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Updated: 20 May 2022

Pimm's vs Asda Summer Cup vs Sainsburys: which is best?

We pitted Pimm's No. 1 against cheap supermarket own-brand summer punch in a blind taste test to see if you can save money without compromising on taste
Glasses of Pimm's

A hot summer's day isn't complete without a glass of something fruity and refreshing, and many people turn to Pimm's for a boozy tipple over the barbeque season. But with supermarkets offering keenly-priced rival drinks, are there savings to be made?

Our taste test says yes - we found one own-brand product which beat Pimm's No. 1 on flavour and is cheaper too.

We tested gin-based summer fruit cups from Asda and Sainsbury's against Pimm's to see how they compared on flavour, strength, look, and smell. Our consumer panel blind-tasted the drinks, served with lemonade, and rated them to find the best.

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Pimm's vs supermarket rivals: the results

The good news is, it doesn't matter too much which option you buy, so you're free to go for the cheapest or best offer you see. You shouldn't need to spend more than around £12 for a bottle, and you could get it for as little as £7.50.

Scores were pretty even across the board, but Sainsbury's own-brand Pitchers clinched the top spot, with tasters preferring its flavour overall. 

Sainsbury's Pitchers - £11.70 for 1 litre bottle

  • Overall score: 74%

Sainsbury's Pitchers came top, showing you don't need to fork out a fortune for a great tasting summer punch.

Each brand scored similarly in most categories, but Sainsbury's earned the only four star rating for flavour, as well as scoring an impressive five stars for a perfectly balanced level of bitterness.

And, while not the cheapest we tested, per litre this bigger bottle is around half the price of Pimm's (which varies considerably in price depending on where and when you buy, and typically comes in a smaller 70cl size), so there are big savings to be had if you're stocking up for large celebrations.

Available from Sainsbury's.

Pimm's No.1 - £15 for 70cl bottle / £21.43 per litre (typical price)

  • Overall score: 71%

Although Pimm's didn't secure the number one spot in our tests, it came close at only 3% behind Sainsbury's, tying with Asda.

For those dedicated to the classic Pimm's flavour, it's still a good option, scoring a respectable three stars across the board.

It's widely available at most supermarkets, with prices for a standard 70cl bottle varying between around £10-£18 depending on where you buy. 

At full price it's easily the most expensive alcoholic fruit punch we tested, but if you're keen on the original you can bag a bargain when it's on offer - for example, it's currently £10 at Morrisons, so it's worth shopping around.

Available from TescoSainsbury'sWaitroseOcadoAsdaCo-opIceland and Morrisons.

Asda The Great Summer Cup - £7.50 for 70cl bottle / £10.71 per litre

  • Overall score: 71%

Asda's own-brand summer cup tied for second place with Pimm's, showing you can still get great flavour for less.

It scored similarly to Pimm's on all accounts, with solid three star ratings for look, smell, flavour and mouthfeel.

Asda's drink was the cheapest we tested, so it's worth picking up next time you're in an Asda if you're a fan of a summer punch.

Available from Asda.

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How the alcohol content compares

Supermarket fruit cups can vary by alcohol content as well as size, which you might not always realise when choosing.

Asda's Summer Cup had the lowest alcohol percentage of the three products we tested at 21.9% ABV (alcohol by volume). Pimm's and Sainsbury's Pitchers each contained 25% ABV.

This didn't impact what our taster's thought of the overall flavour, but could be handy if you're looking for a slightly lighter summer drink.

Where's the cheapest place to buy Pimm's No. 1?

Pimm's can be pricey, but it's one of those things that is usually on offer somewhere once the summer season kicks in, so shopping around and knowing the price to look out for can save you money in the long run. 

You should be able to find a 1-litre bottle for as little as £12 when on offer (on par with Sainsbury's version) - currently available at Asda. Handy for larger gatherings.

Meanwhile, the 70cl bottle is currently £10 (£14.71 per litre) at Morrisons.

Offers cycle on an off pretty fast at this time of year, so keep an eye out for any discounts. 

Aldi, Tesco and other own-label fruit cups

Tesco and Aldi own-brand summer cups are both under £10 for a 70cl bottle too.

We didn't test them this year, but they fared well in our 2021 consumer taste test, coming ahead of Pimm's, with Aldi taking the top spot. 

Again, it was a close run thing, so the lesson is that you can pick the cheapest option you find and it's unlikely to disappoint.

  • Tesco Summer Cup - £8 for 70cl - available from Tesco
  • Aldi Austin's Classic Summer Punch - £7.49 for 70cl - available from Aldi

Lidl usually also do a version (Peytons), but it's only available at certain times of year.

To find more great-tasting food and drink options when you're on a budget, head to our full round up of the best cheap supermarket food and drink.

How to make perfect Pimm's

Slicing fruit for Pimm's

If you're looking to make a classic Pimm's cocktail, the serving instructions on the bottle recommend combining per person:

  • 50ml of Pimm's No.1
  • 150ml of English-style lemonade (clear and carbonated)

Serve in a highball glass with ice. Add sliced strawberry, orange, cucumber, and a sprig of mint to garnish. If you're making a jug for a larger group, these measurements can be scaled up.

Asda recommends the same process and amounts for their Summer Punch, and though no instructions could be found for Sainsbury's Pitchers, it's likely to be similar to the above.

Four different ways to serve Pimm's this summer

A classic Pimm's and lemonade with all the fruity trimmings is hard to beat, but if you're looking for something a little more interesting, some recipes offer a refreshing twist on the original.

Pimm's Spritz

Combine in a glass:

  • 50ml Pimm's
  • 75ml lemonade
  • 25ml sparkling wine

Add ice then garnish with refreshing cucumber and mint.

Pimm's Royale

Combine in a champagne flute:

  • 25ml Pimm's
  • Top up with prosecco or champagne

Finish off this fancy tipple with a garnish of fresh strawberries.

Pimm's Sundowner

Combine in a highball glass:

  • 50ml Pimm's
  • 25ml fresh lemon juice
  • 25ml orange juice
  • 25ml apple juice
  • A dash of sugar syrup

Garnish this fruity concoction with a wedge of orange or lemon.

Frozen Pimm's Lollies

Combine and pour into an ice lolly mould tray (for 8 lollies):

  • 150ml Pimm's
  • 400ml lemonade

Slice up some garnishes, like strawberries, oranges, cucumber and mint, and add to ice lolly moulds before pouring in your Pimm's mixture. Add a lolly stick to each mould and freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight.

Find the perfect beverages to quench your thirst this summer with help from our round-ups of the best champagnebest gin and tonic, and best orange juice.

Are Pimm's bottles recyclable?

The large glass Pimm's No.1 bottles are made of glass, so will be recyclable via a glass bin.

Asda and Sainsbury's punches also come in glass bottles, so the same recycling process should apply to them. Always check the packaging for recycling instructions if you're not sure.

*All prices correct as of 19 May 2022. Typical price shown for Pimm's No. 1 (instead of cheapest at time of publication) due to short-lived nature of offer prices on this product.