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Pimm's O'Clock
May 19, 2010 3:19 AM   Subscribe

The Guardian has an article on Pimm's, a traditional gin-based English summer drink. Invented by one James Pimm in London in 1840, Pimm's soon became associated with upper-class institutions and the British Empire; its popularity declined somewhat in the decades following World War 2 (apart from a few revivals as part of ironic constructions of "Britishness"), though it has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity. Recipes for serving Pimm's vary, though they typically involve mixing it with lemonade and/or ginger beer in a jug and adding oranges, strawberries, sliced cucumber and mint. While the formula remains a secret, knockoffs do exist (both Sainsbury's and Aldi sell their own substitutes, though Sainsbury's had to change the label on its to look less like the original), or you could try making your own.
posted by acb (151 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
What's up with the resurgence of Rye as well?
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:34 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


A gentleman drinks only gin (pronounced 'jn') and tonic in the summer. Kindly reserve your fruity nonsense for the young ladies. And the servants shall have small beer.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:42 AM on May 19, 2010 [17 favorites]


Wait, Aldi, as in the slightly German grocery store?
posted by theichibun at 3:55 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Friends of mine accused me of being all Brideshead Revisited when I mentioned in passing drinking Pimms and lemonade whilst playing croquet at university... despite my protestations it was pints of Pimms and lemonade.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:04 AM on May 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


The recipe is a secret, and only the 'Pimm's Six', whoever they might be, are privy to it. (Windsor-style, the members of this clandestine lodge are apparently forbidden to fly on the same plane.)

This strikes me as a bit of marketing fiction. What could be so secret about a recipe nowadays that chemical analysis would fail to reveal?
posted by three blind mice at 4:08 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


yum.
posted by infini at 4:08 AM on May 19, 2010


Apparently one of the products Aldi does for the British market is a Pimm's knockoff. It's not available abroad, though.
posted by acb at 4:09 AM on May 19, 2010


This strikes me as a bit of marketing fiction. What could be so secret about a recipe nowadays that chemical analysis would fail to reveal?

Chemical analysis can reveal the molecules which are in it; then one would need to find a combination of ingredients and a process that yields that end result, which may involve a lot of trial and error. Which is why there are almost-but-not-quite spot-on reverse-engineerings of things like Coca-Cola.
posted by acb at 4:17 AM on May 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I brought some Pimms + lemonade & cucumber bits to a Metafilter picnic in Green Park, it was basically like Brideshead Revisited but with fewer Catholics and more chugging of double cream.
posted by atrazine at 4:21 AM on May 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I recently started drinking gin, so when I saw tonic in the store I realized I needed to try it.

Imagine all the inherent disgustingness of alcohol combined with the sucking on an aspirin tablet while gargling with mineral water.
posted by DU at 4:27 AM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


mmm Pimm's and soda with cucumber
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:31 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


One should note that British lemonade and American lemonade are two different creatures. Although, I prefer the latter with my Pimms.

I also put bacon on my cucumber sandwiches.

Why?

BECAUSE WE WON THE WAR, BITCHES! USA! USA! USA!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:34 AM on May 19, 2010 [36 favorites]


We just finished watching Treats from an Edwardian Country House (hosted by the adorably dotty Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) and Pimms was featured in one of the episodes. Very interesting. My (British) boyfriend has been threatening to try and find some ever since and inflict it upon me.
posted by custardfairy at 4:47 AM on May 19, 2010


My (British) boyfriend has been threatening to try and find some ever since and inflict it upon me.

"Inflict" is a bit dramatic. It's not a particularly strong taste. If you like sweet drinks, you'll probably enjoy it. If you don't, you already know that you won't. But it's not an unusual flavor like ouzo or something like that.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:57 AM on May 19, 2010


I love tonic water. In parts of New England, tonic is a universal term, like pop or soda, but here I'm referring to carbonated tincture of quinine - a malaria cure. It's made with remijia bark, and I find the taste pleasant and refreshing on its own, and very nice indeed with some of the more herbal gins like Tanqueray or Gordon's.

In New England, Polar is the brand to get, as Schwepps is a bit too astringent, but the generic brands are over sweetened. Polar balances sweetness with bitterness for a perfect gin-and-tonic, and the diet variety isn't bad either. It's not widely available south of Connecticut, tho... and avoid the lime-flavored types. A twist of fresh lime is irreplaceable, and essential for less flavorful gins like Bombay Sapphire.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:58 AM on May 19, 2010 [10 favorites]


For the true Pimm's you need borage rather than mint.

At least that's what the first Mrs Phanx used to insist: to me it tastes like a kid's drink whatever you put in it.
posted by Phanx at 5:01 AM on May 19, 2010


A friend of mine introduced me to Pimm's Cup with the words that it was the ultimate summer cocktail... I can't really disagree, it's delishtastic.
posted by Kattullus at 5:05 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a terrific drink even if you just have Pimms and some ginger ale it's just delicious, but making it as a "cup" -- which is basically an alcoholic fruit salad -- is truly mind-blowing. I write about it here.

I've never had it with borage, which, of course, is the tradition, inasmuch as you can call something a tradition that nobody ever does. I have yet to meet anybody who has actually had Pimms with borage.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:10 AM on May 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


Pimm's is my family's drink, the thing that is made by my parents or grandparents for a nice time. I love it as well, and as I tell my friends when I make a Pimm's cup for them, it is a civilized drink for civilized people.

