DOTW: Pimm’s Cup

Posted by Anita on 07.18.08 6:36 AM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**Few of our friends can believe that two people as obsessed with food and drink as we are have never been to New Orleans before. But it’s true: This week is our inaugural — although I think it’s safe to say definitely not our last — adventure in the City that Care Forgot.

When Cameron mentioned at poker night last week that we were heading to New Orleans, our friend Dave’s eyes lit up. If there’s a San Franciscan who loves NOLA more than Dave, I sure don’t know him. He and his crew of roving debauchés have made their way to the Crescent City at least once a year for the past 11 years.

He sent us a 1,000-word-plus email, jammed with his favorite places and treats, devoting an entire paragraph (after 10 others on more-obscure offerings) just to the touristy French Quarter food & drink experiences that are actually worth the trouble:

“Get a cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe du Monde! Eat a muffaletta from Central Grocery on Decatur Street! Shoot oysters at Acme Oyster House! Get late-night eats and abuse from flaming waiters at Clover Grill! And drink a Pimm’s cup at Napoleon House bar!”

So, never one to pass up good advice, we hopped over to Napoleon House for lunch yesterday. We sat ourselves down amid glorious decrepitude and a century’s worth of graffiti, and ordered up a round of Pimm’s, a half a muffaletta, and a roast-beef po’boy. Ancient ceiling fans rotated overhead as bow-tied waiters shuttled between table, bar, and patio. Mid-meal, our Seattle cadre wandered in from the sidewalk swelter, followed closely by a friend from the other side of the continent. No fools, these drinkers: It was Pimm’s for everyone; tall, cool, and fast.

The Pimm’s Cup is our entry for this month’s Mixology Monday — aptly honoring the fine city of New Orleans, and even more aptly hosted by MxMo’s founder, Paul of Cocktail Chronicles. Now, frankly, I’m not sure how this quintessential English picnic drink became such a New Orleans standard. But if there were a Jeopardy! category called “Drinks of the Big Easy”, it’d be right there in the middle of the board, below the Hurricane, the Ramos Fizz, and the Sazerac, but above the Vieux Carre, the Obituary, and the La Louisiane. No matter the reason for its iconic status, it’s certainly a long, cool refresher that makes a potent antidote to the sticky New Orleans weather, and it’s known as a respectable option for daytime drinking… a pastime in which the Crescent City excels.

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**

Pimm’s Cup
- Napoleon House, New Orleans
Food & Wine Cocktails 2008

1-1/2 oz Pimm’s No. 1
2-1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1-1/2 oz chilled lemon soda (preferably French-style ‘lemonade’, but 7up will do)
cucumber wheel, for garnish

Mixology Monday badgeAdd the Pimm’s, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well, straining into an ice-filled colling glass. Stir in the soda, and garnish with the cucumber wheel.

bar culture, Drink of the Week, Mixology Monday, New Orleans, recipes, Tales of the Cocktail



Comment by Loulou

Oh, now I’m craving one. Especially from the Napoleon House. I absolutely love that place!

Posted on 07.18.08 at 8:18AM

Comment by missginsu

*Love* the pimm’s cup. But I insist on both cucumber and lemon slices. There’s something weirdly magic about cucumber alongside lemon on this drink.

Miss G.

Posted on 07.18.08 at 1:03PM

Comment by dietsch

Hm. The recipe from F&W doesn’t match what’s on Napolean’s website:

The F&W looks better, so that’s what I’m trying. Still no clue what to blog for MxMo, dammit.

Posted on 07.20.08 at 2:58PM

Comment by Anita

Yup, I noticed the mis-match too. Of course, the F&W book editors take their liberties, often (as I suspect in this case) for the better. I can vouch that the homemade versions we whipped up for the top photo are much better than the ones we all had chez Napoleon.

Posted on 07.21.08 at 8:52AM

Comment by s

I lived in London for 5 years and admit to becoming a bit enamored with Pimm’s.

