Pimm's originated in an Oyster Bar in Poultry Street, in the City of London, owned by James Pimm in 1840. Here he created the Pimm's 'house Cup' flavoured with liqueurs, and fruit extracts. He rapidly built up a chain of restaurants in a variety of locations, including The Old Bailey and other places "to be seen" for City businessmen of the day. James Pimm is said to have blended his famous 'No 1 Cup', on the premises and it was then sold in pints in pewter tankards.
By 1859, Pimm's was on sale outside of the restaurants and in 1865, the company was sold to Frederick Sawyer and the first bottle of Pimm's was sold for 3 shillings. The company was sold on again in 1875, this time to Sir Horatio Davies, who in the following years expanded the sale of the drink. It could be found not only the UK, but also throughout the British Empire and the association of the drink with all things British began.
The No 1 cup is as popular today as ever. The first Pimm's bar opened at the world-famous Wimbledon tennis tournament in 1971, and every year over 80,000 pints of Pimm's with Lemonade are sold to spectators.
How to make this traditional treat?
1. One part Pimm's No. 1 Cup to three parts lemonade over ice (though I've had some very nice Pimm's where the drink has been shaken with ice and served neat.)
2. Add fresh mint and thin slices of cucumber. Those are the must-haves; you can also include combinations of orange slices, lemon, apples or strawberries. (See? It's not just drink, it's part of the RDA of fruits and vegetables!)
3. Be careful not to spill if you wore heels to stand on the lawn. We're going to be looking for Pimm's Cup after the graduation luncheon tomorrow!