by Sheila Swerling-Puritt
It's high summer in the Great White North. Warm temperatures and long hours of sunshine are the perfect climatic conditions for fruit-laden drinks. Your choices include cocktails brimming with fresh fruit, mixed drinks containing some delicious fruit wines, or tall drinks that contain pomegranate, the fastest-growing fruit juice flavour in our market.
The classic drink in which to use wonderful fresh summer fruit is the "Pimm's Cup." Pimm's, almost as entrenched in British culture as the pint down at the local, was invented in the 1840's by James Pimm, the owner of an oyster bar in the City of London. The recipe for this gin-based drink, a 50-proof liqueur infused with fruits, a secret blend of quinine, spices and herbs, is known only to the "Secret Six" the six top people at Pimm's. Originally offered as an aid to digestion, the drink was originally served in a small tankard, the "cup," eventually garnished with vegetation which included cucumbers, mint, sliced apples, and oranges. It tastes delicious, but don't be fooled, the effect of the second one not only sneaks up on you, it can pack a wallop!
"Pimm's No. 1" (there are 6, but only the gin-based No. 1 is available in Canada), dark golden-brown in color, tastes of citrus fruits and spices. It is either served on the rocks or my preference used in long, tall cocktails.
How do you make a Pimm's Cup?
In a tall, chilled glass with plenty of ice, two parts lemonade (or Ginger Ale, 7-up or Sprite) to one part Pimm's is fairly standard. In almost all versions, you will find a spear of cucumber, sprig(s) of mint, and, a slice of orange, lemon, and apple. (I think the cucumber adds a very special flavour to the drink.)
While the traditional Pimm's Cup is still my favourite, I also enjoy using pomegranate juice (or one of the cherry or blueberry blends), which is in the process of taking over the cranberry niche:
- 1½ oz. of Pimm's
- 2 oz. of chilled Pom Pomegranate/Cherry juice (which you can find in most grocery stores)
Pour over ice in a lowball glass and garnish with a sprig of mint. If you prefer a long, tall drink, use a highball glass, add ice and top up with chilled cranberry juice.Garnish with an apple slice. Bet you won't be satisfied with just one of these!
If you're looking for a drink that has intense colour and is not too sweet, this just might be the answer:
Pom & Circumstance
- 2 oz. Absolute Raspberri Vodka
- ½ oz. Soho Lychee Liqueur
- ¼ oz. Grand Marnier Liqueur
- 3 oz. Pom Pomegranate/Cherry juice
- ¼ wedge of lime (juice)
- Garnish: fresh raspberry and a cherry or a slice of fresh lime
- Mix all the ingredients into a shaker filled with ice cubes.
- Add lime juice. Shake well. Strain into a large chilled martini or cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a raspberry and a cherry.
Archibald's "Cider House" Apple & Black Currant Sangria
- 1 750 mL bottle Apple Black Currant wine
- 1 750 mL bottle Hard Cider
- 1 orange cut into 1/8" slices
- 1 lemon cut into 1/8" slices
- Combine orange and lemon slices with wine and cider in a large glass jug.
- Stir for several minutes.
- Cover andrefrigerate for at least 46 hours or overnight.
- Serve over ice. Garnish with sliced peaches, strawberries or other seasonal fruit.
If the fruit wine is not available locally, you can always obtain more information about how to obtain these wonderful fruit wines from Archibald's by emailing www.archibalds-estatewinery.on.ca.
For more information, you can contact Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org.