8 Places to Celebrate the 2014 Wimbledon Championships with a Pimm's Cup in D.C.
It seems almost impossible to imagine that there could be any other world class sports tournament happening during World Cup madness. But this week, the world’s reigning tennis masters will match up for two weeks of on-court battles. You may have heard of the classic British cocktail, the Pimm’s Cup — a cool and refreshing mix of Pimm’s No.1, lemonade and cucumber — but did you know it’s the official drink of Wimbledon?
Pimm’s, the rust-colored gin-based liqueur (a somewhat secret mix of herbs, botanicals, fruit, and quinine) was born in the UK in the 19th century as a digestive aid. It turned out to be intoxicatingly refreshing, and quickly gained in popularity. The very first Pimm’s Bar opened at the 1971 Wimbledon Championship, and the rest is tennis history: over 80,000 pints of Pimm’s cocktails are consumed at the tournament each year. Check out our roundup of where to find this most British of summer coolers.
The Brixton: This three-story British-styled bar serves up a refreshingly simple and classic Pimm’s Cup (on their beautiful rooftop no less), made only of key ingredients: Pimm’s No. 1, Fentiman’s lemonade, and English cucumber. They’ll also mix up some other British inspired cocktails for you like the Riot Sling, with Gordon’s London Dry Gin, lemon, honey, Harney & Sons Earl Grey, and ginger beer. (901 U St NW; 202-560-5045)
The Passenger: Passenger’s take on Pimm’s Cup goes beyond the traditional by adding Seagram’s gin, lemon juice and Blenheim ginger ale. The extra gingery Blenheims give the drink a peppery bite that pairs well with the cooling muddled cucumber. (1021 7th Street NW:202-393-0220)
The Tabard Inn: One of D.C.’s most romantic spots, Tabard Inn is the perfect place to relax and dream of an English holiday. Their Pimm’s Cup features fresh-squeezed citrus, ginger, and soda. Try the Salvation cocktail too, made with the U.K.’s Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Crème de Violette, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, fresh lemon, and sage. (1739 N Street NW; 202-785-1277)
Bar Pilar: Though this bar pays homage to author Ernest Hemingway and his favorite places—Cuba, the Caribbean and the Keys—their expert bartenders know their way around a British cocktail. The Pilar version uses house-made ginger syrup and adds a twist with mint and orange slices. (1833 14th Street NW; 202-265-1751)
Peacock Cafe: Georgetown’s Peacock Cafe serves up a version called the Pimp’s Cup with fresh-squeezed lemonade and diced cucumber— think of it like a Wimbledon sangria. (251 Prospect St NW; 202-625-2740)
The Queen Vic: To really feel like you’re on the streets of London, head to this H St. British pub which serves up classics like fish & chips and bangers & mash. Order up a Pimm’s Cup or a pint of one of their many British beers on tap from Newcastle Brown Ale to Old Speckled Hen English Ale. (1206 H Street NE; 202-396-2001)
Mandu: For a Korean twist on a British standard, try Mandu’s Kim’s Cup made with ginger ale, and a muddled orange, fernet and bitters ice cube. The fernet, an aromatic spirit usually made with myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, and aloe, gives the cocktail a spicy kick. (1805 18th St NW; 202-588-1540)
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace: What would you call a Pimm’s Cup served at an oyster bar? A Pearl Cup, of course. Pearl Dive’s version is made Pimms No. 1, Plymouth Gin, cucumber, lime, mint, and house ginger beer, and is served in a copper cup. (1612 14th St NW; 202-986-8778)
Tags: Cocktails, Sports