You are here


Pimms is a branded fruit liqueur which is mostly relished as a refreshing summer drink that’s easy to make. This drink which is very popular in Britain, especially in South England and along with Champagne happens to be staple drink at the Henley Royal Regatta, Wimbledon and the Glyndebourne Opera festival.

History of Pimms Drink

Pimmswas introduced by James Pimm in 1823 as a gin based quinine containing tonic with a secret herbal mix that was meant for a digestion aid. The firstPimm’s drinkwas served in a small tankard called “No.1 cup,” which became so popular and synonymous with the drink, that all the later variations of Pimms were introduced in the ascending order of cup numbers. The large scale production of this branded drink was started in 1851 and the drink began to be sold commercially from 1859 by virtue of the bicycle hawkers.

In 1865, Pimms distillery and every marketing right were sold to Frederick Sawyer and in 1880, Horatio Davies was handed over the company who set up a chain of Oyster houses under the brand name of Pimms in 1887. Over the years, the company kept on extending its range and used different spirits for every new “cup” of Pimm’s drink they introduced. In 1851, cup nos. 2 and 3 were introduced, after World War II, Pimms released the no.4 cup and then, the no. 5 and no. 6 cups were brought into the market in the 1970s. In 1946, the corked bottles were replaced with capped bottles. In the 1979s and 1980s, when the company fell on rough times and demands were reduced, many of its cups were phased out and in 2006, the Pimms company was purchased by Diageo.

Preparation of Classic Pimms Drink

A Classic Pimms Party Drink is made by mixing Pimm’s No. 1, lemonade, ice, and fruit slices and served with a cucumber slice garnish.

Popular Pimms Drink Variations

Pimm’s drinkcomes in six variations, all of which are called fruit cups and are tagged with the cups #1, #3, #6 still being available today. The difference in each Pimms liqueur is brought about by the amount of alcohol used in each.

  • Pimm's No. 1 Cup– This dark tea colored Pimms beverage with a tinge of red is gin based which can be served either in cocktails or on ice. This drink has citrusy flavor with a spicy taste and most commonly it is drunk mixed in clear and carbonated lemonade along with various other ingredients mixed in it, such as mint, lemons, cucumber, apples, strawberries and oranges. Pimms Royal Cup is again a variation of this Pimms drinkmade with 25% alcohol and either sparkling white wine or champagne.

  • Pimm's No. 2 Cup– Although no more available, this once popular Pimms was made with Scotch whisky.

  • Pimm's No. 3 Cup– Another phased out Pimms drinkmade with brandy, is available seasonally in a different version called Pimm’s Winter Cup with orange peel and spice infusion.

  • Pimm's No. 4 Cup– No more sold, this Pimms contained rum.

  • Pimm's No. 5 Cup– This once sold Pimms was rye whiskey based.

  • Pimm's No. 6 Cup– This drink is vodka based and its immense popularity often misleads to concluding this Pimms as the No.2 English drink.

Pimms Drink: Trivia

  • The saying –"It's Pimms O'clock" means it’s a perfect time for drinking.

  • In the British – American Polo matches, Pimms cup is the standard cocktail served.