There are lots of things you will undoubtedly miss from home as an Expat. At some point you will hanker after foods that you didn’t actually eat very much back in the UK either, don’t ask me why. And there will be people who tell you to forget all that, and to embrace the food-stuffs from your host nation instead – which we have done to a certain extent (and it’s done no end of wonders for my cooking skills when trying to recreate stuff from home too these past four years to be honest!)… But there will always be a few exceptions to the rule I am afraid, and along with real tea, decent cheddar and proper bacon, when it comes to a hot and sunny day, as an English person it’s not really summer without the occasional jug of Pimms – that quintessentially British summer drink, traditionally served with sliced strawberries, cucumber, a little orange and some borage. Except we can’t buy it here, it’s almost the end of Strawberry season, and you try finding the word in German for borage let alone the actual herb itself…
But never fear, I have a little secret passed on to me by a very lovely boss I once had. I always seemed to do well with bosses. One of my first summer jobs was in a dairy, bottling milk at the age of 16! That particular boss was a real character and used to “wake us up” with a shot of whisky in our coffees at 5am in the morning… My most recent boss would spoil me with exquisite Birthday and Christmas presents, which were always welcome. But the boss who passed on this very valuable recipe went on to become a good family friend… So, if you can’t get hold of the real stuff, here’s how to almost recreate it at home (thanks Karen!) – cheat’s Pimms if you will…
2 parts Gin
2 parts Red Vermouth
1 Part Orange Curacao (or Triple Sec!)
Ice, strawberries, cucumber, orange, mint.
Mix together, dilute to your preference with lemonade (we usually measure one part spirits to four parts Lemonade)…
Obviously the version above contains raspberries, mint, orange and blueberries, not at all traditional – but needs must. And, as an added bonus the frozen blueberries provided a kind of “novelty decoration” as they spent the entire time sinking to the bottom and then rising to the top again! Recreating an English Summer abroad and not a rain drop in sight!
Fiona Watson says
I just discovered your blog. This recipe sounds amazing, I will be trying it this summer! Looking forward to reading more of your expat posts.
Thanks Fiona… This is one recipe that gets made a lot in this house in the summer! :)
Why has it taken me so long to read this?
Sounds so simple – and imagine wowing a party with actual homemade pimms!
converted. thank you.
Cin cin! :D x
Looks delicious, will have to come up with a non alcoholic version.
I like Mary’s suggestion below with the balsamic vinegar! Let me know what it tastes like! :)
Helen The good life mum says
Cheers lovely lady
Why thank you! Cheers! :)
That sounds amazing – and the photo looks so tempting. I’m not a big drinker but looks perfect for warm summer nights.
Thanks Rebecca! :)
Cakesphotoslife (Angie) says
Sounds so refreshing…bottoms Up! x
Thanks Angie! :) x
We had a barbecue for friends at the weekend and instead of Pimm’s, my usual summer tipple, I had Aperol and Hugo spritzers thanks to you and our Austrian holiday and the fact that Sainsbury’s stock Aperol. The winner was the Hugo but both went down very well.
We have masses of raspberries in the garden at the moment so if you have any recipes that use them, let me know. A punnet’s worth ripens every day so I have little and often!
I feel like Nic-O-Teen but more like Alcohol-lene after reading this! :D I am so pleased Sainsbury’s stocks Aperol, I would miss it when we eventually moved home otherwise… The raspberries sound amazing… Have you ever tried making Nigella’s quick raspberry jam? Involves raspberries, a bag of sugar and a hot oven?? Then you could make the Bakewell Tart on here! :D (under Nostalgia tart I think!)… :)
Trish - Mum's Gone to says
Ooh thanks for the suggestions. I made some raspberry jam last year but overcooked it so couldn’t get the stuff out of the jar afterwards! I did make some fab white chocolate and raspberry ‘blondies’ this weekend too. Will look at your tart then….what are you like, encouraging me to drink and now to overeat on cake!
