Sipping on last week’s red wine-and-Coke cocktail from Spain made me think of a Christmas spent in New Zealand, where the holidays fall smack in the middle of summertime. (So much more civilized.)
My sister Sara lived there at the time, and we were preparing for a holiday barbeque. I think we were in charge of potato salad, but, naturally, we also took responsibility for drinks. I vaguely remember the booze being Pimm’s, a refreshing herbal-y English liquor — topped with sliced strawberries and something else.
I texted my older sister for guidance, and she replied:
She means “Schweppes.”
(Alas, Sara cannot have one with us, not just because we’re in separate hemispheres, but also because she is pregnant.)
Pimm’s is relatively low in alcohol, at about 50 proof, so that makes it perfect for day drinking! No one likes to be The Mess at 3 p.m. on a Sunday. So, my boyfriend and I mixed a few Pimm’s-and-Ginger Ales, also known as Pimm’s Cups.
Pimm’s Cups are to Wimbledon what Mint Juleps are to the Kentucky Derby, so this will give you a week to perfect your variation before the tournament begins. Wimbledon’s official caterers expect to serve about 200,000 Pimm’s this year. I’ve had about four since Saturday — and you can, too.
Tips for Lazy and Creative Boozers
• I went for 1/3 Pimm’s, 2/3 Ginger Ale over ice, but mix your own ratio to taste.
• Pimm’s Cups come in many variations, but I took Sara’s initial advice and went for ginger ale. I did a very unscientific test with three kinds: a can of Seagram’s Ginger Ale, and glass bottles of Boylan’s Ginger Ale and Reed’s Original Ginger Brew. The boyfriend preferred the Seagram’s, which is extra fizzy and not too ginger-y. I love ginger ale on an airplane, but for this particular occasion — drinks in the garden — I preferred the Reed’s, which had the strongest ginger taste. A friend preferred the Boylan’s, which was much sweeter and smoother (it’s made with cane sugar) than the other two ginger ales. Conclusion: For fizz, go for Seagram’s. For ginger, go for Reed’s (my choice). For smooth and sweet, go for Boylan’s.
• Sara said to use strawberries or cucumbers. I used strawberries AND cucumbers and it was a WIN.