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That One Thing: Pimm's & Gin

By Lotuff Leather

Lotuff’s favorite local mixologist, Willa Van Nostrand, has created the perfect summer drink. Owner of Little Bitte Cocktails, a Providence-based artisanal cocktail company, Willa conjures up fresh takes on classic recipes using house-made bitters and homegrown edible blossoms. She’s our go-to bartender for all our events- her colorful and sprightly concoctions bring something really special to the everyday. 

In collaboration with Puddingstone Post, an online haven for all aspects of the New England lifestyle, Willa writes a monthly column in addition to running her own business. Each one features a new cocktail of hers and a musing on how it came to be created, and with a combination of the herb-y British Pimm’s gin, sparkling water, and ginger lemonade, her latest recipe has us won over. 

The Pimm’s Cup No. 2

1 ounce Pimm’s No. 1
1 ounce dry gin (I chose Greenhook Ginsmiths’ variety)
2 ounces ginger lemonade (see recipe below)
sparkling water
1 cucumber, sliced in wheels (for garnish)

1 sprit of mint, fennel, or thyme (for garnish)

For the ginger-lemonade: 

5-inch section of peeled ginger

juice of 5-6 lemons

To make the ginger-lemonade: 

Make a ginger syrup by juicing or blending a 5 -inch section of fresh peeled ginger that has been diced. (If you blend the ginger, add a few tablespoons of water first to get the blender started.) Fine strain the juice into a small saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar to the pan. Over medium heat, stir intermittently while you bring the batch to a simmer, about 5 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool before using, or transfer it into a mason jar and refrigerate. (The syrup can be made ahead.) 
In a pitcher or clean bottle, add 1 cup of fresh lemon juice to 4 cups of water. Add 1 cup of ginger syrup. Stir or shake the batch and adjust taste for desired sweetness. (Remember, though, you’ll add an ounce of Pimm’s to your cocktail,

which will add another layer of herbal sweetness.)

To prepare the cocktail:

In a collins glass ¾ full of ice, add Pimm’s, gin, and fresh ginger-lemonade then top with sparkling water. Garnish with 3 cucumber slices and an herb sprig – or any seasonal fruit or blossoms. (Borage, snapdragons, nasturtium, violets, viola, pansies, and calendula blossoms all work well. Just be sure none have been treated with pesticides. Alternative citrus garnishes include lemon, lime, or orange.) Sip and enjoy. 


All photography courtesy of Willa Van Nostrand and Priscilla Weidlein. Recipe courtesy of Willa Van Nostrand.