Poor Pimm's, they have to make all of their money in just 4 months. You could say the same of many spirits, but, I'll still have a martini in the winter, a scotch in the summer and worship at the tiki bar all year. But don't feel too bad for Pimm's, they have the title of Wimbledon's official cocktail, the cocktail least likely to get you arrested in NOLA and the love of writers that need a hacky premise for summer drinks. But, Pimm's also has a special place is my heart for 3 other reasons.
It's the diplomat of bitter to pedestrians' palates. Pimm's isn't truly bitter, but it isn't really sweet or neutral— it introduces the concept of herbal and the idea that cocktails needn't all be inspired by confections from the sweet shop. It's a stretch, but you could call Pimm's "baby's first amaro."
A real Pimm's promotes gardening. Though the cucumber lobby performed a bloodless coup on the cocktail world a few years back, I would still offer that you try a Pimm's Cup with borage. These little fuzzy flowers put the "b" in subtle. The cukes that we fill Pimm's Cups with are supposed to imitate the aroma from these anglo herbs. So why not cue up a Black Adder marathon and start a window box of borage and garnish your cocktails with flowers that actually do something. Buy borage seeds.
I've opened 2 bars in which I've had no interest in nickel & dimin' guests. I don't think the guest should be concerned with price. I worked fancy joints, so cocktails I started cocktails at $12— no matter what. $12 White Russian, $12 Manhattan and $12 Pimm's Cup, the onus is on bartender to provide every cocktail at that premium level. The challenge is to make a $12 Pimm's Cup and to pick up that gauntlet one needs finesse, garnish and creativity. I want to pay $12 for any and every cocktail, and I want that level of effort to go into any and every cocktail. Value multipliers for a Pimm's Cup? I'd like to see a recipe like this:
- 1 1/2 oz Pimm's No 1
- 1/2 oz floral or herbal gin*
- 2 dashes Scrappy's Orange Bitters
- 1/4 lemon juice (1/6 a lemon, squeezed)
- 3 oz Fever Tree Lemon Bitter Lemon
- 1 stalk of borage
*I could give a fuck about your "new-world-micro-distilled-new-botanical-boutique-Montessori-no-wrong-answers" gin, but, I like a dash of curious gin to accent a Pimm's