And all at once, the markets are overflowing with bright spring greens, fresh favas, formidable artichokes, rosy strawberries, slender asparagus and so much more. I hear that warmth and sunshine are bursting through after the long, weary winter that so many east of here endured. Flowers are blooming, baby geese are hatching and we’re dreaming of summer. I think a bright and cheery cocktail is in order, don’t you?
I am very fond of this recipe for Pimm’s Cup, which I first tried at just about exactly this time last year. My pal Erin threw a party for Yvette van Boven as she toured with her new cookbook, Home Made Summer. We drank Pimm’s Cup on the patio, and straight away, I fell head over heels with Yvette’s recipes, charm and spirit. I replicated a significant number of those recipes in the weeks and months to come and have kept them in my back pocket ever since.
This cocktail in particular reminds me of that exact moment in time. I was starting to bake at the cafe and spending more and more hours assisting Kimberley with her (now soon-to-be-released!) cookbook. I was learning how to pull really good shots of espresso and feeling more confident developing recipes from scratch. I wasn’t sure where my life was going, but the lightness of summer was coming, and I was hopeful.
So much has happened since then, and I’m more than ready to kick back in the sunshine with a glass of Pimm’s Cup in hand, feeling more of that hope and a whole lot of gratitude for what has transpired and what I’ve survived in this year, and where I’ve landed at the end of it. And, in fact, we’ve already done that twice: alongside pizza with family a few weeks ago when visitors were in town, then again during a lingering Easter meal last weekend, around a long table in our friends’ backyard. That lazy Sunday afternoon, I felt freer than I had in some time, light and hopeful and content.
May springtime bring much of that for you, too, my friends! Though unessential, I think it’s safe to say this cocktail will take you right toward that kind of goodness.
Adapted from Yvette van Boven’s Home Made Summer
Makes 1 quart (1 liter), enough for 4 to 6 people
1 cup / 250 ml Pimm’s No. 1 Liqueur
1 1/2 cups / 375 ml lemonade
1 1/2 cups / 375 ml ginger ale
1/2 small cucumber, cut into thin rounds
3 to 4 strawberries, sliced thinly (optional)
1/2 lemon, cut into thin slices
Handful fresh mint
Fill a pitcher or punch bowl with all of the ingredients and a heap of ice cubes. “It’ll be gone before you know it,” says Yvette!