THE sun is out this weekend so why not toast its return with a Pimm’s – or a Pimm’s substitute, now that supermarkets and distilleries are doing their own versions.
We put the No1 cup to the test against rivals including Lidl, Tesco and Sipsmith.
So which bottle packs a refreshing punch and which disappoints?
Thea Jacobs tries them out and marks out of five.
Summer Cup, Tesco, £8
This one smells suspiciously like the original Pimm’s but the taste is a bit bitter and alcoholic.
It claims to have “hints of zesty fruits and delicate spices”.
But all I can taste is the headache I’ll almost certainly get in the morning.
A great price but sadly you get what you pay for and this isn’t a patch on the real thing.
Summer Fruit Cup
Ableforth’s Summer Fruit Cup, Amazon, £27.95
This is the most alcoholic of the bunch but the bottle is so hard to get into you’ll spend more time doing this than mixing your cocktail.
It’s the least attractive looking of the bunch with a brown hue to it.
Once open it smells incredibly fruity but it tastes more like mulled wine than the original Pimm’s.
It certainly packs a punch with a more sophisticated flavour and pleasant aftertaste.
Austin’s Fruit Punch
Austin’s Summer Punch, Aldi, £5.99
NOW this is a seriously tempting price – when you consider that Pimm’s costs nearly three times as much.
But it is another pale imitation, literally. Poured out into a glass, unfortunately this looks a little bit like wee and sadly there isn’t much taste to it either, beyond the alcohol.
I’m not sure if any fruits have been included in this, but you can’t taste any. The alcohol content is 17.5 per cent.
Your tastebuds won’t thank you for saving the pennies.
Pitchers Summer Cup, Sainsbury’s, £11.70
This one smells like a fruit salad covered in sugar in the best possible way and is the colour of ripe watermelon.
It is incredibly sweet and is almost identical to the original Pimm’s blend.
Crack this one out at a summer bbq and all your guests will thak you – especially if you serve alongside strawberries and cream.
In a blind taste test, I don’t think I’d be able to tell it wasn’t Pimm’s – but its nearly half the price.
SCORE: Winner 5/5
Sipsmith’s London Cup, Majestic Wine, £18
This one smells like German Glugwein and is a very pretty pink colour.
It tastes nothing like Pimm’s, but is incredibly easy to drink and with an alcohol content of 29.5% it is the second strongest of the bunch.
Despite the alcoholic kick, it’s certainly refreshing on a hot summer’s day and would mix well with fruit and lemonade.
Plus if you have some left over after the summer, you could heat it up in winter for a delicious festive drink.
The Original Pimms No 1, Tesco, £20
You can’t mistake the signature tang of Pimm’s.
It tastes like summer distilled in a bottle with notes of strawberries, raspberries, lemon and orange all wrapped up together in that signature pale pink colour.
I can almost hear the sound of tennis balls at Wimbledon as I sip it. It has an alcohol content of 25 per cent.
First produced in 1823 by James Pimm, it’s a hard one to beat and therefore no surprise that it’s still a firm favourite with the British public. Anyone for Pimm’s?