Homemade Pimms

Nothing brings in summer like a cool refreshing glass of Pimms. This Homemade Pimms is delicious and great fun to have a bash at.

Homemade Pimms

Last week I had a helluva time fine tuning my Homemade Pimms recipe let me tell you. Exhausting taste testings were happening at all hours of the day just so I could get the recipe extra right. It was essential that these taste testings happened in the garden as well, when the sun was just so, to guarantee the drink would work perfectly in an authentic environment. Even when I was ultra sure that the balance of sweetness from my cucumber, lemon verbena and mint syrup was exactly correct and the blend of the gin, vermouth, orange curacao and aperol complimented each other impeccably, well, then started the road testing of all the mixers. I cannot tell a lie, it was a very trying week, and did not at all involve getting terribly merry in the middle of the working week for kicks. It was extremely hard work. You can thank me later.

Homemade Pimms

Pimms is the best-known brand of summer fruit cup and it has become synonymous with the cocktail. It was invented in 1823 by James Pimm at The Oyster Bay in Lombard Street, London and was the first mass-produced summer fruit cup. Before then pubs and households just used to make their own blend, consisting of an alcohol base, usually gin, infused with herb and fruit extracts, then topped with a mixer to create a long drink. These days we are completely reliant on trusty old Pimms to herald our barbecues, sports days and of course Wimbledon, and why not, it’s a best seller for a reason.

Homemade Pimms

It has been very important for me to get a good homemade version of the summer cup on the go. It’s absolutely quintessential this time of year and should you run out mid-barbecue it can incite riots amongst even the most polite members of middle England. A social gathering throughout the months of May-September would not be worthy of this country should Pimms not be involved and the great thing about it is how healthy it is. You should stuff as much fruit into your huge plastic jugs as you possibly can as then it has the added benefit of counting as part of your five a day, and that’s not even being facetious, like when you’re swigging back the sunny d and claiming it’s all for the greater good. In the early 1800s when summer cups were at the most popular they were sold as having health benefits, and I don’t see why we need to quibble, they all lived to a ripe old age back then didn’t they?

Homemade Pimms

Making your own Pimms is extremely easy; it begins with an infused sugar syrup. All you need to do is add equal quantities of sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved, then tuck in mint leaves, lemon verbena and cucumber, which are the quintessential flavours to a summer cup. Simmer for a couple of minutes then take off the heat to infuse for an hour or so. This sugar syrup is then the base to which you add the alcohol, it just takes the edge of the potent concoction and sparks up notes of summer before you have even mixed it with all the fruit. The recipe for the syrup below is slightly too much for the amount of summer cup I made, I would have reduced the quantities for you, but making extra is a huge boon as I have been experimenting with this syrup in my drinks left, right and centre. It turns out it is pretty versatile, but the most successful use of it has been drizzling a bit in the bottom of a glass of prosecco to make the most summery bellini you could ever imagine. It’s definitely worth making the syrup for this purpose alone.

I didn’t want my Pimms to be as sweet as the commercial stuff so I was a bit restrained when adding the sugar syrup. I also achieved a more personal blend by adding a splosh more gin that a traditional recipe might include and also a little spritz of aperol which just grabs you just at the end.

Homemade Pimms

Now, the main issue I have when drinking Pimms out and about is not the drink itself but the mixer that it generally paired with – commercial lemonade. It’s just too sweet for me and I can usually just about manage a whole glass before I’m done. I much prefer the taste of the other traditional mixer, ginger ale, but even that can be a bit sweet towards the end of the glass, particularly when you have reached the booze soaked strawberries. After my trials and tribulations going through all the mixers last week I had two absolute standouts. My preferred mixer was half ginger ale (preferably Fever tree) and half tonic water (ditto). Or, my personal favourite, if you want to go completely off piste, was when I paired the summer cup with iced tea. For me, it had the perfect levels of sweetness and refreshing vitality. I find the best ratio of any of your preferred mixer is 1 part summer cup to 3 parts mixer.

The final step is to make a huge jug of the stuff, fill with ice and a fruit salad of your choice, but the absolute necessities to include are cucumber, strawberries and fresh mint. The latter of which you must leave whole, there is nothing worse that picking bits of chopped mint out of your teeth when you’re trying to have a civilised conversation. Although feel free to add any other fruit you fancy as anything else is just fruity gravy.

Homemade Pimms

I urge you to experiment with your own summer cup this summer and you’ll grow even more fond of this most cherished British summertime tradition.