My family's recipe is nowhere near traditional, it might even be thought heretical. I'm not big on measuring, even in my drink making, but here goes. Pimms goes into an iced glass with ginger ale, at a ratio anywhere from 2:1 to 3:2 ginger ale to Pimms. Squeeze of fresh lemon in there, and garnish wit that lemon slice. There you go. Simple drink, but a heckuva sipper.

No cucumber, which is so antithetical to my own existence (vile weed!) that I cannot imagine it in a drink. I also feel the same way about tomato or clamato juice, those things do not belong in a bar. Never done the summery versions with extra herbs either, but I'd be willing to give that a try. I prefer a ginger ale to a ginger beer, as I feel that a lot of ginger beers (especially the spicy peppery ones, which are normally my favorite), overpower the herbal components of the Pimm's. For Ginger Ale, I tend to go with Schweppes.
posted by X-Himy at 5:12 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only place I've ever had Pimm's, indeed one of the few places where Pimm's can be taken without irony, is while lounging on a summer's afternoon on the verdant banks of the Cherwell, enraptured by a symphony of blackbird and skylark and murmured voices all sung to the steady percussion of puntsman's pole on that river's gravelly base.
posted by Flashman at 5:15 AM on May 19, 2010 [10 favorites]


One of my good friends started drinking Pimm's last summer. He makes something that tastes amazingly like Coke. It would be dangerous if there were more alcohol in it...

And if you want a great summer cocktail, try Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka*, with some water and lemon. It tastes just like sweet tea. That's dangerous, and I have the pictures to prove it. Not the memories though...

* I would link directly to their site, but it immediately resized my browser, started playing music, and is flashed-all-to-hell. No thank you...
posted by This Guy at 5:21 AM on May 19, 2010


I like Pimm's. We do a version of the Cup - 1 part Pimm's to 2 parts 7-Up on ice - and it's super. There's a bitters-y (not bitter!) flavor to the Pimms that slides against the crisp sweetness of the 7-Up really satisfyingly. A terrific summer drink.

I thought I was going to get sneered at for using 7-Up, but the Wimbledon guy in that NPR link said that British lemonade is maybe in same neighborhood as 7-Up. Interesting. Anyone give a more detailed description?
posted by dirtdirt at 5:28 AM on May 19, 2010


Hang your irony Flashman. I am not purist, and will drink my Pimm's whenever and wherever I desire. While there are certain drinks that depend on a time or place (I wouldn't drink a hot toddy in the summer), I think Pimm's can work anywhere and anywhen. If I could just find winter Pimm's now...
posted by X-Himy at 5:29 AM on May 19, 2010


I once spent a memorable, very hot afternoon in St. Albans, Herts, with a friend sipping Pimms, which she served with her own lemonade, plus fresh stawberries and mint from her garden. Refreshing! Civilized! Wasn't quite the same when I brought a bottle back to Canada and made a concoction with store-bought lemonade, dried mint, fresh raspberries and bits of sliced crabapple from my garden. Do not try this at home! Plus there were mosquitoes swarming the deck. Haven't touched the rest of the bottle since...
posted by drogien at 5:31 AM on May 19, 2010


Napoleon House in New Orleans makes a few good Pimm's-based cocktails. It has a courtyard, which is essential since Pimm's should be drank both outside and in the heat of afternoon.

(On preview, I seem to be walking into an arguement.)
posted by Jorus at 5:31 AM on May 19, 2010


argument
posted by Jorus at 5:32 AM on May 19, 2010


Not mentioned yet that Pimm's has become yet another property of Diageo, alongside everything from Guinness to Tanqueray to Captain Morgan.
posted by gimonca at 5:33 AM on May 19, 2010


There is no place for vegetables in my alcohol.
posted by Acarpous at 5:33 AM on May 19, 2010


There is no place for vegetables in my alcohol.

What? Oh man, I'd have died of scurvy in my 20s if it weren't for all the bloody maries.

It's 80 degrees today in Minneapolis and I am off to find a bottle of Pimms to kick off summer. Love this post.
posted by padraigin at 5:38 AM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


You really have to be playing croquet to enjoy Pimms, or lounging in a punt. It's one of those things that, despite making you look like a complete prick, is quite pleasant.
posted by unSane at 5:38 AM on May 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Pimms is delicious and I have introduced it to many an American with only gushing praise. Even those who don't like gin love it.

Of course, I adulterate it with fresca. Yep, fresca. om nom nom. (also add lemons, limes and oranges for a few hours to the pimms before mixing. 2 big bottles fresca to one bottle pimms.)
posted by gaspode at 5:41 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pimm's is one of those alcohols that I buy over the summer because it seems like a good idea and then find the 3/4 full bottle set way back on top of the fridge in like, late October. I need to learn to stick with the gin (Tanqueray or Hendricks).
posted by ghharr at 5:45 AM on May 19, 2010


Borage is really easy to grow (and a good companion plant), if you feel like being a Pimm's purist.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:46 AM on May 19, 2010


And if you want a great summer cocktail, try Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka*, with some water and lemon

Try it with lemonade--real lemonade, made with real lemons--and you've got yourself a John Daly. When I'm up for a sweet drink in the summer, which is rare, this is a good one.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:46 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


The key to a great Pimms is the addition of some cucumber. It adds that certain something that is the difference between a good drink and a memorable one.
posted by qwip at 5:51 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


We're forgetting bitter lemon. Pimm's and bitter lemon, instead of lemounade*. Mint's okay, but the right answer if you have mint is to find a bottle of bourbon and introduce your British hosts to Mint Juleps to thank them for introducing you to a Pimm's Cup. Cucumber is fine, but optional, to me.


