Pimm’s is a traditional English spirit invented in 1840 by James Pimm as an aid to digestion. The initial product, now known as No. 1 Cup, was made using a gin base and over the next 100 years, as its popularity grew, cups 2 to 6 were added, containing whisky, brandy, rum, rye and vodka, in that order. Unfortunately during the 1970s Pimm’s suffered a decline in demand, and all but No. 1 and No. 6 cup were withdrawn from production.
However in 2005 Pimm’s released a new version of their brandy-based No. 3 cup, with the addition extra spices and orange peel, as Pimm’s Winter Cup. Despite being a big fan of No. 1 Cup in the summer, I had never tried the Winter Cup. However, they have been promoting it fairly heavily this year here in Britain, and a few weeks ago I finally got to sample some at a Winter Fair.
They were serving it as a hot drink with apple juice and chunks of apple, and since then I have been drinking that mixture like it’s going out of fashion. I’ve never been a massive fan of eggnog or even mulled wine, so for me this is the perfect hot winter tipple…
- 150ml / 5oz Pimms No. 3 Winter Cup
- 400ml / 14oz apple juice
- 1 apple, sliced in to small chunks
- ½ an orange, sliced in to chunks
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Add all ingredients to a pan and gently heat until just simmering. Remove cinnamon stick and pour mixture in to a large jug. Serve in heat-proof glasses or mugs.
Pimm’s Winter Cup takes the aromatics of its older sibling and provides a richer base in the form of brandy and extra spices, resulting in a sweet, rich drink that seems perfect for the winter months. This combines beautifully with the apple juice to create a fruity, aromatic drink with a wonderful warming quality. The extra citrus and cinnamon further enhance the depth of flavour, and also provide an extra treat at the end of the drink in the form of soft chunks of apple full of Pimm’s flavour.
You’ll notice the photo above contains no cinnamon or orange – unfortunately due to the popularity of this drink I ran out of both last night so had to make do. It was still nice, but do try and use all the ingredients if you can. The recipe above provides enough for about four mugs, so adjust to suit your own needs. I’m off to experiment more with the Winter Cup – I’m thinking this and Calvados might work very nicely together…
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