It’s almost that time. On Saturday morning, we can watch Meghan Markle say “yes” to the dress (and Prince Harry) and become a princess.
For a few weeks, my inbox has been pinged with PR ideas for a royal wedding cocktail. I noticed a theme to many of those drinks: Gin, or rosé Champagne, or both — pretty pink cocktails to mirror the roses and peonies that might fill St George’s Chapel.
So, as a former British barmaid, I came up with my own.
I considered the elderflower-based liqueur St-Germain to match the royal lemon-elderflower wedding cake. For me, though, toasting the Brits boils down to one of two things: A pint of ale, or the brick-hued liqueur with a smooth-spicy personality, Pimm’s.
Pimm’s has been around since at least 1840, when Queen Victoria occupied the throne and a guy named James Pimm began pouring it as a digestive in his London oyster bar. His first blend, Pimm’s No. 1, is basically gin blended with citrus and botanicals, and its recipe has always remained a secret. Pimm’s went on to roll out Pimm’s No. 2, No. 3 and so on, each with different bases (brandy, Scotch etc.) But it’s Pimm’s No. 1 that has endured.
The classic Pimm’s drink is a Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, essentially Pimm’s and sparkling lemonade (a U.K. bar staple) garnished with mint and cucumber. However, I love Pimm’s with ginger beer and a twist of lime, kind of a Pimm’s mule. And because Pimm’s is only 50 proof, it’s light enough to be a breakfast cocktail. Because, you know, the royal nuptials start at 7 a.m. our time.
(Pimm’s is easy enough to find, will set you back around $22, and is a keeper for summer drinking).
NEWSDAY’S ROYAL WAKEY WAKEY
2 ounces Pimm’s
Half a lime
Sprig of mint and ribbon of cucumber
Fill a tumbler or Collins glass with ice. Pour in Pimm’s and ginger beer, and stir. Spritz over with lime juice and garnish with mint and cucumber.