* I put the "u" in there so you know it's the British lemonade.
posted by eriko at 5:52 AM on May 19, 2010 [16 favorites]


This reminds me of how, when I was seventeen, I was desperate to drink a Bloody Mary as I thought it was the apex of sophistication. Everyone I knew drank pints or alcopops, and I knew I didn't like those.

I wish pubs sold cups of tea. Seriously. When I go out but don't drink, tap water sometimes feels dull and cheap, I don't drink fizzy drinks, and orange juice is too filling to drink all night. I need a non-alcoholic drink that takes as long as a pint or glass of wine.
posted by mippy at 5:56 AM on May 19, 2010


I like Pimmlets, which are just gimlets (lime cordial & gin, occasionally with a splash of soda) made with Pimm's.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 6:03 AM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Imagine all the inherent disgustingness of alcohol combined with the sucking on an aspirin tablet while gargling with mineral water.

Dear God. I don't know what you're doing, but you're doing it wrong!

/summer heralds G&T-in-the-garden time, and also I just spent way too much money on really really good gin
posted by kalimac at 6:11 AM on May 19, 2010 [4 favorites]



I like Pimmlets, which are just gimlets (lime cordial & gin, occasionally with a splash of soda) made with Pimm's.


....I find your idea both terrifying and captivating!
posted by generichuman at 6:14 AM on May 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I put the "u" in there so you know it's the British lemonade.

You mean "Lemounouninghaughde."
posted by No-sword at 6:18 AM on May 19, 2010 [14 favorites]


Add some Hendrick's gin and you have a Pimmy Hendricks (New Orleans ftw).
posted by ryoshu at 6:19 AM on May 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


Weird, I was just wondering about Pimm's, because where I'm at in the latest Inspector Lynley novel, it is unbelievably hot, and he and the St. Jameses are in the garden having some Pimm's with cucumber spears. Yeah, fruit in drinks=okay, but vegetables in drinks=blech.
posted by candyland at 6:20 AM on May 19, 2010


My wife insists that Sprite is the same as British lemonade. This is clearly not the case.
posted by Artw at 6:23 AM on May 19, 2010


Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Wow. Even in a thread full of very high readings, that name just completely buried the needle on my Britishometer.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:24 AM on May 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


My wife insists that Sprite is the same as British lemonade. This is clearly not the case.

You're right. I have to make Pimm's with Ginger Ale here as I cannot find a suitable variant of British Lemonade. It's good, but not the same.
posted by ob at 6:25 AM on May 19, 2010


G&Ts glow rather nicely under UV. In The Windowmaker they had Harrison Ford et al wading around in tonic water lit with UV to simulate the effect of Cherekov radiation.
posted by Artw at 6:26 AM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


#1 Cup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ginger beer is the only way I drink my Pimm's cup.

(Wow, I sound like a liquor ad from a 1976 issue of Playboy.)
posted by Drainage! at 6:30 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wish pubs sold cups of tea. Seriously.

Almost every pub I go into does.
posted by ninebelow at 6:32 AM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I second the Pimmy Hendricks with a slice of cucumber.
posted by elmono at 6:34 AM on May 19, 2010


Imagine all the inherent disgustingness of alcohol combined with the sucking on an aspirin tablet while gargling with mineral water.

This is absolutely true if you drink cheap gin. And crap tonic.

Also, you need to like alcohol.

And be older than 12.
posted by Jon-A-Thon at 6:36 AM on May 19, 2010 [10 favorites]


(Hendrick's G&T with a slice of cucumber is a revelation)
posted by Jon-A-Thon at 6:37 AM on May 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I cannot find a suitable variant of British Lemonade

We found some sparkling lemonade on the endcap at Stop and Shop last week that made a pretty fantastic Radler (Teutonic shandy). It's not perfect, but it'd probably do a pretty good job here, too. It may have been the Santa Cruz Organic brand, but I'm not sure.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:40 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


In general I'm not a big fan of vegetables in drinks (I think Bloody Marys sound absolutely vile, though I haven't had one), but you can have my Hendricks gin and tonic with cucumber when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

We've been having some difficulty getting good tonic here -- it's either Q tonic, which seems very nice but will also set you back as much as $8 for a 4-pack of 8 oz. bottles, or Schweppes/Canada Dry, which are both really astringent. Fortunately, as it turns out, the Whole Foods store brand of tonic is actually pretty good and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

I love me some gin, and may have to try this "Pimm's" of which you speak.
posted by malthas at 6:51 AM on May 19, 2010


The worst part about moving back to Ohio from Boston was no more Polar products (seltzer, tonic, etc). I fill my entire car trunk with them any time I'm back for a visit.

Now I want gin, and it's only 10:00 a.m. DAMN YOU, METAFILTER.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:58 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


British friend and I were in the Virgin Upper Class bar in Heathrow. I offered to go to the bar to get drinks for both of us. I ordered a pint. He ordered a Pimm's. At the time, I had never heard of them.

Bartender: "Here's your pint, sir. And here's the Pimm's for your ladyfriend."
Me: "Heh. It's actually for a guy."
Bartender: "Of course, sir."

I double-tipped him.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:03 AM on May 19, 2010 [31 favorites]


a pretty fantastic Radler

The only reason to drink Radler is because you hate beer.

The only reason to drink Diesel is because you hate yourself.
posted by felix betachat at 7:07 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for reminding me - Pimm's has long been on my "must try this" list. Time to get off my butt and get some already.

