Many people think that G&T's are primarily a summer drink. (Many other people don't think of G&T's at all, I know, but I try not to think about that.) Not so. They are my preferred tipple year-round, which probably comes from having grown up in the south. Now, my favorite warm-weather drink is the Pimm's Cup. So in the summer, I like to keep some lemonade mixed up in the fridge, and a bottle of Pimm's No. 1 at the ready with the liquor. Usually there's just a bit left at the end of the season, so that whenever the first warm day hits the next year, there's enough to make a few glasses before a run to the liquor store is required.
Now, Pimm's was readily available in Dallas, but I was really surprised when I moved up here to Edmonton in August 2004 and could not find it ANYWHERE!!! Hey, isn't this country part of the Commonwealth? You'd think things made in Britain would be more readily available here . . . (you'd be thinking wrong, in many cases, incidentally). Thankfully, cold weather comes quickly here . . . last summer, while we were in Vancouver visiting the in-laws, we found it at one of the state-run BC liquor stores and carried a couple of bottles back to Alberta with us. Once my husband knew what to look for, he brought back another bottle from the duty-free from a trip to England in August (had to keep some room for a bottle of Bombay Sapphire as well . . . ), and that got us through the short Edmonton summer. Riiiiiiiiiiiight at the very end of August I did find some Pimm's in the aperitifs section of one of the Liquor Depots near us, and we grabbed that . . . good thing as the fall was rather warm up here! (By Edmonton standards.)
So, I think it was Wednesday, it was nice and warm and obviously time to mix up the lemonade, get out the Pimm's, etc. Husband mentioned we obviously needed another bottle and I said, well, good luck finding any! However, I was just joking, I thought he could probably find some at the same Liquor Depot that we bought at last year. Last night he came home from a muuuuuuuch smaller little wine store down the street, that carries just a bit of liquor, with a liter bottle of gin and a bottle of Pimm's! Now, I would never have expected this place to have had it (considering how "rare" Pimm's has been here). He said they had a bunch of it, it was featured by the few "mixers" (aka aperitifs) they carry. Well, I was surprised, but I thought (how self-centered) that perhaps my VERY loud begging tour of two years ago and my very loud follow-ups last year might have perhaps borne all this fruit (I called a couple of other liquor stores as well and, sure enough, not only did they have it, they all knew what I was talking about - NOBODY knew what I was asking for two years ago . . .). But then I became a little suspicious. 'Cause, you know, the world doesn't revolve around me (how modest, I know!).
So I did a little Googling (AltaVistaing actually, since I'm cranky and boycott Google), and found out that Pimm's semi-officially became "cool" last year. Diageo bought it a few years back in a buyout of several British brands and has been "pouring" on the marketing, and last summer it appeared on Cool Hunting. Diageo marketing and a Cool Hunting appearance -- well, no wonder everyone's stocking it this year! I shudder to think that people are actually mixing up some of the ridiculous recipes that are out there on the Web with the name "Pimm's" attached, but, hey, if this makes it as easy to buy Pimm's as it is to buy Campari, I guess I'm for it.
Anyway, two years from now (three at most), it'll just be back to me (and other hard-core Pimmsies), our lemonade, and our No. 1. Until then -- Paris, Nicky, don't put too much orange twist in it, okay?
P.S. Seriously, please don't put all that crap in your drink. By all means, a little half-round of cucumber, if you've got it. But a whole pint of strawberries in the jug? Even the official website merely recommends "pieces" on the recipes page. I goggle. Really. Perhaps this Salon article from '97 is to blame. From back in the day when whatever appeared on Salon was, ipso facto, cool.