Two Great British Institutions — Photo courtesy of Felix O @SludgeGulper on Flickr Pimm's is a Great British institution, a bit like the London Bus., so it's not surprising that one of the ways to bring it to festivals in the last few years, has been via converted London buses. We Brits drink it on lazy summer days, and also, huddled under umbrellas whilst trying to remain cheerful in the face of another thing we're famous for - the rainy weather.
Perhaps I've fallen under the marketing man's spell, but it's all about that stiff upper lip, cricket white jumpers, lush green lawns, money and parties. Pimm's uses British humour and eccentricity as its byline. But today, the drink has managed to penetrate all classes of society, whilst retaining the cachet of the upper class: money, wealth and high society.
In fact though, Pimm's history is even more colourful. The drink was born in 1823, when one James Pimm, who owned an oyster bar in London, wanted to soften the taste of gin shots. He added fruit and herbs to encourage people to drink and eat more. Despite its fruitiness, Pimm's was made for men, and drunk by Great Gatsby-esque gentleman right up to the first World War, when it started to filter into the mass market.
Pimms Drink — Photo courtesy of Whitney @Whitneyinchicago on Flickr That's probably why this year's multi-coloured advert for Pimm's Drink, featuring a popular comic actor, is all about celebrating Britishness, in all its eccentricity. 'We celebrate socks with sandals,' says the headline, as colourful transvestites, and neighbours from all walks of life get ready to put on a street party, and celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
Pimm's is a long cool, refreshing fruity drink, which pubs, bars, and festival tents will be serving from May to September, and beyond if the weather holds. Strawberries, mint, cucumber and slices of orange are favoured in the mix, often made longer with lemonade or soda water.
[PHOTO_190493] Pimm's is already a little alcoholic, but it gives you the illusion of drinking something long and refreshing, so the other catch phrase 'It's Pimm's O'Clock' shouted in a suitably plummy English accent is happily trumpeted anytime from about 11am onwards! Pimm's O'Clock anyone?