San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Magic, Myth, More at Queen’s Birthday Party

Aspecial treat at the Queen’s Birthday Party (to celebrate the 80th birthday of British Queen Elizabeth II) is that in addition to being entertained all day long (especially memorable was the rendition of the British National Anthem by a gaggle of European School children, on kazoos!) and eating “bangers and mash,” guests can start the day with a refreshing glass of Pimm’s.

Probably not really the best thing to do, but absolutely delicious. For those who missed out on a great garden party or on the Pimm’s, a recipe follows.

“The Pimm’s tradition is almost as entrenched in British culture as the cup of tea,” says the Pimm’s Web page. “All it takes is a moderately prolonged period of good weather, and pubs and supermarkets miraculously start offering gallons of the stuff.

“Pimm’s was invented in the 1840s, by the owner of an oyster bar in the City of London. James Pimm offered the tonic (which was a gin-based drink containing quinine and a secret mixture of herbs) as an aid to digestion, and served it in a small tankard. This is where the ‘No. 1 Cup’ moniker arose.

“After the Second World War, Pimm’s extended their range, utilizing a number of other spirits as bases for new ‘cups.’ No. 2 cup was based on scotch, No. 3 employed brandy, No. 4 rum, No. 5 rye and No. 6 vodka. The only one of the variants still in production is the vodka cup, No. 6, although this is made in much smaller quantities than the original No. 1 cup.”

Traditional Pimm’s No.1

1 slice per person of orange, lemon, apple, cucumber

1 sprig of mint

2 parts lemonade to 1 part Pimm’s

Pour into a shaker 2/3 full of ice and serve.


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