Baptized in Pimm’s
When we last left our hapless Aristocrat and his American wife, they were visiting my current hosts in an attempt to greet us Stateside folk. They proceeded to invite us over to their manse for drinks the following evening, something we Americans were gleefully anticipating. After all, this WAS the man who asked me if he could gnaw on that.
We walked over en masse at the appointed time, the English reverentially pointing out various features along the way and giving us a history of the house. When we knocked on the door, I thought no one was home, a let down because I’d boorishly shoved my way to the front to not fail to miss a speck of the action.
Our spacey Aristocrat opened the door, saliva pooled at both sides of his mouth like a sickly glue. He airily waved us into his home, where American Wife greeted us warmly, decked out in a floral Laura Ashley like prairie dress and boiled wool jacket. Aristocrat asked for some final help mixing up his concoction of Pimm’s, the very English drink that he would be serving us Americans. While my host skipped off to help him, we were led into the drawing room.
When we were suitably seated, American Wife picked up a Corning Ware casserole dish full of peanuts. “I don’t know how long these have been here,” she sweepingly proclaimed. “They may be a little off.” Munch. Munch. “No! I think they’re marginal. Have a handful,” she ordered as she forced them on each of us in turn, taking the things around the room at least five times.
Aristocrat then materialized with a big pitcher full of what looked like tea with fruit and veg in it. He was holding his secret recipe Pimm’s drink, something he must’ve copiously sampled in the process of creation. With fanfare, he offered us each a glass to partake of his self-made nectar. Because we were seated around the room, he decided to pour each drink for us where we were parked.
He approached our sofa first, pitcher tipped precariously to one side and leaking a little trail of Pimm’s on the carpet like the sinew of saliva that seemed to hold his mouth more closed than open. Aristocrat unwittingly unleashed a torrent of Pimm’s all over his first victim, the carpet, the sofa and basically anywhere but the glass. Still unaware that he was spilling more Pimm’s on the floor than was reaching the glasses, he moved on to me. Everyone became a practical chorus of shrieking, “You’re spilling it everywhere!”
At least one person was down on the floor scrubbing Aristocrat’s carpet. His American Wife burst forth with, “You’re baptizing everyone in Pimm’s!” He was oblivious, asking me if I’d ever tried chitlins, and I knew where THAT conversation topic was headed – to the abattoir again.
With people crawling around on the floor cleaning up after him, he glibly continued pouring Pimm’s for and on everyone. We were all baptized in Pimm’s – a situation that American Wife declared “dire,” but we thought it was hysterical.
Something like a Noel Coward play, only for real, and somehow fitting.
Because the Pimm’s was tasty, I’ve tried to create what I think must’ve been his recipe. Served in a pitcher like sangria, it was a very yummy, and pretty, summer drink.
3 cups Pimm’s No. 1
2 cups lemonade (for a citrus flavor) or ginger ale (for a ginger tang)
Sliced oranges, lemons and cucumbers
In a pitcher, mix all ingredients together and chill. Serve garnished with mint and a colorful rose petal (if you haven’t sprayed them with pesticide in your garden.)