(As for tonic water - I like the flavor of G&T, unfortunately tonic water makes me nauseous. I think it may have something to do with a party many years ago where I had a vodka tonic on an empty stomach and puked my guts out. Ever since then, G&T's and V&T's make my stomach queasy. Have never actually barfed from it again, but I so dislike feeling that I might, that I just have to not drink them.)
posted by dnash at 7:08 AM on May 19, 2010


Thank you so much for this post! Now maybe other people will actually want to drink Pimms Cups with me, thus making the bottle drain faster.
posted by Madamina at 7:13 AM on May 19, 2010


A friend of mine was doing a cocktail class recently and the practical final was on Sunday. On Friday night we all went to her place to test her by ordering drinks and seeing if she knew how to make them. I'd had Pimm's cups in the past--having lived in the UK and had British friends anxious to show off their booze on visits here--but damn if the one she made wasn't a delicious reminder of what I should be drinking in the summer when I get tired of margaritas.

I'm in the Gen X age group that missed cocktail drink training, but I can get behind this custom if it means more Pimm's.
posted by immlass at 7:21 AM on May 19, 2010


What a really strange confluence. I was a restaurant last week that had their version of Pimm's No. 1 Cup on the cocktail menu. I don't normally drink cocktails and had never had a Pimm's before but for some reason it sounded intriguing so I got one. Delicious. To me it tasted vaguely like a Coke, with a sliced cucumber floating in it. The next day I bought a bottle of Pimm's at the wine store around the corner. Now suddenly articles and recipes and front-page posts. It's a Pimm's explosion, and that's not a bad thing.
posted by stargell at 7:37 AM on May 19, 2010


Yeah, fruit in drinks=okay, but vegetables in drinks=blech.

Astonishing. I mean, a well-made spicy Bloody Mary by itself is wonderfully refreshing, but add a celery stick, a couple of big stuffed olives, and a pickle spear, and it's a meal!
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:41 AM on May 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


I have never tried Pimm's, but now I want to! It's off to the liquor store with me!
posted by amro at 7:43 AM on May 19, 2010


The only reason to drink Radler is because you hate beer.

Them's fightin' words. I love beer. I like Radler in the summer. It's a nice way to turn an otherwise mediocre-or-worse Pils (Beck's, I'm looking at you) into a thirst-quencher.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:44 AM on May 19, 2010


You mean "Lemounouninghaughde."

From Lemounouninghaughde-on-Humber, no doubt. Which, of course, is pronounced "Croydon."
posted by eriko at 7:47 AM on May 19, 2010 [18 favorites]


Teutonic shandy

Band Name!
posted by eriko at 7:48 AM on May 19, 2010


Now I want gin, and it's only 10:00 a.m. DAMN YOU, METAFILTER.


Yes, it's only the fact that I have to attend to a stupid meeting in roughly three hours that is currently stopping me from going on a Sherman's-March-to-the-Sea search for a trial bottle of Pimm's and proceeding to hang about in the backyard sunshine getting plastered all afternoon. Threads like these are not a good influence at all!
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:48 AM on May 19, 2010


It's a nice way to turn an otherwise mediocre-or-worse Pils (Beck's, I'm looking at you) into a thirst-quencher.

We have a host of 'White Trash' drinks we hit up in the summer. There's the White Trash Martini (PBR + Olives) and the White Trash Shandy (PBR + Lemonade). I guess a White Trash Radler would be PBR + Country Time Lemonade Powder.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:00 AM on May 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


By the way, for Ontarians, the LCBO carries Pimm's in its liqueur section, usually somewhere close to the sherries.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 8:03 AM on May 19, 2010


OK, OK...I don't drink...anymore...and sadly gave it up before I had a chance to taste every last little delicacy out there. While the depth of my consumption was considerable, it was lacking somewhat in breadth. I regret giving it up not at all, but Pimm's is one of those things I meant to try and never did and never will.

So...describe a color to this blind man: what does Pimm's taste like?
posted by umberto at 8:05 AM on May 19, 2010


BrotherCaine : What's up with the resurgence of Rye as well?

Evidence that I may have been wrong about this whole no-such-thing-as-god thing? Because something clearly answered my prayers.
posted by quin at 8:05 AM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


The local watering hole features Pabst-mosas in the summertime, ugh. Sure, throw an orange slice in my mug of Oberon, but beer + orange juice? [retch]
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:07 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess a White Trash Radler would be PBR + Country Time Lemonade Powder

Nah, just sub Meister Brau for the PBR in the shandy.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:08 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


My own preference is gin and bitters with just a splash of tonic. Never tried Pimm's, though. Is it anything like a Holland or an Old Tom gin?
posted by Iridic at 8:09 AM on May 19, 2010


This is absolutely true if you drink cheap gin. And crap tonic.
Also, you need to like alcohol.
And be older than 12.


Pfft, you guys drink your gin with tonic? When I was in university are go-to drink was a coffee mug filled with gin, gulped down on the balcony of our apartment in case you had to throw up. Now that's a grown-up's drink.

As a Canadian who drinks beer 90% of the time during the summer, I found the prevalence of Pimm's and other drinks like Bulmers/Magners cider to be really refreshing during a trip to the UK last August. I doubt I'd drink them all the time, but on a nice day in the sun, they're very refreshing.
posted by dnesan at 8:15 AM on May 19, 2010


argh: "our go-to drink"... my kingdom for the five minute edit window.
posted by dnesan at 8:17 AM on May 19, 2010


The Whelk and I are going to start a band called "Trilbied Fops in Preposterous Blazers".
posted by ColdChef at 8:18 AM on May 19, 2010


A gentleman drinks only gin (pronounced 'jn') and tonic in the summer. Kindly reserve your fruity nonsense for the young ladies. And the servants shall have small beer. -le morte de bea arthur

Take it I won't be seeing you at Wimbledon. And that you're that guy who doesn't drink mint juleps at the derby either, huh?