I was surprised how… little…. is in this recipe for the drink. In England (well, at least in L.) they put cucumber, strawberries, mint and a little lemon in it as well.

Mining for these gems was the most fun, I can’t imagine such a bare naked Pimm’s being as good – albeit perhaps original… I am a bit disappointed that I fell in love with a bastardized version…

Posted on 07.23.08 at 5:56AM

Comment by iris

I’m so glad to see your post on liqurious! i love pimms cup! without even reading the caption i knew it was pimms from its lovely color. being abroad in england for a year has changed me. I keep a bottle at all times!x

Posted on 07.23.08 at 6:19PM

Comment by Joan

I hadn’t had Pimm’s Cup in quite a while and had forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder. I had a chance to try your recipe tonight and it was lovely. Very nice for a sunny late afternoon at the coast.

Posted on 07.23.08 at 10:23PM

Comment by Kathy Casey

The cucumber is a perfect addition to cool you down on a hot summer’s night. Thanks!

Posted on 07.24.08 at 12:15PM

Comment by Dave

Nelson’s muffaletta is even better than Central Grocery’s or Napoleon House’s.
I wonder if he makes a good Pimm’s Cup, though?

Posted on 07.24.08 at 5:05PM

Comment by Cynthia

Love the Napoleon House and “decrepitude” is the perfect word for it. It’ sort of fraying around the edges.

Posted on 07.25.08 at 10:44AM

Comment by Tana

Forget roast beef: get a deep-fried oyster po’ boy! You will never forget it. Da best!!

Posted on 07.27.08 at 4:26PM

Pingback by The Cocktail Chronicles » MxMo New Orleans Wrapup: Two-fisted style

[...] Our good friends Cameron and Anita at Married…With Dinner indulged in a drink that I know many Tales attendees enjoyed in great quantity: the Pimm’s Cup. Pointing out that this is actually a quintessential British drink, Anita and Cameron nevertheless ward off the heat of the day with a tall Pimm’s Cup at the Napoleon House on Chartres Street, aka muffaletta-and-Pimm’s Central. [...]

Posted on 07.29.08 at 4:42PM

Comment by Joan

Have you ever used borage leaves instead of the cucumber in Pimm’s cup? I learned that used to be part of the recipe when I was looking up things to do with borage. We are going to be receiving some borage in our CSA share this week and I’m not familiar with it.

Posted on 07.29.08 at 7:25PM

Comment by Tiare

In our retarded (Boozewise)country we just have got Pimm´s in the shop..time for me to make a Pimm´s cup!

Posted on 07.29.08 at 9:40PM

Comment by BB

Being an Anglophile and a New Orleanian, this drink is a perfect cultural marriage. Thanks for the recommendation.

Posted on 08.01.08 at 11:51AM

Comment by Mares

Pimms cup does need to have strawberries, lemon, some mint as well as cucumber. It’s not the same thing without all of them.

Posted on 10.09.08 at 12:18PM

Comment by CH

While living in NOLA, I used to work as the Brand Manager for Pimm’s. One of the simplest ways to enjoy it is to simply mix with ginger ale over ice. Cucumbers or not, Pimm’s is one of my favorite quaffs!

Posted on 10.22.08 at 3:00PM

Comment by jazzyb

Napoleon House’s recipe calls for 3oz lemonade. F&W uses 2 1/2 oz lemon juice w/ 1oz simple syrup=lemonade. Essentially the same. Tried one at NH (I’m a NOLA local)and prefer mine:
2 oz Pimms
1 oz homemade sour mix (fresh lemon, lime, simple syrup)
4 oz gingerale
cucumber slice

For a light version with no discernable loss of flavor, sweeten sour mix w/ splenda or sweet/low, use sugar free gingerbeer or gingerale.

Posted on 05.10.09 at 10:12AM

Comment by Anita

Years on down the road, I will agree wholeheartedly that more garnish = good (especially strawberries) and that ginger ale is a very acceptable alternative to the sparkling lemonade.

Posted on 06.22.10 at 2:46PM

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