Pimm’s jellies: jelly is not just for kids

My mum used to humour me as a kid and let me make grapefruit and vanilla jellies from scratch for her dinner party desserts. I know that all sounds a bit pretentious, but really, I just happened upon a recipe in a magazine at home, we had the ingredients, I needed occupying for an afternoon and remarkably, my first attempt worked!

Sadly, I haven’t made jellies since then – only a packet blackcurrant job about a year ago. So when it came to making a summery dessert for dinner chez Sabby, I took inspiration from my childhood jellies and decided to give it a grown up and seasonal twist… Pimms jelly!


Made with lemonade, there’s a light fizziness and a gentle alcoholic-ness to these jellies. Served with some strawberries, oranges, it’s a quick make-ahead dessert for summer dinners. That said, I also ate some for breakfast the next day, and afternoon tea… in my world, it’s always Pimm’s o’clock!

Pimm’s jellies
Makes 1 litre

10 gelatin leaves
few sprigs of mint
200ml Pimm’s
700ml lemonade
fruit to serve

  1. Put gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water and soak until floppy
  2. Meanwhile, gently heat 100ml water in pan with mint leaves and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Remove from heat and remove mint.
  3. Remove gelatin from bowl, and stir into minty water until dissolved
  4. Add the Pimm’s and lemonade. It will froth up – skim off the foam.
  5. Pour into 1 litre mould (I used individual ramekins) and chill until set.
  6. To serve, invert onto a plate and garnish with fruit.


  • You can set the fruit in the jellies, but I quite like the pure unadulterated look.
  • If you’ve got a sweet tooth, dissolve some sugar into the warm minty water mix, but I think the sweetness of the lemonade is sufficient.
  • Finally, there’s a lot of wobble to these babies, so if you’re planning to take them to a picnic or somewhere warm, increase the amount of gelatin by a few leaves.
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