Pimm’s Float

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This recipe is brought to you by Food Network chef Sunny Anderson. I wish I could claim it as my own, because it’s fabulous! Every summer I swear I’m going to make it, stack it with other recipe cards, and promptly forget about it. But not this summer.

If you love Pimm’s, and you love ice cream, then you’ll love this treat!
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I didn’t follow Sunny’s recipe to the T – hers included strawberries, and being passed strawberry season, I instead decided on blackberries and raspberries. So here’s what I did.

Sunny’s Pimm and Proper Ice Cream Float
Serves 4 or 2, depending on the serving size

1 pound raspberries and blackberries
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water

First place the berries in a small pot. Add the sugar and water. Bring to a boil and stir gently, until the sugar dissolves. Put the lid on, and lower the heat.

After about 5-6 minutes, remove the lid, and cook about 1 minute more. Place the pot in the refrigerator and let the berries and syrup cool completely.
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To complete the ice cream floats, you will need:
Pimm’s
Vanilla ice Cream
Fresca

To prepare the floats, but about 2 heaping tablespoons of the berries and syrup in the bottoms of ice cream glasses. Add an equal volume of Pimm’s to both. Scoop out the ice cream and place it in the glasses.


Right before serving, add the Fresca.

I also served a skewer of blackberries, just for fun.
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Sunny not only made a strawberry syrup in her original recipe, she also used strawberry ice cream. I chose vanilla because I wanted to taste the other flavors.

After tasting these, I’d still opt for vanilla. But I’m sure you could come up with many different ideas for these floats!
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They’re really refreshing, and would make a fun dessert after a summer dinner party as well!


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Summer Cup

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Last month when we were in London, we stayed at a lovely hotel called The Orange. There are only four rooms, and they are above the public house and restaurant of the same name, located on Pimlico road.

It’s a very old building, but being one of the many Thomas Cubitt businesses, it has a different look to it from typical, dark pubs in England and the UK. I personally have never met a pub I didn’t like – especially the ones with stuff like swords and giant keys and old paintings on the walls. But The Orange has its own updated beauty to it.


Right after our daughter moved to London, she taught me to mind my own business in pubs. She knows me well. I love to talk to strangers, and she taught me that in neighborhood pubs, people typically stop by for a pint or two after work. Unless they’re chatting with co-workers, they want to be left alone.

But on this one day at The Orange, I just couldn’t help myself. I had been staring at this lovely pitcher of something that looked similar to Pimm’s, but was too pale to be Pimm’s.

I told my husband, “I don’t care what Emma says, I’m talking to these guys.” She hadn’t arrived yet.

There were four young men at the table next to us, enjoying their mystery drinks, and I politely asked them what it was. The answer? Summer Cup! And then they poured both my husband and myself a drink to sample. I just love British people!!! And they certainly didn’t seem bothered by my inquiry. Take that, Em !
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My husband didn’t like it as much as I did because there was a definite cucumber taste to the drink, but it was really good to me. And refreshing. Since it was 30 degrees Centigrade in London on that day, it’s probably why those young men chose Summer Cup to imbibe.

I’d never heard of Summer Cup, even though I’ve learned that it’s a popular drink in England. Not so much as Pimm’s, which we did enjoy while in St. Ives, enjoying a gorgeous summer day.

After a little research, I learned that Summer Cup, like Pimm’s, is a gin-based drink. And just like you can buy Pimm’s, you can buy Summer Cup. Except that I can’t where I live. Here is a link to Sipsmith Summer Cup. Beautiful bottle, isn’t it?

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So I searched for recipes that would mimic, possibly the actual punch.

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So this is what I found, from House and Garden, the UK version. Was it just like the Summer Cup I had in London? Nah, but it was also really good. I altered the recipe slightly, so the following recipe is what I made.

Jubilee Summer Cup

16 ounces gin
8 ounces Dubonnet
4 ounces sloe gin
4 ounces peach liqueur (instead of apricot, because I couldn’t find any)
Fresca (instead of ginger ale, lemonade* or champagne/prosecco)

I simply added all of the liquor to a pitcher to make it easy, poured the mixture about 1/4 way in each glass, and topped things off with fresca.

Don’t be shy with the fresca – unless you prefer a sweeter cocktail over a punch-like drink, you really need the fizz.

I served the “Summer Cup” with a slice of white peach and lime. What I didn’t do was cut up a bunch of fruit and cucumber and place it in the pitcher. That might have actually made the drink taste more similar. Now I have to make it again. darn.

* In England, at least, lemonade means Sprite or something similar. So watch out if you think you’re ordering something with real lemon lemonade.

Pimm’s

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I remember the first time I had Pimm’s, in 1978. I wasn’t much of a drinker way back then, but I remember it being so unique. I had no idea it even had a British origin – I just enjoyed the flavor!

Fast forward 25 years to when my older daughter visited a girlfriend in London, and they shared a pitcher of Pimm’s at a pub! I was so excited, because I’d forgotten all about it, and certainly had no knowledge of its national esteem.

The origin of Pimm’s is very interesting, dating back to the 1800’s when Mr. Pimm invented the gin-based drink. There was originally Pimm’s No. 1, as it is now, but there were also five subsequent Pimm’s; most all of these have been phased out.

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The liqueur contains a secret mixture of herbs, fruit extracts and liqueurs. It experienced a recent revival in popularity from a British tv show whose character would announce, “It’s Pimm’s O’clock!”

I didn’t even know this when I snapped this photo at the Hampton Court food fair outside of London. I was with number 2 daughter and it was freezing out. But by golly there was Pimm’s being sold and I needed to have an official one! It was indeed delicious, although not perfect for a chilly day.

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However, Pimm’s is perfect for spring and summer when it’s acting like spring and summer. Because it’s so refreshing, I often make pitchers of it or put it in a large dispenser. It goes with just about any kind of cuisine.

I took this photo of my Pimm’s at the food fair:

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Here is the “official” recipe for Pimm’s, also referred to as Pimm’s cup.

Pimm’s Cup

Mix 1 part PIMM’S No.1
with 3 parts chilled lemonade.
Add some mint, cucumber, orange
and strawberry

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In a large pitcher, pour in the seltzer, lemonade and Pimm’s. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared glasses and enjoy!

This recipe comes from the website Anyone for Pimm’s.

If you noticed, there’s no mention of how much seltzer to use, unless British lemonade is bubbly, but I don’t think it is.

So here’s my recipe:

Pimm’s Cup, for one

In one tall glass, place 1 part Pimm’s, 1 part lemonade and 2 parts fresca. Add a generous amount of ice, and stir well. Add some pieces of cut up orange, apple, and strawberry.

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At the food fair, I could definitely taste mint and cucumber in my Pimm’s. It was completely enjoyable, but I don’t like my Pimm’s to taste too much like water you get at the spa, so I leave out the cucumber. However, I do use a long piece of cucumber that helps with stirring. But you try it however you like.

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When I make Pimm’s in a pitcher, I add a whole array of sliced fruits because it’s so pretty! And you can muddle a bunch of mint leaves if you like, before finishing with the recipe. I love the mintiness, but I don’t like having to deal with chopped mint in my teeth. A personal preference, again.

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note: Pimm’s is a strong drink, but it should not be cloyingly sweet. The secret, from years of personal experimentation, is the Fresca. The drink should be bubbly, not taste like a liqueur on ice. If you prefer using seltzer water, or can’t get your hands on Fresca, be as generous with that. It lightens the drink without adding sweetness, which it doesn’t need. Enjoy!