Homemade Pimms

Nothing brings in summer like a cool refreshing glass of Pimms. This homemade version is delicious and great fun to have a bash at.
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: British
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 590

Ingredients

For the cucumber mint syrup:

  • 250 ml water
  • 250 ml white sugar
  • ½ cucumber
  • tiny handful lemon verbena
  • 2 sprigs apple mint

For the Pimms:

  • 300 ml Gin
  • 200 ml Red Vermouth Martini Rosso
  • 100 ml Orange Curacao Triple Sec
  • 1 tbsp Aperol
  • 200 ml summer cup syrup

For mixing:

  • Either lemonade, ginger ale, tonic water or iced tea

For serving:

  • Strawberries, mint leaves and cucumber
  • Slices of orange, apple, lemon and other fruits are optional

Instructions

  • To make the syrup, heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Add the other ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside the saucepan to cool and the flavours to infuse for 1-2 hours. Strain then decant the syrup into a jar, you won’t need all of it for the recipe.
  • Mix 200ml of the syrup with the alcohol, stirring it all together well. Decant into a jar until you are ready to drink it.
  • Make up with 1 part summer cup to 3 parts mixer, plenty of ice and lots of mint, cucumber and chopped fruit.
  • The summer cup will keep happily in your drinks cabinet for the whole of the summer, not that mine lasted the week.

Nutrition

Calories: 590kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 68mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Salmon Tartare

A light refreshing salmon tartare which works excellently as an appetiser on an avocado cucumber salad. No-cook with about 10 minutes of prep. An easy dish and perfect if you are on the Whole30 or eating paleo.

Sesame Salmon Tartare
This sesame salmon tartare is a wonderful example of a carb free, sugar free and dairy free recipe which is just so satisfying and bounteous with all kinds of levels of flavour. It seems a bit fancy but it is really just a gussied up salad with no more skill required than just a bit of chopping and stirring. But then you taste it and you come right back to fancy again.

When you think of eating raw fish you tend to think of sushi or ceviche which can sound a bit clever and terrifying. However, this Salmon Tartare is anything but, just as long as you trust the fish source.

This recipe lies more on the ceviche side than the sushi side as the lime juice in the marinade ‘cooks’ the fish. The salmon is absolutely delicious on its own with a definite hint of umami but with the addition of lightly dressed cucumber and naked avocado it becomes a proper event. It’s the kind of food that requires you to sit at the table and savour every mouthful. Don’t skimp on the sesame seed garnish either, if you can’t get hold of the black sesames just use the white ones, as they provide such a welcome delicate crunch to compliment the soft salmon and the creamy avocado.

Ingredients for the Salmon Marinade

Once you’ve diced the salmon, making sure you remove all the tiny bones then you just need to marinade it 4 ingredients whisked up:

  • lime juice
  • sesame oil
  • coconut aminos
  • red chilli

Salmon Marinade | Stroud Green Larder

Salmon Tartare | Stroud Green Larder

Whilst the salmon is marinating you can prepare the salad which is just diced cucumber and avocado.

TIP: remove the cucumber seeds. It makes the salad more robust and not as watery.

Sesame Salmon Tartare | Stroud Green Larder

If you make this Salmon Tartare then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Salmon Tartare

A light refreshing salmon tartare which works excellently as an appetiser on an avocado cucumber salad
Prep Time30 mins
Course: Appetiser
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 394

Ingredients

  • 350 g salmon fillet skin removed
  • 3 limes juiced
  • 25 ml sesame oil
  • 25 ml coconut aminos
  • 1 red chilli sliced thinly
  • 2 avocados
  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds lightly toasted

Instructions

  • In a medium sized bowl mix together the lime juice, sesame oil, coconut aminos and chilli.
  • Then dice the salmon into small cubes and submerge into the marinade. Stir everything together so the marinade can fully absorb into the salmon then put cling film over the top and place into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel, de-stone and slice the avocado thinly, arrange it at the bottom of your serving dishes.
  • Then prepare the dressing for the cucumber by mixing together the rice vinegar and olive oil.
  • Peel and scoop out the seeds from the cucumber. Dice it very finely then add it to the dressing, mixing it all up thoroughly. Pile the cucumber on top of the avocado on your serving dishes.
  • Then arrange your salmon on top and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

Notes

  • If you can't get hold of black sesame seeds then just use all white sesame seeds.

Nutrition

Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 1055mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 42.1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1.9mg