Pimm’s at Wimbledon costs £8 but served at ‘a third’ of recommended strength and ‘tastes like a soft drink’

Lab tests on the drink showed that with melted ice it could be as weak as one part Pimm’s to nine parts lemonade and water

It may be overpriced and only be available at the end of a long queue, but a glass of Pimm’s has become an almost mandatory part of the experience of a day out at Wimbledon.

Imagine the shock of customers, then, who discovered that the £7.80 beverage can come served at just a third of the strength recommended by Pimm’s itself, and tasting more “like a soft drink” than a gin-based cocktail.

According to reports in the Sunday Times today, laboratory tests carried out on the Pimm’s served across the All England Club’s official bars and drinks stands showed a huge variation in percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV).

A standard bottle of Pimm’s No 1 Cup is 25 per cent ABV, and according to the producer’s own recommendations should be mixed with one part spirit to three parts lemonade – creating a drink of about 6.5 per cent ABV.

Yet analysis of a drink bought from the Café Pergola at Wimbledon reportedly found it was one part Pimm’s to nine parts lemonade and melted ice – just 2.5 per cent ABV.

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club members enjoying Pimm's at Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club members enjoying Pimm's at Wimbledon Drinks bought from other locations around the All England Club varied in strength, but none contained as much alcohol as a Pimm’s bought from a bar outside the tournament’s walls – which was also almost £2 cheaper.

One tennis fan told the Sunday Times she was “not surprised” by the results of the tests, saying: “I’m shocked at how expensive the Pimm’s is at Wimbledon. It’s nearly £8 and tastes like a soft drink.”

Pimm’s said the draught drink it provides for Wimbledon is based on its “pre-mixed product” which also comes in shops at 5.4 per cent ABV instead of 6.5.

It said its “perfect serve recipe” dictates that it is best served over ice which, once melted, then dilutes the drink further.

A spokesperson for the All England Club and Facilities Management Catering (FMC), the official caterer at Wimbledon, said: “The Pimm’s comes in pre-mixed sealed containers and we serve it over ice as recommended. The amount of ice in the glass will affect the dilution but you can always ask for it without ice.”

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