Love the sound of those blondies! I know, I know… sorry! I am a bad influence! :D
I’m yet to taste a version of Pimms that I actually like. I think I struggle with having fruit in a drink. Think I might just stick with beloved whiskey when I’m feeling the need for something a little stronger (which is quite rare nowadays).
I wonder if you will be needing Whiskey at all what with the move in the next few weeks though hey?!?!? :D
jenny paulin says
oh wow i love how you have created a mock pimms! it looks jst as it should be in your photo. cheers! x
Thanks Jenny! :)
I felt homesick when we lived in Jersey – and I know what you mean about craving foods you didn’t even eat much in the UK. Glad to see you’re doing what you can to recreate a bit of home. Cheers x
Thanks Donna… An odd feeling isn’t it? :)
Actually Mummy... says
I never knew it was that simple! Why would I buy the branded stuff again, knowing I can mix my own? Very classy :)
Thank you! Needs must and all that! :D
Emma @mummymummymum says
ooooh that looks delicious. I do love a glass of Pimms. x
Thanks Emma! :) x
I wil definitely be trying this – you can’t have a Summer night in the garden without Pimms x
Precisely Cass, precisely! Thank you! :)
Jenny from Cheetahs In My Shoes and Just Photos By Me says
Next project will be replicating Winter Pimms! Sounds delicious and like it requires the contents of my granny’s drinks cabinet which I recall was always full of things with strange names!
Thanks Jenny! You can’t beat an elderly relative’s drinks cabinet! Snow ball anyone? :)
Very Bored in Catalunya says
Your recipe sounds great. I’ve still got half a bottle left that my mum bought over early in the year, I must remember to drink it as I don’t think it keeps too well.
Is the sun out? You know what to do! :D
Chin chin! Looks divine!
Prost! :) Thank you…
It is fun trying to recreate our favorites from home!! I have never heard of Pimms before, but it looks and sounds wonderfully tasty!!
I am so with you on not being able to find decent cheddar in Germany – did find some at Lidl the other day, Irish cheddar. I just don’t know why they don’t keep it year round.
Thanks Marianne… It’s worth a try! And thank goodness for Lidl’s what would we do without it? :D
Elinor - Beachhutcook says
Perfect alternative to Pimms (perhaps better?). When I lived in Germany, I used to miss Lloyd Grosman’s sauces for some reason! I used to buy loads on trips back to UK. Now back in the UK, I shop in Aldi’s and long for quark and leberkase! Elinor x
It tastes almost the same… Thanks Elinor! :D So funny what we miss from home, and then miss from our host country when we get back. I will always miss the great big Danish Pastries though, nothing like the atrocities we get in the UK! :D
Jan Czekirda says
Now I am keener than ever to try! Sounds wonderful – lets hope the weather holds a little longer for us. Really interested in seeing the frozen blueberries at work. Can you even get borage any more?! My first job was as an Assistant Manageress at a very posh hotel in Oxfordshire where our signature cocktails were the full range of Pimms Numbers. Dont know if its even possible to buy these in England any more! Maybe you should look at replicating these as well!
Pimms No 1 – Gin
Pimms No 2 – Scotch Whiskey
Pimms No 3 – Brandy
Pimms No 4 – Rum
Pimms No 5 – Rye Whiskey
Pimms No 6 – Vodka
UPDATE -after looking on the internet it seems only 1,3 and 6 are still available!
I had no idea about the other numbers – you learn something new everyday! And yes, we have the concoction put by, we shall drink it even if it’s snowing! :D PS. you can get borage, I just haven’t seen it here! :)
Mary Keynko says
Have you ever done the alcohol free version? excellent for parties when someone has to drive (and is free on slimming world!) A bottle of diet lemonade and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar – mix together – add the fruit – yummy!
Wow, hadn’t heard of that, thank you Mary! :)
Oh that is fantastic – I am now very jealous, although it does (touch wood) seem to be a sunny day today.
Quick get some made! Thank you! :D