This homage to Pimm’s No. 3 (a liqueur no longer available in the US), comes to us from mixologist Gary Corcoran via the PDT Cocktail Book. Pimm’s is a type of “fruit cup” (sometimes called a “Summer cup”), a liqueur flavored with herbs and spices and meant to be mixed into a long drink. There were once many varieties of Pimm’s available, but these days Pimm’s No. 1 is what you’re most likely to find at a liquor store.
Pimm’s No. 3 had a brandy base. It’s not currently produced, but a version flavored with orange peel and holiday spices can sometimes be found in the UK in the wintertime, marketed as Pimm’s Winter Cup.
Proper muddling is key with a drink like this. The point of muddling is to release essential oils from the mint and the citrus peel, but it’s important not to smash it to bits lest you end up with bits of herb and pith in your teeth. Don’t grind it into a paste – just press down firmly on your muddler a few times, until you can smell the mint.
Add the mint, cucumber, and orange slice to a shaker. Muddle, but not so energetically that you tear the mint into a million little pieces.
Add ice to the shaker, as well as the vermouth and curaçao. Shake and strain into a tall ice-filled glass, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with mint, cucumber, and fruit.