My pals did a Christmas holiday season liquor swap and I wound up with a (second for me, had one at home already) bottle of Pimm's. I was so enthusiastic (other than the Italian walnut liqueur it was by far the best uneven win of the swap) but then also sad it was December and I'd have to wait 6 months to actually enjoy it, ha.

Really wish I could've tried the other Pimm's at some point. One sounded kinda like Drambuie IIRC, which is a guilty winter pleasure of mine.
posted by ifjuly at 8:19 AM on May 19, 2010


Not every LCBO carries Pimm's. In my town of 500,000 there are only two. Luckily, one is right by where I live. Ontarians, take a gander at LCBO's website before you go hunting!
posted by the dief at 8:22 AM on May 19, 2010


We've always made Pimms cups for our summer parties and they're a hit every time, but guests rarely eat the fruit in the drink, which always feels like a bit of a waste of good fruit.
posted by jardinier at 8:25 AM on May 19, 2010


This is Beer Heresy, and incurs a mandatory death penalty in some places, but a good wheat beer, like Old Burnside's Penny Weiz, mixed with fresh lemonade (not from a bottle or mix), is greater than the sum of its parts... and its parts are damn good. Particularly nice on a hot, lazy afternoon after a big lunch.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:30 AM on May 19, 2010


guests rarely eat the fruit in the drink, which always feels like a bit of a waste of good fruit.

And all the good alcohol that has soaked into the fruit. They are missing out!
posted by grouse at 8:37 AM on May 19, 2010


We have a host of 'White Trash' drinks we hit up in the summer. There's the White Trash Martini (PBR + Olives) and the White Trash Shandy (PBR + Lemonade). I guess a White Trash Radler would be PBR + Country Time Lemonade Powder.

PBR? White Trash? I'm as irritated by hipsters as the next person trying desperately to prove I'm not one, but I still wouldn't call them trash.

Maybe you're looking for Bud Light or Beck's or Heineken or something?
posted by Copronymus at 8:38 AM on May 19, 2010


...what I should be drinking in the summer when I get tired of margaritas.

Immlass, if you're willing to jump the channel, you can get some amazingly good summer cocktails if you start with a base of St Germain.
posted by IndigoJones at 8:39 AM on May 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


The only place I've ever had Pimm's, indeed one of the few places where Pimm's can be taken without irony, is while lounging on a summer's afternoon on the verdant banks of the Cherwell, enraptured by a symphony of blackbird and skylark and murmured voices all sung to the steady percussion of puntsman's pole on that river's gravelly base.

XTC's "Summer's Cauldron" started playing in my head when I read this comment.
posted by aught at 8:40 AM on May 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


When I was a younger man, gin and Sprite was my Mardi Gras drink of choice. And when the Sprite would run out...gin.

It's the reason that I once slept through the entire Bacchus parade, mere feet from the parade route, only to awaken and find myself festooned with more beadery than I'd ever collected while upright.
posted by ColdChef at 8:46 AM on May 19, 2010 [6 favorites]



The Whelk and I are going to start a band called "Trilbied Fops in Preposterous Blazers".




I will not have my blazers maligned in such a way good sir!

posted by The Whelk at 8:46 AM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


As a youngster I once got yakking sick at a garden party from too much gin & tonic, plus cigars. I always thought it was the gin that done it, as I was later able to resume with the cigars. Resuming with the gin many years later, I realized it was the tonic. Or at least I have no desire to drink or even smell tonic, while I do fine with a Martini or three. Of course, it might have been the croquet; never did try that again either.

A Pimm's cup is nice, but only whilst lounging on the banks of the Isis watching the punts. In that spring-into-summer season. In a straw boater and seersucker suit.
posted by chavenet at 8:47 AM on May 19, 2010


Ha, a google search for "british lemonade" brings up a bunch of links about mixing with Pimms.
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:48 AM on May 19, 2010


The Whelk and I are going to start a band called "Trilbied Fops in Preposterous Blazers".

Always a good excuse to link to Mr B The Gentle Rhymer
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:48 AM on May 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


On preview, what Flashman (eponyhysterically?) said.
posted by chavenet at 8:50 AM on May 19, 2010


The Radler I had in Munich some 20+ years ago was beer and 7-Up. It was delicious, served in this (I swear they were) 2L steins, and was incredibly refreshing. I try to find a good southern German import beer to make them with to share with friends, but few of them will actually try it.

Pimms is, sadly, not sold in the state-run liquor stores here in WA. I do love a good g-n-t... made with Tangueray and a liberal squeeze of lime, it's one of the most refreshing summer drinks.

I think PBR is considered "white trash" because it's the absolute cheapest beer available. I love it when I can find it on-tap, as sort of a retro beer to drink. It's better than Coors or Budweiser, IMO, although the light American-style beers are really not my favorite all around. But ever since beer prices nearly doubled in the past couple of years, I can't afford the $9/sixpack which the better beers cost anymore.
posted by hippybear at 8:50 AM on May 19, 2010


guests rarely eat the fruit in the drink, which always feels like a bit of a waste of good fruit.

Stick the left over fruit in a blender and whizz it up: alco-smoothie!

