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Pimm's No 1 Cup


(Also known as 'The Original Gin Sling')

According to Pimm's themselves: "take a jug or glass. Fill it with ice. Mix 1 part Pimm's No.1 spirit drink with 3 parts Chilled Lemonade. Add some mint, strawberry, orange and cucumber or any fruit you fancy."

Pimm's, a gin-based drink containing quinine and a mixture of herbs, was invented in 1823, by James Pimm, a farmer's son from Newnham in Kent, who became the owner of an oyster bar in the City of London, near the Bank of England. Pimm offered the tonic in a small tankard known as a 'No.1 Cup', hence its name. Pimm's began large-scale production in 1851, in 1865 the business was sold to Frederick Saywer and in 1880 to the future Mayor of London Horatio Davies. The brand later extended to a chain of Oyster Houses and developed Pimm's No.2 and Pimm's No.3. After the Second World War, Pimm's No.4 was invented, followed by Pimm's No.5 and Pimm's No.6 in the 1960s.

The brand fell on hard times in the 1970s and 1980s. The Oyster House chain was sold and Cups 2 to 5 were phased out. In 2005, Pimm's reintroduced the No.3 cup (a brandy variant) as the 'Winter Cup', infused with spices and orange peel. In 2006 the Pimm's brand was bought by Diageo.

Pimm's bottles at Hix Oyster and Chop House,
Smithfield, London, 2010. Photo Credit: Ewan Munro

See: Badminton Cup, Wimbledon Cup

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