Guest Post: 7 Reasons That It’s Pimm’s O’Clock
It’s another Saturday here in Blighty and that means another chance for Marc and I to leave the comfort of the sofa and go and air our hairy legs. All four of them. In our place today then, is John Phipps. A man who, when not painting Gordon Brown’s face, can be found doing other things. Though we’re not quite sure what. For those of you in the twitterati, you can follow John here. But do that after he’s talked to you about Pimm’s. It’s only courteous.
So far in England we’ve had a summer of sporting mediocrity – topped off with headaches from the whine of Vuvuzelas and Sue Barkers’ bitter tone. Amazingly the sun is still looking favourably upon our otherwise gloomy Nation as music festivals and sporting events help draw our attention away from our melancholy lives.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to a proper English summer. With everything in place, it seems appropriate that the mind should turn to Pimm’s – the quintessentially English Summer drink. In its traditional style, 7 Reasons is here to help celebrate “Pimm’s O’clock” with seven somewhat ironic, self-mocking pointers.
1. Quality refreshment. A sensible man would say refreshment comes in the form of water. Brian Badonde would even join me in saying “Bah!” to those opting for some Council juice on a warm day. What sets Pimm’s aside from the rest is its ability to truly refresh. The fabulously fruity rich mix, shifts the clouds with sweet honey-like sunshine resin. Your palate will explode long before your bladder as you taste the heady delights of the English summer.
As an added bonus for those of you clogging up the NHS, the fruit not only gives added enjoyment but counts for a significant part of your important 5 a-day too.* Your Consultant will be (slightly) pleased.
2. Prudence. Guardian columnist Oliver Thring (who by the way sports a truly magnificent side parting) wrote that Pimm’s “epitomises seasonal events featuring irritating rich people: trilbied fops in preposterous blazers; hawing women in silly hats; drunken trustafarians lounging on riverbanks; fans of Nigel Farage doorstepping ahead of European elections.”
Now, I’m not a fan of Nigel Farage, more of a Bercow man myself, but young Oliver is spot on; this bizarre scene is a fundamental part of the attraction. Some drink Stella and go home and beat their wife. Others sip Pimm’s and go home after beating themselves because they threw a game of croquet. It’s a drink for those with common sense.
3. Social Mobility. Fortunately the price seems to dissuade anti-socialites and general miscreants from dropping their favoured bottle of White Lightning for a Pimm’s. I defy anybody to find evidence of Pimm’s being drunk neat, or otherwise, on park benches by the Adidas tracksuit brigade. It is widely believed too that Staffordshire Bull Terriers will not drink this refined goodness. That being said, there is every opportunity with Pimm’s to elevate your standing – therefore perfect for the character who some years ago failed the 12+ or an entrance exam at Stowe and ended up carrying a briefcase into a modern Comprehensive on his first day in Year 8.
You see a nice ‘whistle’ or a posh frock only go some of the distance in pushing you up the ladder. However, put a jug of Pimm’s on the table and a glass in hand and you my friend could be someone with symbolic capital. The power of absolute mobility that this drink possesses is indeed, absolute.
4. Grandeur. Only a sexually insecure beefcake or a leftie with a face like a melted wellington would refuse a Pimm’s – regardless of cost. Pimm’s is Land Of Hope And Glory and Jerusalem in a glass. It screams Pomp and Circumstance with its typeface let alone its taste. It arouses illusions of grandeur, times gone by; an idealised Nation; a Country under Thatcher; a home-grown Wimbledon winner; Mr Darcy; cricket at Wormsley, the majesty of Temperate House; an impassioned Glyndebourne.
Prince William and his Army chums once cleared the supermarket shelves in Weymouth just after I bought my first bottle of the summer. I hope the lucky bar-stewards didn’t choke on a strawberry, but love him or hate him, be assured that this is a drink of Kings.
5. Women. Proper ladies don’t drink Pints of lager; it’s not the done thing, so be on guard for freeloaders. Make sure your flys aren’t undone etc. First impressions count and Pimm’s has already done the hard work for you. Don’t let yourself down.
6. Create Perfection. The official recipe is one part Pimm’s to three parts lemonade, strawberry, orange and mint, mixed generously with ice. Generally speaking one should stick to it. I would suggest perhaps using Tonic Water instead of lemonade, adding cucumber and maybe a stick or two of celery.
If your greengrocer has run out of celery, a Chelsea fan is bound to have some.
7. Imitation is suicide. The world is full of pretenders, I urge you not to join them by succumbing to a cheaper and quite frankly, poorer alternative. You will think you are cool, but instead you are unquestionably sad. You need to ‘wake up and smell the cock’ before your half-empty glass ruins your life.
You will not reach more of a lower point in life than if a guest samples your fake product and comments accordingly. At this point you will probably continue drinking the alternative just to forget what happened. This is not clever and you really should have read points 1-6 more carefully.
*Not scientifically proven, just an educated guess.
**DRINK RESPONSIBLY. Pimm’s is not good to binge on and can make quite a mess for your partner to clear up the next day. It will also quite probably smell most foul.