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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Offers cycle on an off pretty fast at this time of year, so keep an eye out for any discounts.
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.
Lidl usually also do a version (Peytons), but it's only available at certain times of year.
If you're looking to make a classic Pimm's cocktail, the serving instructions on the bottle recommend combining per person:
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.
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.
Combine in a glass:
Add ice then garnish with refreshing cucumber and mint.
Combine in a champagne flute:
Finish off this fancy tipple with a garnish of fresh strawberries.
Combine in a highball glass:
Garnish this fruity concoction with a wedge of orange or lemon.
Combine and pour into an ice lolly mould tray (for 8 lollies):
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.
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.