Pimm’s originated in an Oyster Bar in Poultry Street, in the City of London, owned by James Pimm in 1840. Here he created the Pimm’s ‘house Cup’ flavoured with liqueurs and fruit extract.
He rapidly built up a chain of restaurants in a variety of locations, including The Old Bailey and other places “to be seen” for City businessmen of the day. James Pimm is said to have blended his famous ‘No 1 Cup’, on the premises and it was then sold in pints in pewter tankards. By 1859 Pimm’s was on sale outside of the restaurants and in1865 the company was sold to Frederick Sawyer and the first bottle of Pimm’s is sold for 3 shillings.
The company was sold on again in 1875 to Sir Horatio Davies who in the following years expanded the sale of the drink. It could be found not only the UK, but also throughout the British Empire and the association of the drink with all things British began.
The No 1 cup is as popular today as ever; the first Pimm’s Bar opened at the world famous tennis tournament, Wimbledon in 1971 and today over 80,000 pints of Pimm’s and lemonade are sold every year to spectators.