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Friday, October 5, 2018

The British are Coming!


A Pimms' Cup in the very charming Cotswolds

I spent a glorious two weeks in England this summer. One of the reasons I flew over was to check out the country’s new sparkling wine industry that has been taking the international wine world by storm.  Fizz (as they call their bubbly) has become a new icon like Big Ben, Stilton cheese and Megan Markle.   While much of the fizz was world-class, one of my favorite drinks for their unusually warm summer was Pimms.   I’ve known the drink for 30 years, but my recent visit rekindled my love for it.

Pimms is an usual liqueur made from gin.   It’s a savory concoction of various spices and herbs with citrus overtones.  I don’t think anyone would find drinking it alone very enticing, but mixed with sparkling lemonade, muddled mint, and chopped fruits it’s a wonderfully refreshing way to begin a dinner party…or serve poolside on a warm autumn day.  It’s somewhat a British rendition of sangria---light and easy drinking.  Its low alcohol format (due to being diluted with lemonade), makes for a thirst-quenching drink without making your head spin.

My favorite aperitif with Pimms is called a Pimms’ Cup.  I was served this version by an English woman in the backyard of a glorious waterside home in the Cotswolds.  I’ve made it several times since returning with varying fruits.  Here is my preferred rendition which serves eight persons a Long-Live-the Queen aperitif:

   ~ 1 bottle of Pimms #1
   ~ An equal size bottle of sparkling lemonade (Trader Joe has a great one with low 
      sugar)
   ~ ½ cup of peeled, seeded & chopped cucumber
   ~ 1 small apple, cored & chopped (leave skin)
   ~ 1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
   ~ A handful of fresh muddled mint


Combine all in a pitcher, serve in clear glasses with ice & a sprig of mint on top.

Wine-Knows will be visiting England in June 2019 and there are only two seats left.  In addition to Pimms, we’ll be exploring many of the award-winning fizzes.  Also, dare I mention that we’re also visiting the Bombay Sapphire Gin Factory?   Check it out:  http://www.wineknowstravel.com/the-english-countryside.




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