$ — 25% ABV — Citrus
Gird your knickers and mind the gap, because things are about to get as English as they come round here. Technically a liqueur, Pimm's is nearly a class of its own as one of the original fruit cups. A gin-based spirit turned tea-black by a mixture herbs and fruit, Pimm's is summertime in a glass.
Originally taken on the rocks, Pimm's is nearly always served in a Pimm's Cup: a generous dram under a glass of sparkling lemonade — though a ginger ale is commonly substituted. Piled high on top is orange, strawberry, mint, borage, cucumber, and Bob's your uncle.
The "No. 1" is somewhat of a relic: there were five other cups, based on Scotch, brandy, rum, rye, and vodka. Some cheeky bartenders have even made an unofficial 7th Pimm's using tequila. Today only two other Pimm's remain, a reformulation of No.s 3 and 6: the Winter Cup and the Blackberry & Elderflower, both worth looking up.
A spot of trivia: Pimm was a 'man of Kent' — not a 'Kentish man' — as he was born east of the River Medway. If this is all making you feel a bit like Paul Giamatti at Downton Abbey, just keep calm and … well, you know the rest.