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Day Three, Cocktail Four

One of the little gems that I came across about a year or so ago is Pimms #1.  I learned about Pimms and the Pimms Cup (more on the Pimms Cup in a later post) from a great book entitled “The Craft of the Cocktail” by Dale Degroff.  Pimms #1 was originally put together by James Pimm, the proprietor of a London oyster bar in the 1840’s.  His concoction was originally meant to be a digestive tonic and was based on gin flavored with various herbs, quinine and other, secret ingredients.  After the success of #1 James went on to create numbers 2 through 6, based on whiskey, brandy, rum, rye and vodka respectively.  Each was sold commercially, although all that is left today is #1, which can be found at most well stocked liquor stores.  But, I digress…

So, what does Pimms #1 taste like?  In the past I’ve described it as a cross between cola syrup and sloe gin.  As I’ve described this to others that have had it they’ve generally agreed.  It is 50 proof, so you can mix this on its own with ginger ale or lemon lime soda and have one or two more than your usual quota.

All of this is a long, roundabout way to get where I’m headed tonight.  I was out last night with my good friend and cocktail buddy Mark Stoffel.  When we got to the Hi Hat in Milwaukee’s Eastside he ordered up a couple of Pimms Marks.  This is a drink of his creation that combines rye (our new favorite of the moment), Pimms #1 and Luxardo maraschino liqueur (another favorite of the moment).  It was incredibly well balanced and delicious with multiple levels of flavor.  Well done Mark!

  Pimms Mark

  • 1-1/2 oz good rye whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Pimms #1
  • 1/2 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 1 oz bar syrup
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 2-3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters


Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with cubed ice.  Shake “like hell” (as Mark says).  Serve in a well chilled cocktail glass with a lemon zest wedge.


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