Friday on the Rocks – It’s Pimm’s O’Clock!

Happy Friday! Just as a heat wave is broiling Chicagoland, we've been baking over here while on holiday in the UK. I might argue that we are a bit worse off here, as so far I've found air conditioning only in the chemist's shop. Another thing that you generally won't find here is window screens, so while windows are open to let in cool breezes, they also let in nasty biting black flies. Nights have been sweltering, but given that last year there was about three sunny summer days in total, you won't find me complaining while we're here. It's gorgeous outside in the garden.

Now, when you say “British summer” to me, generally, two things come to mind:

  • English Strawberries


  • A tall, cold glass of Pimm's.


Pimm's might be one of those things that you've heard of but likely might not stumble across in the US unless you hang around with a bunch of Anglophiles. In fact, when the first signs of summer appeared, I headed off in search of a bottle at the one place I knew for sure would have it: Binny's.

However, once in the store, I couldn't quite find it. I also couldn't answer the shopkeeper's simple question: What IS it? (We found it, after he went back to the office to look up it's location in the store: hint, it was by the bitters and liquers.)

Funny, too…when I asked around here “What IS Pimm's?”, the answer, after a slight incline to the head, and a ponder, was “why, it's just PIMM'S“. (Ok, according to the bottle it's a gin-based drink made a secret mixture of herbs and liqueurs. Yes, that is much more helpful is it not? Not.)

What it IS is very light and refreshing, and tasty…and unusual. And I think you really should try some. So according to the instructions I was given when I first moved here some odd 4 years ago:

Get a nice tall glass. Or a pitcher, so you can share. Add some ice to your glass/pitcher. (No, it's not very British, but only my shoes are these days…and it's hot outside.)

Mix 1 part PIMM'S No.1 with 3 parts chilled lemonade (lemon-lime soda for all us Yanks, I prefer something less sweet, like 7-UP) – glass or pitcher, the measure is the same.

Next, add some mint, cucumber slices, orange slices and strawberries. They are essential (particularly the mint), so don't leave it out!


I like to think of it as the British equivalent of Sangria! Now, get out the badminton or lawn bowling (bocce) set, sit back in your garden (backyard), and enjoy!



  1. What about the ginger ale? I always thought it was one part Pimms, one part lemonade (as we say in Australia too) & one part dry ginger ale. 😉 That’s what was served at my wedding anyway, perhaps its changed after all these years. Either way, very yummy.

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