Pimm's is a brand of alcoholic beverages now owned by
Diageo. Its most popular product is Pimm's No. 1 Cup. There are six
Pimm's products, only two of which remain in continuous production. The
essential difference among them is the base alcohol used to produce them:
Left: Pimm's No. 1 Cup.
Pimm's No. 1 Cup is based on
and can be served both on ice or in cocktails. It has a dark tea colour with a
reddish tint, and tastes subtly of spice and citrus fruit. It is often taken
with "English-style" lemonade, as well as various fruits including apples,
oranges, lemons, strawberry, cucumber and mint. Pimm's is also mixed with champagne (or a sparkling white
wine), called a "Pimm's Royal Cup." It is 25% alcohol by volume. It can
also be purchased as a pre-mixed fortified lemonade (Pimm's & Lemonade)
in 250 ml cans or 1-litre bottles, at 5.4%.
Pimm's No. 2 Cup was based on
whisky. Currently phased out.
Pimm's No. 3 Cup is based on brandy. Phased out, but a
version infused with spices and orange peel marketed as Pimm's Winter Cup
is now seasonally available.
Pimm's No. 4 Cup was based on rum. Currently phased
Pimm's No. 5 Cup was based on rye. Currently phased
Pimm's No. 6 Cup is based on
It is still produced, but in small quantities.
Pimm's was first produced in 1823, by James Pimm, a farmer's
son from Kent who became the owner of an oyster bar in the City of London, near
the Bank of England. Pimm offered the tonic, (a gin-based drink containing
quinine and a secret mixture of herbs) as an aid to digestion, serving it in a
small tankard known as a "No. 1 Cup", hence its subsequent name. Pimm's began
large-scale production in 1851 to keep up with sales to other bars.
Over the years Pimm's extended their range, utilizing a number of other spirits
as bases for new "cups". In 1851 Pimm's No. 2 Cup and Pimm's No. 3 Cup were
introduced. After World War II, Pimm's No. 4 Cup was invented, followed by
Pimm's No. 5 Cup and Pimm's No.6 Cup in the 1960s.
Pimm's is most common in Britain, particularly Southern England. It is one of
the two staple drinks at Wimbledon, the Henley Royal Regatta, and the
Glyndebourne opera festival, the other being Champagne. A "Pimm's Cup" is also
the standard cocktail at British and American polo matches.