Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mrs. Yi's Pimm's Cup Drink

Above is a Pimm's Cup concoction in a crystal beer mug substituting for a cup. Poured from a pitcher and with all the fruit, it could work as an alternative to Sangria. Mrs. Yi made up a batch to contribute to the Indian Food Bash last March in our Northeast Baltimore neighborhood. Mrs. Yi's Pimm's Cup was mentioned at the conclusion of the post that followed ending with the words "Stay tuned."

The hot weather is here, so it's time. To prepare a large pitcher, Mrs. Yi played with a recipe for preparing four individual glasses that originally appeared in a Cook's Magazine dating from 1987. Her intention was to multiply the called for ingredients, but what resulted proved to be new, different, and more pleasing to me than over a half dozen published techniques I've since experimented with. The reason, I believe, relates to all the extra fruit for which there's room when the quantity is enough to merit using a large pitcher.

The definitive ingredient is Pimm's Cup #1, which is gin-based and likely the only Pimm's Cup variety available in liquor stores---at least here in the Baltimore area. While the formula for Pimm's Cup #1 is a carefully and effectively guarded trade secret, recipes for making drinks with it are ubiquitous. Typically, one part of Pimm's Cup #1 is mixed with with five or six parts lemonade, Gingerale, 7-Up or a combination of lemonade and such a soft drink, then garnished with a cucumber spear and perhaps a slice of citrus and/or some mint. However done, it makes for a very refreshing drink, particularly in hot weather.
The recipe from which Mrs. Yi's version evolved was more elaborate but no trouble. It called for sqeezing 1/3 cup of fresh orange juice and two tablespoons of lime juice, combining these juices with 8 ounces of Pimm's Cup#1, a pint of Club Soda, and two teaspoons of sugar, pouring it all into four glasses bearing citrus slices and ice, then garnishing with a cucumber wedge, perhaps a slice of fruit, and/or a sprig of mint . That's a pretty good technique, but the result gets better when all these ingredients---and a bit more---are thrown into a pitcher.
Here's Mrs. Yi's recipe:


8 oranges

8 limes

1 cucumber

1 apple

1 lemon

2 tablespoons sugar.

1 bottle of Pimm's Cup #1

6 cups Club Soda

Squeeze enough of the oranges to yield 8 ounces of juice, discarding the squeezed oranges and saving those remaining. Squeeze enough of the limes to yield 2 1/2 ounces of juice, discarding squeezed limes and saving those remaining. Cut remaining unsqueezed oranges and limes, the lemon, the apple, and the cucumber into slices and throw into a large pitcher. Mix the orange juice, lime juice, Pimm's Cup#1 and Club Soda, and sugar together and add to the pitcher with the fruit. Let stand for at least a few minutes and then pour into glasses or cups over ice.