When I was a junior at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, I went on a Junior Year Abroad Program to the University of Exeter in England. Like any 20-year old moving to another country for the first time I was excited to be starting a new adventure, but scared to be leaving the comfort and safety of my college in small town Ohio. But to cut to the (romantic) chase, I fell in love many times. Once with Andy, who is now my husband, and hundreds of times with the beautiful country of England where I lived for nearly seven years.
First I fell in love with the accent (who doesn’t?). Then (despite that old joke about English fare) I fell for the food: fresh scones with clotted cream and jam, bangers and mash, fish and chips, roast dinners, Earl Grey tea and Victoria sponge cake. I fell in love with their one-of-a-kind gossip mags, the subtle, yet hilarious British sense of humor, and—of course—the Queen (well, the whole Royal Family). I fell for the rolling hills of Cornwall, the craggy cliffs and rugged beach. I fell in love with the foggy and soggy moors of Devon which called to mind Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I fell in love with the warmth of real ale pubs with roaring fires in winter and their blossoming beer gardens in summer. Most days I felt unbelievably blessed to be living my life in England, but I never felt so lucky as I did in the summer months when Pimms was in season. I have so many wonderful memories of England surrounding just this one drink. Barbecues, birthdays, weddings, pub gardens and summer weekend camping trips.
For the uninitiated, Pimms is a liqueur made from a variety of herbs, spices and fruits. It is mixed with lemonade (Sprite or 7UP), mint, cucumber and fresh fruits such as strawberries or orange. It’s fancy enough to drink at Ascot or Buckingham Palace and simple enough to enjoy on your own back porch with friends in tank tops and bare feet. Either way, do yourself a favor. Soak up the last rays of the summer sun and make a jug of Pimms.