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03.26.10 by  

DIY Pimm’s Cart

Bloody Mary carts…been there, done that. Let guests showcase their mixology mojo with a traveling cart of innovative mixers, cool garnishes and avant garde recipes. All you need now is a case of Pimm’s and a Sunday afternoon (don’t forget the friends).

Have you found yourself in a mixology rut? Are you bored with your sideboard and perhaps even found yourself looking in other liquor cabinets to feel excited and passionate again? Do you experience trouble sleeping, dramatic changes in appetite and difficulty concentrating on anything other than that new signature cocktail recipe your best friend introduced at dinner the other night? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, we’ve got a therapeutic treatment up our sleeve that will stop you from coveting your barstool neighbor’s drink: The Pimm’s Cart, a rolling party bar you can break out on a Tuesday night in your sweats or at your next at-home happy hour. The strategy is simple and guaranteed to keep your attention at least in the short term and push your guests a little outside their comfort zone. First, stock the cart with Pimm’s and a stash of mix-friendly ingredients, including spirits, sweeteners, spice and ice, then deck the shelves with cool glassware, garnishes and a few recipes for inspiration. With a little ingenuity, you’ll never have to experience the same punch twice, unless you want to, of course.

Pimm's Cup Cocktail

This summery Pimm's Cup is an easy entry point for those not yet sold on the cocktail. Make this your first round on the Pimm's cart, then let loose on garnishes and mixers for round two.

stock the sideboard

  • Pimm’s #1 (it’s a Pimm’s Party, buy several bottles, not just one)
  • Gin
  • Whiskey
  • Limoncello
  • Applejack
  • St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
  • Seltzer

sweeten the deal

  • Make plenty of simple syrup.
  • Add a honey-syrup.
  • If you’ve got a ginger-infused syrup, put that in the mix.

primp out your glassware

  • Collins glasses, long and tall, are the way to go with Pimm’s Cups.
  • Keep several cocktail glasses on hand, just in case, for those who like martinis.

checklist the bar tools

  • Boston Shaker, or two or three
  • Vegetable peeler for garnishing

keep it cool

  • Plenty of ice
  • Ice buckets

prep fresh produce

  • Slice several cucumbers into rounds.
  • Wash and remove the stems from a few bunches of fresh mint.
  • Wash a pint of strawberries, then slice them half lengthwise.
  • Wash at least a dozen each, lemons and limes. Then cut 1/2 into wedges for garnish and leave the other 1/2 whole for squeezing into cocktails.
  • Slice oranges into wedges.
  • Peel and cut fresh ginger into small pieces.

don’t forget the high-potency “herbs and roots”

  • Angostura bitters
  • Homemade tinctures
  • Flavored bitters, like grapefruit or celery

raid the spice rack

  • Prep a plate that people can pinch garnishes from, including cayenne pepper, fleur de sel, ground cinnamon, ginger powder.

check the pantry

  • Candied ginger is a fab garnish that can also be muddled into cocktails — a little goes a long way.

Classic Pimm’s Cup

Courtesy of Pimm’s Oyster Bar, London, circa 1840s

  • 5 ounces Pimm’s No.1
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce cane syrup
  • 1 coin fresh root ginger
  • 2 ounces chilled seltzer
  1. Muddle ginger, then add everything except seltzer. Shake hard and strain into an ice-filled highball, add seltzer.
  2. Garnish with a thinly sliced cucumber round.