My partner is really good at making cocktails… I am not. And because my partner is good at making cocktails, he has a fully equipped bar and he knows exactly how to use it… I do not. I’m learning (in my own unique way) and like to think that this Pimm’s Fruit Salad is evidence of that fact. You would think learning about spirits and liqueurs would yield, you know, cocktails but I seem to march to the beat of my own very confused (possibly drunk) drummer.
Before I met my boyfriend, I was a bit of a spirit purest. I loved my single malt scotches, my Irish whiskeys and sipping tequilas. Essentially, I liked delicious alcohol that could be poured directly from the bottle and enjoyed quickly… perhaps too quickly. No mixing (except for the occasional drop of water), no muss, and you better believe there was no fuss.
Now, I still appreciate a good scotch or whiskey (if you follow my Instagram you know this), but when I met my beau I began to appreciate the process of building a drink as an art form.
The first drink my boyfriend made me was an Old Fashioned. I took a sip and I instantly got the allure of a well-made cocktail. He later informed me that the drink contained homemade bitters, which led to a very nerdy conversation that only two food dorks would have while getting to know each other. With that initial conversation I began to explore a plethora of liqueurs I’d either never heard of or had never really paid attention to. Pimm’s was the latter.
While I’m still no great bartender, I have begun taking advantage of my beau’s fully stocked bar in the kitchen. From deglazing pans with Pernod to boozing up compotes with cognac, I’ve been stretching my culinary vocabulary in a decidedly drunken direction and thoroughly enjoying the results. Today’s Pimm’s Fruit Salad is the perfect example of that.
I’ve had a Pimm’s Cup once or twice in my life, but it never really left an impression on me as much my go-to Manhattans and Palomas. But one day, I was quite literally sniffing around our home bar and I took a whiff of a bottle of Pimm’s. I had never really experienced Pimm’s No. 1on its own and I was delighted by its punchy hits of citrus and warming spicy notes. I instantly thought that Pimm’s would be the ideal way to add depth and cohesion to a fruit salad.
Now, when you’re making a Pimm’s-soaked dressing, it seems only natural to include cucumbers and mint in the salad – I mean, a Pimm’s Cup is unrecognizable without them. The rest of the Pimm’s Fruit Salad features the best and brightest produce currently in season in my neck of the woods and an Asian Pear for crunch. I shied away from adding too much honey to the dressing – I didn’t wish to banish the bite from the liqueur or quiet the tartness of the raspberries. If you prefer things on the sweeter side, add additional honey to the dressing in 1/4 teaspoon increments, tasting after each addition until you find the sweet spot, so to speak.
- 1 Asian Pear, cored & thinly sliced
- 1 pint wild blueberries
- 1 pint raspberries
- 3 mini cucumbers, sliced
- 2 peaches, pitted & cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 oz Pimm's No. 1 Cup
- 1/8 cup fresh mint, chiffonade
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Place pear, berries, cucumber, and peaches in a large bowl and toss until each ingredient is evenly dispersed through out.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together lemon juice, Pimm's, mint and honey until combined.
- Pour dressing over fruit and toss to coat.
- Place the salad in the fridge for at least an hour for a maximum of 12 hours to allow the flavours to meld.
- Serve the salad chilled. Garnish with a few mint leaves.