Pimm’s Dessert

Pimm’s & Lemonade is probably the most famous and most popular cocktail of Britain. Its main ingredient is a liqueur called Pimm’s No. 1, which recipe is unchanged – and still kept secret – since 1823, when James Pimm invented and served it as medicine for digestion problems. Pimm’s No. 1 is made with gin, but several other variations exist, like No. 3, which is made with brandy, or No. 6, which is based on vodka. Pimm’s & Lemonade is served in almost every English pub. According to taste it’s usually prepared either with lemonade or with ginger ale. Due to its fresh ingredients – such as strawberries, mint, cucumber, lemon, lime and orange – it is a perfect summer cocktail. While I was thinking about how this combination of ingredients might have developed into the final cocktail, I also thought about transforming Pimm’s & Lemonade (or to be exact in this case: Pimm’s & Ginger Ale) into a plated dessert. After planning each element thoroughly, I ended up with this colorful and extremely refreshing summer dessert.

Pimm's Dessert

Transforming cocktails into desserts isn’t so uncommon in the field of gastronomy. Last year for example I had a wonderfully refreshing Pina Colada dessert at the Onyx Restaurant in Budapest. One of my all time favorite dishes I’ve ever tasted in restaurants was the “Mojito” served in the Gastronomique Restaurant in Heroldsberg – which closed unfortunately a few years ago. The “Mojito” consisted of a base layer of mint granita, on top with a quenelle of warm lime and rum sabayon and garnished with a crispy candied mint leaf. I also managed to reproduce this dish at home since. The different temperatures and textures really transformed the Mojito into something very special. I also created a transformed version of mulled wine, which was based on components with similar textures, like frozen wine crystals, spiced orange sabayon and cinnamon crisp. I even challenged transforming a Bloody Mary into an interesting appetizer. So to sum up, the basic ingredients of cocktails can be very inspiring for the creation of a new dish or dessert.

For the dessert I began on the path of Pimm’s & Ginger Ale, because the ginger adds a nice spicy note and a different kind of freshness to the final result. The ground layer is basically a finely diced fruit salad consisting of strawberry, lemon, orange and cucumber seeds. The latter actually absorbed the flavors of the fruit salad and added yet again a new dimension of freshness and texture to the plate. Cucumbers are sometimes paired with mint, so I candied some cucumber slices in mint syrup, rolled them to small tubes and filled the cannelloni with mint flavored whipped cream. I actually used apple mint, which is not as sharp as peppermint and added a nice fruity note too. Further elements were a halved strawberry and some mint leaves. For the strawberry sorbet I used a little bit of Pimm’s, so it really resembled the cocktail when eaten with some of the fruit salad. Finally I garnished the plate with a Pimm’s syrup flavored with fresh ginger, a sprig of apple mint and a few crispy bits of orange tuile. I believe, this Pimm’s recreation turned out to be my most perfect dessert up to now.

Plating of the Pimm's & Lemonade Dessert

Pimm’s Dessert

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: 4 portions

Pimm’s Dessert


  • 300g strawberries
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 oranges
  • 120ml Pimm's No. 1
  • 3cm piece fresh ginger
  • 50g butter
  • 25g flour
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 4 sprigs apple mint
  • 350ml whipping cream
  • sugar


For the orange tuiles
Wash 1 orange with hot water to remove the wax. Grate the orange peel by carefully not removing any white parts. Squeeze the orange juice and measure 40ml. Mix 40ml orange juice with the grated orange peel, 50g soft butter, 25g flour and 100g sugar. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until the mixture has hardened. Spread very thinly on a silicon matte and bake at 200°C / 390F until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and chill to room temperature. Break into pieces and keep in a dry place.
For the cucumber cannelloni
Dissolve 50g sugar in 100ml water and warm gently over low heat. Pick the leaves from the mint a reserve. Chop the remaining mint sprigs and add to the syrup. Keep warm and infuse covered for 1 hour. Remove the solids.
Wash the cucumber and cut into long thin slices using a peeling knife or a mandoline. Chop the cucumber seeds and reserve separately. Halve the cucumber slices, add to the warm mint syrup for 5 seconds, remove and roll up to small cannelloni. Put on a plate covered with clingfilm, cover again with clingfilm and refrigerate.
Chill the mint syrup to room temperature. Reserve a few mint leaves for decoration and mix the rest using a blender in the mint syrup. Add the syrup to the cream and leave for 10 minutes to infuse. Strain through a fine sieve and transfer to a siphon. Charge with 1 cartridge and chill for at least 1 hour.
For the fruits
Peel the other orange and the lemon. Carefully remove any white parts from the flesh. Fillet the orange and the lemon, discard the seeds and cut the fillets into 5mm cubes. Cover and refrigerate. Collect the orange liquids from the kitchen board and add to the remaining orange juice from the orange tuile (see above). Collect the lemon liquids as well and set aside separately.
For the Pimm's sauce
Add the remaining orange juice with 100ml Pimm's, 1 tbsp sugar and the sliced ginger to a small pan. Cook over low heat until the mixture gets slightly syrupy. Remove the ginger and chill to room temperature.
For the strawberry sorbet
Wash the strawberry, discard the greens and reserve 4 nice pieces as decoration. Cut some strawberries into 5mm cubes to get a total of about 2 tbsp. Cover and refrigerate.
Chop the remaining strawberries and mix with 1 tbsp sugar and 20ml Pimm's. Leave for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Blend into a fine puree and strain through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Refrigerate and before serving prepare in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
To serve
Carefully combine the lemon, orange, strawberry and cucumber seed cubes. Create an 'S'-shape on cold plates from this fruit salad. Fill 3 cucumber cannelloni with mint whipped cream per plate. Cut the reserved strawberries in half and place on the fruit salad. Decorate with mint leaves. Add 5-6 tsp Pimm's sauce next to the fruit salad, so they can mix partially. Add a dollop of strawberry sorbet in the center of the plate and decorate with orange tuiles.

3 thoughts on “Pimm’s Dessert

  1. Angela

    I just saw this on TasteSpotting and had to stop over to comment. The photo is absolutely stunning!!! And, the recipe sounds delicious!

  2. Robert Post author

    Thank you Angela and Debs!
    The fruit arrangement totally resembled the original cocktail. The ginger sauce paired especially well with the sorbet and the cucumber seeds took on a slightly melon like flavor from the surrounding fruits.

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