ingredients such as gin, quinine and herbs which were served in small pewter tankards (and not glasses as we are more used to quaffing from today) and thus Pimm’s Number 1 Cup was born. Mr Pimm sold his secret recipe and the company to Frederick Sawyer in 1875 and then the company was subsequent sold to Sir Horatio Davies in the same year who promoted the drink outside the UK and especially throughout the British Empire.
I rather like Pimm’s and I am often seen sipping them, especially during the summer, as are my mum and daughter! Mum is of the generation where she remembers OTHER Pimm’s cups such as Number 3 cup (with a brandy base) and Number 4 Cup (with a rum base)…….although these cups are no longer available, Pimm’s have introduced some new blends to their drink’s stable such as Blackberry and Elderflower and Winter Cup, which is based on Number 3 cup with brandy. Today’s special cocktail recipe is based on a recipe I found in The English Summer Cookbook by Thane Prince, but as is my want, I tinkered with the original recipe and came up with a rather lush Pimm’s cocktail made with elderflower cordial AND elderflower champagne!
Regular readers will know that I have recently returned from a trip to Singapore, where I was fortunate enough to sample a Singapore Gin Sling in the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel; so, I was intrigued to see that on the original bottles of Pimm’s Number 1 Cup, as seen in old advertisements, the proclamation that it was the ” The Orginal Gin Sling”, obviously a ploy to engage the gin sling drinkers throughout the British Empire so they would choose Pimm’s Number 1 Cup as their libation of choice. I arrived at today’s recipe by way of a random recipe, namely due to Dom’s (of Belleau Kitchen) monthly challenge called Random Recipes; his theme for July was rather appropriately, Cocktails, and who was I to refuse such an “interesting” challenge! I don’s have any cocktail books as it happens, which is rather curious, so I randomly selected my recipe from cookbooks that have beverages featured in them.
My adapted recipe for Raspberry & Elderflower Pimm’s Cocktail is shared below and I bless all of you who sail in or on her, as this is a rather alcoholic version with champagne making up the liquid element after the Pimm’s and elderflower cordial have been added! I have a recipe for Elderflower Cordial here, May Day, Foraging and a Prelude to Summer – Old Fashioned English Elderflower Cordial, as well as one for a strawberry version here, Magical Midsummer’s Eve: Elderflower and Strawberry Cordial/Syrup, which would be rather splendiferous in this cocktail, with strawberries of course.
That’s all for today, and as it is Sunday and summer, as well as being rather warm, I am off out into the garden for a relaxing read…..with a glass of Pimm’s of course! See you soon with some new recipes and giveaways, as well as my next instalment from Atlantic Canada and Singapore. Karen