A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 20, 2008
Southwestern Pimm’s Cup (cocktail)

Southwestern Pimm’s Cup is a Texas twist of an old cocktail, invented at the Liberty Bar in San Antonio in the 1980s. The drink contains Pimm’s No. 1, Ruby Red grapefruit juice and nopalitos (nopal cactus pieces).


Wikipedia: Pimm’s
Pimm’s is a brand of alcoholic beverages now owned by Diageo. Its most popular product is Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, a gin-based beverage that can be served both on ice or in cocktails. The recipe of Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is secret; it has a dark tea colour with a reddish tint, and tastes subtly of spice and citrus fruit.

Pimm’s is most common in Britain, particularly Southern England. It is one of the two staple drinks at Wimbledon, the Henley Royal Regatta and the Glyndebourne opera festival, the other being champagne. As a result Pimm’s has the reputation of being a drink for the upper class.

Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is the essential ingredient in the Pimm’s Cup, which mixes one part Pimm’s No.1 with three parts lemonade or lemon soda (sometimes ginger ale or Indian tonic water), ice cubes, borage leaves (nowadays a wedge of cucumber is usually substituted for this ingredient), mint leaves and slices of lemon, orange and strawberry.

There are five other Pimm’s products besides No.1. The essential difference among them is the base alcohol used to produce them:
Pimm’s No. 1 Cup is based on gin. It is 25% alcohol by volume.
Pimm’s No. 2 Cup was based on whisky. Currently phased out.
Pimm’s No. 3 Cup is based on brandy. Phased out, but a version infused with spices and orange peel marketed as Pimm’s Winter Cup is now seasonally available.
Pimm’s No. 4 Cup was based on rum. Currently phased out.
Pimm’s No. 5 Cup was based on rye. Currently phased out.
Pimm’s No. 6 Cup is based on vodka. It is still produced, but in small quantities.

Pimm’s No. 1 can also be purchased as a pre-mixed fortified lemonade (Pimm’s & Lemonade) in 250 mL cans or 1-litre bottles.

Substitution
Pimm’s may not always be available, especially outside the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Bartenders who wish to make a Pimm’s Cup without its main ingredient usually mix one part gin with one part red Vermouth and 1/2 part to 1 part of triple sec or Orange Curacao but there is no proof that this is in any way similar to actual Pimms.

History and culture
Pimm’s was first produced in 1823, by James Pimm, a farmer’s son from Kent who became the owner of an oyster bar in the City of London, near the Bank of England. Pimm offered the tonic, (a gin-based drink containing quinine and a secret mixture of herbs) as an aid to digestion, serving it in a small tankard known as a “No. 1 Cup”, hence its subsequent name. Pimm’s began large-scale production in 1851 to keep up with sales to other bars. The distillery began selling it commercially in 1859 using hawkers on bicycles. In 1865 Pimm sold the business and the right to use his name to Frederick Saywer. In 1880 the business was acquired by future Mayor of London Horatio Davies and a chain of Pimm’s Oyster Houses was franchised in 1887.

Wikipedia: Pimm’s Cup (cocktail)
Pimm’s Cup is a popular cocktail in southern England. It is based on Pimm’s No.1, a gin-based beverage flavored with fruits and spices invented in 1823 as a health drink.

Pimm’s No.1 Cocktail (Pimm’s Cup, Pimm’s No.1 Cup)
This is the original recipe for the Pimm’s Cup cocktail.
Over ice, pour:
1 part Pimm’s No.1
2 to 3 parts lemonade.
Infuse with borage leaves, mint leaves, and slices of lemon, orange, strawberry, and apple.
(...)
Southwestern Pimm’s Cup
As served at the Liberty Bar in San Antonio, Texas
In a cocktail glass pour
1¼ part Pimm’s No. 1
2½ parts chilled ruby red grapefruit juice.
Garnish with nopalitos (nopal cactus pieces) instead of cucumber.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Pimm’s, n.
[< the genitive of the name of James Pimm (1798-1866), the proprietor of the London oyster bar where the drinks were created in the mid 19th cent.]
Any of several varieties of spirit-based drink, usually mixed with lemonade, soda water, or ginger ale, and served with ice, fruit, and fresh mint as a summer drink; spec. (more fully Pimm's No. 1 (Cup)) the variety based on gin. Also: a glass of this.
A proprietary name in the United Kingdom.
Other varieties (designated No. 2 (Cup), No. 3 (Cup), etc.) are based on whisky, rum, brandy, and vodka, but are not now commonly available.
[1888 Trade Marks Jrnl. 20 June 817 Pimms. Poultry. London. Pimms & Co.,..Poultry, London; restaurant proprietors… Wines and spirits, excepting brandy.]
1912 Trade Marks Jrnl. 27 Nov. 1782 Pimm’s No. 1 Cup… An Alcoholic beverage. H. D. Davies & Co., Limited,..London,..wine merchants.
1931 R. H. HEATON Perfect Hostess 56 Pim Cup. One wineglass of No. 1 Pim cup mixture [etc.].
1939 L. MACNEICE Autumn Jrnl. v. 22 And this, we say, is on me; Something out of the usual, a Pimm’s Number One.
1957 J. BRAINE Room at Top xxv. 202 The de-luxe bar and the iced Pimm’s.

Texas Monthly (November/December 1989)
Southwestern Pimm’s Cup
First blended in London more than a hundred years ago, the Pimm’s cup has become a British tradition. This Southwestern version of the drink form the Liberty Bar in San Antonio pairs zesty grapefruit juice with the sweet bouquet of Pimm’s No. 1, a gin-based spirit infused with herbs and spices.
1 1/4 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
2 1/2 ounces Ruby Red grapefruit juice
Nopalitos
In cocktail glass, mix Pimm’s No. 1 and grapefruit juice. Garnish with nopalitos (nopal cactus pieces). Serve on the rocks or with juice well chilled. Serves 1. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, September 20, 2008 • Permalink