And yeah, St Germain is absolutely awesome. Great in a champagne cocktail.
posted by ninebelow at 8:53 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the finest Pimm's cups I've ever enjoyed was at the Polo Club Lounge at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. In fact, I had several. All paid for by the New Orleans Republican Party (bah, they could afford it). It was the hottest part of the summer and I was preparing to go to a MetaFilter meetup. Sweet memories.
posted by ColdChef at 8:53 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


And after all the weather was ideal. They could not have had a more perfect day for a garden-party if they had ordered it. Windless, warm, the sky without a cloud. Only the blue was veiled with a haze of light gold, as it is sometimes in early summer. The gardener had been up since dawn, mowing the lawns and sweeping them, until the grass and the dark flat rosettes where the daisy plants had been seemed to shine. As for the roses, you could not help feeling they understood that roses are the only flowers that impress people at garden-parties; the only flowers that everybody is certain of knowing. Hundreds, yes, literally hundreds, had come out in a single night; the green bushes bowed down as though they had been visited by archangels.
posted by The Whelk at 8:56 AM on May 19, 2010


Always a good excuse to link to Mr B The Gentle Rhymer

Chap-Rock! I got two Victrolas and gramophone! Where it is!
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 AM on May 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


..a good wheat beer, like Old Burnside's Penny Weiz, mixed with fresh lemonade

That's a Shandy (although the lemonade is often carbonated).
posted by ericb at 9:05 AM on May 19, 2010


Wheat bear and 7-Up was called a "Ruße" in Munich.
posted by hippybear at 9:26 AM on May 19, 2010


the excellent thing about pimm's cup, as the above attests to so well, is that there's a pretty wide range of variation in what you can mix it with without disturbing the underlying flavour of the pimm's itself. i a particularly golden memory of a late-may cookout on mount royal, when a friend of mine had brought a giant thermos of pimm's mixed with lemon, soda, a small amount of fresh mango, a splash of pineapple juice, cucumber, and some peychaud bitters. wish i'd asked her for the proportions, in retrospect...
posted by vellocet at 9:35 AM on May 19, 2010


Imagine all the inherent disgustingness of alcohol combined with the sucking on an aspirin tablet while gargling with mineral water.

Dear God. I don't know what you're doing, but you're doing it wrong!


Fresh lime juice is the answer. Quality gin and quality tonic are pretty key as well, but even those things can be overcome with the right amount of fresh lime. I hated G&T's until I tried one with fresh lime juice, and for all of the same reasons you mention.

Personally I like to squeeze the slice and then drop it in the drink, it allows me to keep count and when I'm having trouble reaching the booze because of all of the lime corpses it's probably a good time to stop drinking anyway.

(Slap*Happy is spot on, Polar tonic is THE BEST and you must also resist the temptation of replacing fresh lime with lime tonic)
posted by rollbiz at 9:41 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only reason to drink Radler is because you hate beer

oder wenn man Rad fährst...

I knew a bar in Topeka that made what they called a "cyclist". They get an A+ for literal translation and a D for replacing the sprite with champagne (although that move grants them significant extra credit)
posted by 7segment at 10:08 AM on May 19, 2010


What's up with the resurgence of Rye as well?

heh. Members of my band will forcibly prevent audience members from delivering me a shot of rye while on stage. All whiskey must be vetted in order to prevent the fiddle player from consuming:

A. Rye
B. Canadian Whiskey (which is invariably rye)
C. Jim Beam (triggers the "fighty")

Jameson, Jack and Knob are all acceptable alternatives.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:12 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Webhund is particularly fond of Pimm's No. 3 (a/k/a "Pimm's Winter), which is the brandy-based Pimm's. A couple of years ago we were in London's Hyde Park wandering around. Pimm's was doing a marketing thing where they had this giant orange trailer (I think it looked like a big teapot) where they were pushing Pimm's Winter + hot apple cider. Mrs. Webhund was hooked. We returned to the states and I tried to track Pimm's Winter down here. No luck. U.K. seasonal only. So this last winter trip across the pond, I made a mad dash to the store on our last morning, picked up 6 bottles of Winter and stuffed them in our checked bags for the flight back. Even the 8 year old got some stuffed in her suitcase. So now we pour out wee rations of Pimm's Winter for SWMBO (1 part Pimm's Winter to 3 parts apple cider, heat in micro for 1 min).

Please, sir, may I have another?
posted by webhund at 10:15 AM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


it used to be (mid-late 1880s) a cliche that all Americans drank was rye, all the time. It pops up in a few novels of the peroid.
posted by The Whelk at 10:15 AM on May 19, 2010


Fresh lime juice is the answer.

Yes, this. It's second nature to me by now, to just have a little squeeze of lime, and then drop the slice in. Absolutely lovely.
posted by kalimac at 10:41 AM on May 19, 2010


Last year I posted on Facebook about having a Pimm's cup -- and that elicited several comments from people wondering what the hell a Pimm's cup was. The next thing I know, a college friend who works for Diageo contacts me about the whole thing, finding it a great example of marketing-via-social-networking. Totally unintentional marketing, of course. I wasn't sure whether I should feel dirty for contributing to the (probable) profusion of such (intentional) marketing or not.
posted by devinemissk at 10:56 AM on May 19, 2010


Huh! Is that what borage is for? Because I have a shit-ton of borage growing feral throughout several parts of the yard. It's apparently ineradicable, so it's nice to have a use for it!
posted by ErikaB at 11:10 AM on May 19, 2010


Borage

Plant some tomatoes around them! Decorate desserts! Make funny regional german soups!
posted by The Whelk at 11:21 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


A. Rye
B. Canadian Whiskey (which is invariably rye)
C. Jim Beam (triggers the "fighty")


Amusingly, my preferred Rye lately has been Jim Beam. I should avoid choosing shots for your band; bad things would undoubtedly happen.

