Tomorrow, on the other hand, is a big celebration: my mother-in-law's sixtieth. There'll be more people in her house than at any time since my wedding, with much food and drink. I will be in charge of one of my specialities: home-made Pimm's. Here I must stress that I do not know or claim to know what goes into real Pimm's, which I'm sure is a closely-guarded secret recipe. However, I do know how to make a drink that tastes by sheer naked coincidence, their lawyers will no doubt insist remarkably similar to Pimm's. I know my version must be at least slightly different, because it tastes better. In the traditional New Year spirit of enabling the drunkenness of others, here's the recipe.
- 2 parts gin.
- 2 parts red vermouth.
- A little more than 1 part triple sec.
- a dash of Angostura bitters.
(Plymouth gin is by far the best. But you knew that.)
(According to its label, Cointreau is a type of triple sec. That may well be true, but don't use it; get some proper stuff which tastes a little less like a flamethrower.)
Shake well. Add lemonade to taste. Throw in slices of lemon, lime, orange, and cucumber. The cucumber is just a weird English tradition; it seems to do nothing for the taste, but gives a good impression.
Using this recipe, you will find that you can get a roomful of people very drunk very cheaply, without any of them being aware at any stage that they are drinking anything particularly strong.
Have fun. See you next year.