Welcome to July, the month in which we celebrate freedom, independence, our country, and our culture. Whether you’re commemorating with a day at the beach, a backyard barbecue, or a park picnic, you’ll want to toast the season with this cooling “poptail.”
The Pimm’s Cup, typically made with cucumbers, oranges, and/or strawberries, is a quintessential summer libation: easy drinking, low-proof, and incredibly refreshing. It’s also ripe for variations. Try adding seasonal fruit, creating a large batch for entertaining, or freezing them for a refreshing treat.
Here, I’ve outlined the recipe for the original Pimm’s Cup, followed by the poptail version from my new cocktail book Low-Proof Happy Hour (Countryman Press, 2021). With the traditional base of Pimm’s, lemon, and ginger flavors, this frozen sip gets an additional kick from the unexpected crimson peppercorn syrup. Adorn your cup with fresh berries, citrus, green apple, borage, or mint and cucumber. It should look like a veritable summer-fruit salad!
Pimm’s Cup Ingredients
2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
Lemon-lime soda to top
In a Collins glass, add the Pimm’s, lemon juice, and simple syrup and stir. Add ice. Top with the lemon-lime soda and stir gently to mix. Try adding a few dashes of bitters or substituting with ginger beer to add a little kick and complexity to the mix.
Pimm’s Pop Ingredients
(makes 10 pops)
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup ginger tea, brewed and cooled
1 cup hibiscus and pink peppercorn syrup (right)
1 1/4 cup Pimm’s No. 1
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
5 strawberries, hulled and quartered
Fresh mint leaves
Combine the lemon juice, tea, syrup, and Pimm’s. Add a mixture of sliced cucumbers, strawberries, and fresh mint into each ice pop mold and top with the Pimm’s mixture. Insert wooden sticks into the molds and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Hibiscus and Pink Peppercorn Syrup
(makes 2 cups)
1 cup water
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup hibiscus tea or dried flowers
4 tsp. pink peppercorn
Combine the ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat. Let steep for 20 minutes, until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Strain into a sealable glass container. The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.