The Pimm's Cup: An Ode to Summer Drinking And How To Make A Great One

I don't want to jinx it (I'm about to) but this late spring weather has been phenomenal. Sure, there's some humidity in the air, but my windows have been open much more this year than last. While the dog days aren't here yet, I know they're coming, so I'm skipping ahead and looking forward to what I think is the best summer cocktail out there.

Margaritas are a classic, but they can be heavy. The light effervescence of a perfectly made Pimm's Cup is infinitely more refreshing. The problem is finding a perfectly made one. As with many things, sometimes you're better off making this drink on your own.

The biggest problem with most Pimm's Cups is sweetness. Most recipes call for ginger ale, ginger beer or some other cloying sweet soda. When the weather gets hot -- Dallas hot -- sweet and heavy drinks lay in your belly like syrup. It's not appealing.

Instead make yourself some simple syrup infused with fresh ginger. If you've made simple syrup, you know how easy it is. If you haven't, now's the time to learn. Adding an aromatic to the mix is easy, and it only adds the additional step of steeping and straining. Here's a recipe if you need some help.

With your ginger syrup in hand you can go back to following most recipes for a Pimm's Cup. Just replace whatever soda they call for with plain soda water, and use the ginger syrup to sweeten to taste. You'll end up with a lighter cocktail more appropriate for punishing weather. And don't sleep on the cucumber slices. They make this cocktail a real winner.

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