It’s Summer Fruit Cup Season
Pimm’s and Wimbledon go together like rama lama lama ka dinda da dinga dong, so it may come as some surprise that there’s no official tie between the two. No, their booze counterparts are the slightly less dainty Stella Artois and the ever-so-fancy Lansons. Pimm’s has always been at Wimbledon, but neither seems ready to commit to going steady.
That’s not to say it’s all shooting clandestine looks at each other and holding hands in the dark, though; despite the lack of sponsorship, Pimm’s isn’t just at Wimbledon; For many, Pimm’s is Wimbledon (on average 350,000 glasses of the stuff are consumed within the tennis grounds every year). The stadium, London’s parks and the pubs screening it up and down the country will be selling the ubiquitous Summer Cup by the bucket load for the weeks surrounding the tournament, and sales of strawberries, cucumber and seconds-from-death mint will surge to such an extent that Waitrose shoppers will get down to fisticuffs for the last punnet.
Pimm’s is an undeniably British treat, and while the Diageo owned giant will likely always be around, the craft gin explosion has brought some real competition, with viable, high quality Summer Cup alternatives (as opposed to barely disguised supermarket rip-offs) emerging from all corners of the United Kingdom.
Caspyn Cornish Summer Cup
This is a super sweet edition, ripe with end of summer fruits and a warm, orange kick. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries join a glug of fortified Portugese wine and Caspyn Cornish Gin to form this mouth-wateringly delicious fruit cake of a drink.
Topped up with lemonade (we’d go one part Cornish Summer Cup to two parts lemonade) this is one of the best Summer Cup’s going. Add ice, berries, mint and orange wheels for the full experience.
Sipsmith London Cup
Inspired by traditional punches, the Sipsmith London Cup follows the five flavour components of punch, with spirit, sweet, spice, citrus and bitter elements fighting duels on the tongue. Earl Grey tea, borage and lemon verbena adding layers to this syrupy sweet 29.5% ABV summer sipper.
Serve with heaps of ice, lemonade, lemon wheels and a handful of sliced strawberries for a far too drinkable refresher
Curio Cornish Cup
Another Cornish effort, this time from Curio Gin. Curio founders Rubina and William Tyler-Street both have Asian roots, and they chase these with every drink they make. As such, the Curio Cornish Cup has a Chai tea infusion, with Assam tea, cardamom and cinnamon bringing a punchy, sweet spiciness.
Honey and lemon verbena are also added to Curio Dry Gin, so it’s a sweet, citrusy affair with a slight floral hint. Serve with ice, lemonade, sliced pink grapefruit and some lavender sprigs for an evolved, but delicious, Summer Cup.
Bloom Strawberry Cup
The oh-so floral Bloom Gin has had a truck load of strawberries dumped in it and left to macerate, taking on a rich, red colour and a huge strawberry aroma. Super sweet, but with a slightly tart note, this is one that’ll appeal to anyone with a taste for candy…
Serve with heaps of ice, tonic and sliced strawberries.
Here’s one that, at a hefty 37.5% ABV, is most definitely not a Summer Cup. But… with strawberries and cream propping up the recipe, Poetic License Distillery’s Picnic Gin is the ultimate Wimbledon accompaniment. Herbaceous and fruity, dry and sweet, it’s everything a gin fan could seek on a summer day.
Half fill a pitcher with ice. Add one part Picnic Gin to three parts Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic (you can adjust this according to the time of day, of course, but given that this has a far greater alcohol content than Pimm’s it’s best to start slowly…). Add chopped strawberries, whole raspberries and orange peel to keep it sweet, and a handful of basil or mint if you want to bring a herbal note.
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