The #2 drink in the PDT Cocktail Book is the #3 Cup. If you like the Pimm’s Cup, then you cannot pass up this one, which appeared on the PDT menu in the spring of 2009. Created by former PDT bartender Gerry Corcoran, the drink's name is a reference to the now defunct Pimm's No. 3, which was essentially a liqueur with a brandy base. There used to be various Pimm's bottlings, ranging from No. 1 to No. 6, with each number corresponding to a different base spirit. All that remains in the states is the gin-based Pimm's No. 1.
1 oz Hine V.S.O.P. Cognac
1 oz House Ginger Beer (recipe below)
.75 oz Martini Sweet Vermouth
.5 oz Marie Brizard Orange Curacao
.5 oz Cherry Heering
.5 oz Lemon Juice
4-5 Mint Leaves (plus 1 sprig for garnish)
2 Slices Cucumber (unpeeled)
2 Slices Orange (2 half wheels; reserve 1 for garnish)
Tools: Muddler, shaker, strainer
Glassware: chilled, ice-filled Collins glass
Method: In the shaker tin gently muddle the mint, cucumber, and one orange slice. Add the remaining ingredients, then shake and strain into the ice-filled Collins glass. Add the mint sprig and remaining orange slice as garnish.
A cursory glance at this drink's ingredient list might cast some intimidation, but it’s actually quite an easy drink to assemble. The key is to have a prepared mis en place, and believe me you’ll want to because it’s an incredibly delicious and refreshing drink. In fact you should definitely have a mis en place going because chances are you're going to want more than one, especially on a nice spring day. Its relatively low alcohol content ensures you can knock back a few without getting knocked over.
PDT's House Ginger Beer (Yields approx. 77oz)
80 fl oz Water
1 cup Minced Ginger
2 oz Light Brown Sugar
1 oz Lime Juice
Method: Boil water, then turn off heat. Add minced ginger and cover. Allow to infuse for 1 hour. Strain mixture through a chinois. Press down on the ginger with the back of a spoon to force as much liquid through the chinois as possible (this step will make or break the flavor of your ginger beer, so it’s important to extract as much flavor as possible) Once strained, add citrus and sugar, then stir, bottle, and refrigerate.
There is no single overpowering flavor component in this cocktail. Rather, every ingredient acts as an instrument in an orchestra, contributing the necessary notes to create a composition that’s indeed greater than the sum of its parts. The combination of sweet vermouth, curacao, and Cherry Heering produces a flavor reminiscent of Pimm’s, but improved. The muddled, mint, cucumber, and orange provide refreshing background notes; the lemon juice provides just enough tartness to balance; meanwhile the ginger beer adds the necessary kick of lingering spice on the finish.
*This post is part of a series in which Payman takes on the task of making and writing about every cocktail featured in the PDT Cocktail Book, as well as providing an awesome photo of each drink taken by Vanessa Bahmani Photography.
**Got a question? He can be found on twitter @paystyle, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply drop him a comment below.