Today’s drinks of the day are perfect for the “Summer-in-Winter” that we are experiencing here in Southern California. The rest of you might most enjoy these in about six months. Both of these drinks are true Cups — unlike what passes for the Pimm’s No. 1 Cup. Here are a couple of definitions of the cup as a type of drink:
“cup, n. – 11. A name for various beverages consisting of wine sweetened and flavoured with various ingredients and usually iced; as claret-cup, etc.” — Oxford English Dictionary
“CUP – A beverage made of wine, usually iced, and with flavoring herbs and fruits, served in garnished pitchers, to be poured at table.” — Bottoms Up by Ted Saucier (1951)
Note that both insist that cups must be based on wine. Read any old drink book from the 1800’s and you will see that all cups are traditionally wine-based. What is missing from the Pimm’s No. 1 drink errantly called a cup is the wine. In the case of that drink, the missing wine base is ginger wine, such as Stone’s or Crabbie’s, that is modified by a healthy-but-smaller dose of Pimm’s No. 1 liqueur. Instead of a cup, the commonly-encountered drink by the same name is more properly a Pimm’s & Ginger Ale Highball. The only true cups still commonly made along traditional lines for cups would have to be the Sangria (a distant, heavily-altered descendant of the Sangaree Punch of 1736 London), Aperol Spritz, Americano and Negroni Cups — and most of those in Italy.
But, I digress. Today’s drinks were made in recent Elemental Mixology drink courses and were instant successes — not least with me! Both of them make use of the organic, only-moderately-sweet, cucumber-melon-flavored seltzer water available at Ralph’s markets. Instead of drowning the other ingredients, like in a highball or cooler, this ingredient here is used just to dilute and accent the other ingredients. You won’t need more than a four-pack of this seltzer to make these cups for a small group of friends all night long.
I love the flavor of the Jefferson Park Cup and it is my preference of the two. For a more-fizzy, less-sweet variant, try the Summer Love Cup. Here are the recipes (click on them to enlarge):