And when "bad things" involve me, alcohol, and loud music, only inevitable outcomes will include fire, destruction, and lemurs.
posted by quin at 11:56 AM on May 19, 2010


Borage is beautiful and delicious and I wish I'd planted some this year, but at least I can get plenty from a neighbor.

I was initially aghast at gaspode's idea of Pimms with Fresca, but the more I think about it, the more I want to try it.
posted by tangerine at 12:13 PM on May 19, 2010


Sure, throw an orange slice in my mug of Oberon, but beer + orange juice? [retch].

But orange juice can sure class up an OE from the corner store. And if you're drinking at that level, pabst is a step up.
posted by shinyshiny at 12:29 PM on May 19, 2010


"Inflict" is a bit dramatic.

It is, and that's part of the fun. We have a friendly UK vs US battle that I hope will persist for many years, though neither of us are at all serious about it.
posted by custardfairy at 12:34 PM on May 19, 2010


Well, that settles it. I simply must obtain a bottle of this stuff. I don't expect I'll find anyplace who can make a decent Pimm's cup (hell I'd be surprised if I could find a bartender who had ever heard of one) in north-central Massachusetts, but I'm game to try making one myself. It looks just perfect for a hot summer day. I say, anyone for tennis?
posted by usonian at 12:55 PM on May 19, 2010


Pimms is delicious and I have introduced it to many an American with only gushing praise. Even those who don't like gin love it.

And I'm one of them! Picked some up last week based on gaspode's recommendation and am damn glad I did. I've had to pace myself, though, as I find they go down way too easy.
posted by jrossi4r at 1:02 PM on May 19, 2010


I don't know. It just sounds like a weak fancy Loowng Island Ice Tea with pretensions.

Although, a gin drunk is such a nice drunk to be on. Warm, sexy and almost hallucinogenic. Like me.
posted by Skygazer at 1:10 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


People who don't like gin should refrain from commenting on alcohol in general, as they've obviously not ready to drink the stuff.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:13 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


a well-made spicy Bloody Mary by itself is wonderfully refreshing, but add a celery stick, a couple of big stuffed olives, and a pickle spear, and it's a meal!

So close! A dose of clam juice and it's perfect.
posted by bonehead at 1:29 PM on May 19, 2010


Don't forget the horseradish and a dash of olive juice....
posted by Skygazer at 1:30 PM on May 19, 2010


a weak fancy Loowng Island Ice Tea with pretensions

Long Island Iced Tea is what you get at your end of the market.
posted by Lleyam at 1:32 PM on May 19, 2010


Fresh 41: Pimms, Fresca, and Spiced Rum in whatever proportions fit your fancy. It's worth warning that these go down way too easy and you might not be able to pace yourself at first.

I want one of those right now. Or a regular Pimm's Cup, but British lemonade is so hard to find around here.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:35 PM on May 19, 2010


What is 'British lemonade'?

Wow, I've never had Pimms No.3. Now I want to buy a bottle to mix with hot apple cider.
posted by mippy at 1:37 PM on May 19, 2010


Immlass, if you're willing to jump the channel, you can get some amazingly good summer cocktails if you start with a base of St Germain.

I'll definitely take that suggestion to my cocktail-slinging friends' next party, thanks!
posted by immlass at 1:49 PM on May 19, 2010


mippy: American lemonade is, you know, fresh lemons, sugar, water, ice. British lemonade is closer to something like Sprite or 7-Up but that's not quite it either.

And it doesn't taste at all like Fresca, but that's the closest texturally that we've got in the states.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:49 PM on May 19, 2010


Of course when I got home, I tried to mix up some Pimms an lemonade but the only Pimms in the house is our smuggled bottle of Pimms Winter, which is drinksona nongratta for unplanned drinking.

I've been tooling around for 45 minutes and just now located a bottle.

Home, Jeeves!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:00 PM on May 19, 2010


I was stunned to discover this afternoon that the only semi-decent liquor store in my nowheresville town of 10,000 actually carries Pimm's No. 1. I am now enjoying a lovely concoction of Pimm's and ginger ale. I don't think the proportions are exactly right (started with too little Pimm's and added a little too much), but it's reminiscent of a fortified Vernor's or Moxie (without the gentian). Tasty!
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:22 PM on May 19, 2010


a weak fancy Loowng Island Ice Tea with pretensions

Long Island Iced Tea is what you get at your end of the market.
posted by Lleyam at 4:32 PM on May 19 [+] [!]


I haven't the foggiest what you might be faffing on about, and have ordered my Oriental manservant to shotput a rather over-ripe toma-TOE, in your general area.

Hrumpf.
posted by Skygazer at 3:09 PM on May 19, 2010


Into your general area, that is.
posted by Skygazer at 3:13 PM on May 19, 2010


It's winter here, you insensitive clods!

Still, it going to be in the low 70s today, so maybe I'll wear a jumper and have a Pimm's at lunch.

