Who says that Pimm’s is just for Pimm’s Cups? Add Champagne, and it becomes an especially refreshing punch. Pimm’s was created in the 1840s by an English oyster bar owner, and it became one of the most popular beverages in England. The exact recipe is a secret, but we do know that it is a gin-based liqueur flavored with spices and fruit. It is generally consumed in the Pimm’s Cup with ginger ale and a fancy fruit garnish. This party punch takes it one step farther, letting it macerate with fruit and then adding Champagne rather than soda.
- Peels of 2 lemons, plus 2 lemons sliced into wheels
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced cucumber wheels
- 1/2 grapefruit, sliced into wheels
- 1 orange, sliced into wheels
- 16 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
- 4 ounces orange juice
- 2 ounces lemon juice
- 1 (750-ml) bottle Champagne
- Large ice block (optional)
- 6 strawberries, hulled and sliced
- Place the peels in a glass pitcher or bowl with the sugar (save the lemons for juicing). Muddle the peels until the sugar looks slightly moistened, then cover and let sit for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- Add the lemon, cucumber, grapefruit, and orange wheels, Pimm’s, orange juice, and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. You can make this the night before to cut your workload down on New Year’s Eve.
- When you are ready to serve, transfer the mixture (including the fruit) to a punch bowl and slowly add the Champagne and the ice. Garnish the bowl with the strawberry slices.
- To serve, ladle into punch glasses.
- This punch can also be served Sangria-style in a pitcher and poured over ice.