Pimm, a farmer’s son from Kent, 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”, hence its subsequent name. Pimm’s began large-scale production in 1851 to keep up with sales to other bars. The distillery began selling it commercially in 1859. This version dates from the 1980’s and is bottled at 33% ABV; the current version has been downgraded to 25% ABV.
Pimm’s is a brand of fruit cups, but may also be considered a liqueur. It was first produced in 1823 by James Pimm and has been owned by Diageo since 1997. Its most popular product is Pimm’s No. 1 Cup.