Sprite (or even 7 Up) makes an adequate substitute for lemonade. The lime in 7 Up might be more noticeable than in Sprite, but really, most British people would be surprised to learn that Sprite and 7 Up aren't lemonade. The OP mentions ginger beer, but as has been pointed out above, that would be too spicy; ginger ale is the way to go.
posted by GeckoDundee at 4:02 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


While we're talking about mixers... is there anywhere in the US that still gets Schweppes Bitter Lemon? I can't find it here in WA.
posted by hippybear at 4:43 PM on May 19, 2010


Where'd you people learn to drink? A British boarding school? A sorority house?

Shots (of straight liquor). Beers. End of fucking list. (Unless you're drinking on the subway, where to avoid detection by police fortified alcopops like Joose of FourLoko may be substituted.)
posted by jonmc at 4:49 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


...a weak fancy Loowng Island Ice Tea with pretensions.

Tea Partay [Smirnoff Raw Tea®].
posted by ericb at 4:52 PM on May 19, 2010


Bullshit, jonmc. You drink cocktails all the time. I have it on good authority that you rarely go a day without a boilermaker. (How do you make those anyway?).
posted by GeckoDundee at 4:54 PM on May 19, 2010


A boilermaker is a shot. and a beer.
posted by jonmc at 4:57 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


see
posted by jonmc at 5:01 PM on May 19, 2010


If you like this sort of thing, you might want to taste a sip of Becherovka.

A Czech sipping liquor with a subtle scent of meadow flowers.
posted by ovvl at 5:18 PM on May 19, 2010


Between this thread and the Bourbon/Walker Percy thread, I'm so glad I chose this week to go on the wagon for a bit.
posted by Skygazer at 7:05 PM on May 19, 2010


re: gimlet-y drinks - crushed ice, sweet vermouth, lime and/or Rose's lime juice. Not Pimm's (which I've had exactly once) but tasty.
posted by theora55 at 7:14 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


A boilermaker is a shot. and a beer.

Goes especially well with hamburger, I believe.
posted by GeckoDundee at 7:15 PM on May 19, 2010


>> Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

> Wow. Even in a thread full of very high readings, that name just completely buried the needle on my Britishometer.


As an aside, I once spent ten minutes on the phone with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, trying to understand him while he said his name over and over again, very quickly and indistinctly, and in a manner that implied I was a bit thick for not catching on. At the time, I was fresh off the boat and had never heard of him. Eventually I asked him to spell it for me, and he was ever so slightly offended. Or humbled. Or perhaps a little of each.

I've warmed to him since then. His fish pie recipe was a contributing factor.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:49 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Late to the party, but I don't care. Pimm's is amazing stuff, at least it was the one time I had it. It was the principle ingredient in the punch for the reception at the best wedding I ever attended.

As for G&T, I put them in the same category as Robitussin and Vodka. I mean, you can, it's a passable way to get down a medication, but, really, why would you inflict that on a poor defenseless spirit?
posted by Hactar at 11:42 PM on May 19, 2010


Hectar: try making it with Tanqueray Ten, which is absolutely shit for Martinis but is fantastic for G&Ts and brings out a lot of great citrus flavors.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:10 AM on May 20, 2010


Comparison of the original with various knockoffs here.
posted by snoktruix at 1:19 AM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is what "British lemonade" looks like in the wild. I don't think it involves any actual lemons.
posted by snoktruix at 1:32 AM on May 20, 2010


see
posted by jonmc


Now I read that, and it always referrs to the shot being "dropped" into the beer, (unless it's referring to a can, then it says poured) does that mean that you drop the whole shot, glass and all, into the beer, or am I just being obtuse? And if so, the glass never breaks? or slides into your teeth on the last gulp? Obviously I need to try one, but I need the details sorted out.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:03 AM on May 20, 2010


Now I read that, and it always referrs to the shot being "dropped" into the beer,

You're supposed to pour the spirit into the beer or drink it as a chaser (see a 'half and half' in Scotland which is a pint with a double whisky chaser) - though, back in my student days*, I have seen it done by (carefully) dropping an actual (small) full shot gloss into the bottom of a pint, then drinking it all up through a straw. That's what we called a depth-charge.

Wirdly I can distinctly remember first hearing of boiler makers in the film Airport.

*I didn't spend my whole time a university drinking, only most of it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:01 AM on May 20, 2010


Oh and as well as the clear stuff you can also get 'traditional cloudy lemonade' in the UK, which I prefer as it's not as sweet and it's more lemony and is, I'd guess closer to the American version though it's not fresh and still fizzy.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:06 AM on May 20, 2010


New Englanders, we may be in luck - it just occurred to me the Squamscott Beverages' Yup flavor ought to be a pretty good British Lemonade analog.
posted by usonian at 4:58 AM on May 20, 2010


People who don't like gin should refrain from commenting on alcohol in general

You obviously never made the teenage mistake of making strawberry daiquiris with gin. Oh, such powerful pink puking! Two decades later, I still can't so much as smell gin without my stomach clenching. (Fortunately, Pimms is not at all ginny.)
posted by jrossi4r at 7:47 AM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Oh, such powerful pink blue puking!
posted by hippybear at 1:48 PM on May 20, 2010


A half and half is a half pint (rather than a pint) and a single whisky. The idea is that "a whisky" means a double, but I doubt many drinkers still order a double that way. This might be complicated by the fact that a standard spirit used to be a sixth of a gill in England and a quarter gill in Scotland, thus making "a whiskey" look more like a double to someone used to English measures.

Seconding the shot glass in the beer as a "depth charge".
posted by GeckoDundee at 2:51 PM on May 20, 2010


I know it as a "car bomb."
posted by Skygazer at 3:06 PM on May 20, 2010


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