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Eat the Seasons - March 2014

In season this month

Fruit & Nuts

Forced Rhubarb, Birch Saps


Cauliflower, Celeriac, Chicory, Leeks, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Swede

Meat & Game


Fish & Seafood

Cockles, Cod, Hake, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Mussels, Oysters, Salmon

March 20th is the first day of Spring and surely that means it is time to think about Summer Drinks!  What better way to celebrate the passing of winter than with a seasonal toast?

Pimms is of course always a popular choice when the sun is shining.  It is named after its inventor, a farmer's son from Kent, who became the owner of an oyster bar in the City of London, near the Bank of England. He offered the tonic (a gin-based drink containing a secret mixture of herbs and liqueurs) as an aid to digestion, serving it in a small tankard known as a "No. 1 Cup”.  Large-scale production began in 1851 to keep up with sales to other bars and the distillery began selling it commercially in 1859 using hawkers on bicycles. In 1865, Pimm sold the business and the right to use his name to Frederick Sawyer.  In 1880, the business was acquired by future Lord Mayor of London Horatio Davies, and a chain of Pimm's Oyster Houses was franchised in 1887.

There are seven Pimm's products, all of which are fruit cups, though only Cups Nos. 1, 3 and 6 are available at present. The essential difference among them is the base alcohol used to produce them.

Head Chef Graham has recently created the most beautiful Pimms Pudding (pictured above), served with cucumber granita, clotted cream and strawberries.  We love the unusual presentation and have a sneaky feeling it is going to prove to be extremely popular over the coming months.

Never one to miss an opportunity to experiment with Gin, I thought it would be fun to create our very own Suzanne James Summer Cup recipe – bottoms up!

Suzanne James Summer Cup



  • A 1L bottle of dry gin

  • A 1L bottle of sweet Italian Vermouth

  • 8oz of elderflower cordial

  • 8oz peach liqueur

  • 24 ounces lemon syrup

  • 16 ounces unfiltered apple juice

  • 32 ounces chilled tonic water

  • 16 ounces chilled sparkling water

  • Ice

  • 1 sliced green apple

  • 2 sliced peaches

  • 6 long, thin cucumber slices

  • ¼ cup torn mint leaves for garnish

  • 1 cut and scraped vanilla pod


  • If you have time gently warm the elderflower cordial with the vanilla pod and seeds to infuse the flavour, then chill.

  • In a punch bowl, combine the gin, vermouth, elderflower cordial and peach liqueur. 

  • Add the lemon syrup and apple juice.

  • Refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours. Stir in the tonic water and sparkling water.

  • Add ice and garnish with the apple, peaches, cucumber and mint leaves. 

  • Add edible flowers for an extra summery feel!