October 11, 2018

War of the Roses Cocktail with Pimm’s Elderflower and Mint

Pimms and St Germain War of the Roses

A refreshing gin cocktail with a little…”what is that?”

The War of the Roses cocktail was first created by Mike Ryan, a bartender of Sable Kitchen & Bar, but it was introduced to me through the P22 Cocktail Book.

The P22 Type Foundry is a Buffalo based digital type company creating usable digital art that pays respects to its’ history.

But what’s really cool about P22 is that they have multiple members on their team that are into making awesome cocktails. Maybe my new calling is designing fonts…

A copy of the P22 Cocktail Book was given to me by my Girlfriend’s cousin Jim who works at P22 (I think he’s a cousin anyway but I never really know with that family), and the War of the Roses cocktail was the first I chose to make out of the book.

I have already tried the Crushed Nun from the book, an herbal blueberry Champagne cocktail, thanks to Jim and his wife Kim always bring their drinks to family parties, so cheers to you guys!

The book has maybe 20 or so recipes that are either created by the team of P22 or are their takes on classics. The book is hand printed and designed with fonts and graphics created by P22.

A really cool project, thank you Jim.

measuring pimms no 1 for the war of the roses

What’s in the War of the Roses cocktail?

Pimm’s No.1!

Obviously that’s not the only ingredient, but that’s what gives the drink its’ backbone.

There aren’t a whole lot of drinks with Pimm’s. 

It can be a bit tricky to balance with it’s dry dark herbal flavor, but when combined with the other bight elements of the War of the Roses it works just fine.

Elderflower liqueur provides good contrast to the Pimm’s with its sweet and floral nature, and the mint adds another layer of bright onto the darker Pimm’s backbone.

Lime levels of the sweetness of the liqueur while gin carries on the trend of herbal and floral, simple as that.’

The resulting drink has good balance between sweet and tart, and has a unique marriage of floral herbal that is really easy drinking

straining the war of the roses into a vintage cocktail glass

Tweaking cocktails at home

When you make cocktails for yourself it’s a “my house, my rules” kind of game , so making adjustments that suit you is encouraged.

The recipe in the P22 book was tweaked a little by Jim to use 1 1/2 oz of gin and 3/4 oz of Pimm’s, while omitting the extra sweetener.

After doing a little internet digging it seems that the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 oz. of Pimm’s, 3/4 oz of gin (the opposite ratio that Jim used) and a touch of simple syrup to boost the sweetness.

I tried both versions, and both are tasty in their own right.

However, I think I slightly prefer the original just because it is a little more unique from the majority of cocktails. Pimm’s is so unusual that it’s nice to really taste it the few times it is used. Plus, I usually like cocktails ever so slightly on the sweeter side as it seems to make the other flavors pop more.

But if you are the kind of person that enjoys dry drinks with a bit more of a boozy backbone just switch the measurements of Pimm’s and gin and forgo the cane syrup.

muddling the mint for the final drink

Using Mint in cocktails

There is one other small tweak I choose to make that is totally up to you.

I don’t leave the mint in during shaking

You can leave the mint in if you’d like but sometimes it gets overworked and gives off a brown muddy sort of taste. I have also seen people add it after half the shake and then finish it with a a gentle shake, but I prefer to just muddle it before.

So to get the fresh mint flavor while avoiding the possibility of bruising during shaking I muddle the mint leaves in the shaker after adding all the ingredients and before adding the ice.

Keep in mind that with mint it is more of a light press than a muddle.

Then strain the liquid from one tin to the other to get out the mint, add ice, and shake as usual.

War of the Roses Cocktail

A delicious combination of tart and herbal flavors


  • 1 1/2 oz Pimm's No.1
  • 3/4 oz Gin
  • 3/4 oz Elderflower Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/4 oz 1:1 Cane Syrup - optional
  • 1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
  • 3 Mint Leaves - save one for garnish


  • Add the ingredients to your shaker and gently press the mint leaves to release their oils.
  • Strain the liquid into the second shaker tin and discard the used mint leaves.
  • Add ice and shake vigorously for about 12 seconds.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a mint leaf.


I know it's one more step, but I encourage you to not shake the drink with ice while the mint is in the shaker. It can give some unenjoyable muddy flavors.
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 drink
Tag me at @mydrinkinghobby when you make this!

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War of the roses drink with pimms and gin

Some useful links:

Sometimes you're in the mood to drink something for dessert, and this could be your answer. 

Do you have a favorite dessert cocktail?

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I love checking out the drinks people are making, so tag me @mydrinkinghobby or use #drinkinghobby

I love checking out the drinks people are making, so tag me @mydrinkinghobby or use #drinkinghobby

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