Am I alone in thinking that Pimm’s has made a quiet retreat from summer life? It used to be the drink of the season. You couldn’t visit a garden party, prom or even a pub without being offered a glass jammed full of mint, cucumber and strawberries. At university we used to fill up paddling pools with the stuff (or rather a knockoff version called Austin’s which sold for a fiver a bottle), then decant it into plastic cups. We didn’t have fruit, but made do with blades of glass, which floated on top of the foamy concoction. More lawn cup than fruit cup.
But this summer, I haven’t had a single glass of Pimm’s. I have not been offered any nor have I seen it on the menu in many places. When I have seen it, it has been extortionately priced. What a con, really, when most of the drink is made up of supermarket fruit.
I do like Pimm’s though, so worry about its demise. Has it become a bit naff? I hope not. It certainly tastes better than the current drink du jour: Aperol Spritz. Aperol is not nearly as nice as its other bitter counterpart, Campari, yet this summer, you cannot move without someone suggesting you have one, topped up with cheap, sugary prosecco. Orange-coloured adverts for Aperol are everywhere. In some natty places, they serve the spritz ‘on tap’, as if that is a good thing.
Bring back Pimm’s, I say. There is nothing better on a glorious summer’s day. At least our new Prime Minister knows this. Prior to the referendum, David Cameron had made plans for a hog roast at Downing Street to help soothe the party back to health with salt and smoke – and, I bet, Aperol Spritz. A Cameroon drink if ever there was one. But along with the Cabinet, she threw out his party plans, and cancelled the BBQ, instead choosing to serve canapés and refreshing glasses of Pimm’s. Quite right. If Brexit means Brexit, then summer most certainly means Pimm’s.