food 08.9.11

Pimm's Cup
Every Person in New York

World events may call for something stronger. Can't argue with that.

But for heat and humidity relief, a Pimm's Cup can't be beat. On days like this, we've always wanted to take a Pimm's Cup bath (we'll let you know how that goes). That's because it's the most refreshing thing in the world to drink not made by nature.

It was created in 1840 in England, a drink whose exact ingredients—gin, bitters, various herbs, and quinine—are known now, it is said, only to the "Secret Six"—the six top people at Pimm's. The inventor was James Pimm, who ran an oyster bar in the City of London. The light, slightly fruity, reddish-brown drink was served in a small tankard (also called a No. 1 cup) as a digestive.

Over the years, there were other Cups with different liquors, but today only the No. 1 and the No. 6 (with vodka) are regularly produced. (No. 2 was whiskey, No. 3 was brandy, No. 4 was rum, and No. 5 was rye).

How do you make a Pimm's Cup? In a tall cup with plenty of ice, two parts lemonade (sometimes ginger ale) to one part Pimm's is fairly standard, though some wouldn't dream of Pimm's No. 1 without Champagne (instead of the lemonade). Note that British lemonade is different from ours: it's clear and sparkling—closer to Seven Up or Sprite. In almost all versions, you will find a long slice of cucumber, often sprig(s) of mint, and, sometimes, a slice of orange, lemon, apple, and/or strawberry.

Too hot to make your own? Belly up to Employees Only, Schiller's, Milk & Honey, The Spotted Pig, Double Crown, The Standard Grill, or Angel's Share.

Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for Every Person in New York on Tuesdays in MUG and daily at Jason's site.

Lower East Side (from 2007)

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