English Garden Cocktail (Non-Alcoholic Pimm’s Cup)
There are three ingredients in my fridge that I can never seem to use up before they go bad: fresh ginger, cucumber, and strawberries. Previously, they’d meet their demise in a “let’s clear the kitchen” smoothie, but that was before I created this no-proof cocktail. Now, they’re often the first things I reach for.
This simple, fruit-forward refresher is inspired by the Pimm’s cup, a quintessential British summer drink. The zing you get from the ginger syrup is softened by fresh and bright cucumber, as well as the sweetness from the strawberry. It’s the perfect way to marry those pesky on-their-way-out ingredients.
Garnishing Your English Garden Cocktail
This English Garden cocktail is my favorite drink to garnish because the more ornate it becomes, the more delicious it’s going to taste. Are you looking to lean into the fresh garden green and earthiness of this drink? Top it with celery soda. Looking to add an extra hint of spice? Top it with ginger beer. Choose your own adventure!
For the ginger syrup:
- 1 (2-inch) piece
- 1 cup
- 1/2 cup
For each cocktail:
- 1 thin, long strip
- 1 round slice
- 3/4 ounce
Celery soda or ginger beer, preferably chilled
- 1 fresh sprig
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Make the ginger syrup: Peel a 2-inch piece ginger, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Place in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until fragrant. Remove from the heat. Add 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water, place back over medium heat, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Refrigerate the syrup in bottle or airtight container up to 1 month.
Make the cocktails: For each cocktail, cut 1 strawberry into quarters. Slice the remaining strawberry in half but do not cut through the stem.
Press 1 English cucumber strip against the inside of an old fashioned glass. Add the quartered strawberry, cucumber slice, and 3/4 ounce ginger syrup. Gently muddle into a pulpy consistency. Fill the glass with ice, then top with celery soda or ginger beer. Fit the halved strawberry onto the rim of the glass, then garnish with 1 mint sprig dusted with powdered sugar.