Monday, 8 July 2013

Austins O'Clock! A Cheap Alternative to Pimms?

So, at the time of writing it is sunny, warm and therefore I should probably be considering mulled wine to beat the impending, inevitable and immediate weather change. However, endlessly optimistic and completely buoyed (and hungover) from Andy Murray's epic win yesterday (COME ON ANDY!!), I'm going to take a side by side look at Pimms and a looky-likey from Aldi.

For me, summer is the smell of freshly mown grass, festivals, cricket, golf, tennis (TENNIS!!) and drinking Pimms (or anything else) in the great outdoors. Due to this association, the amount of Pimms my family and I get through in a decent summer can be mind-bogglingly immense; so it's a necessity to try and cut the cost if possible.

At the moment Pimms is actually on offer at Tesco for £12 a litre (always buy pimms in full litres if you can't get gallons) but I'm afraid it is rarely available for such a bargain price. Austins, on the other hand, is available at £5.99 for 70cl at Aldi, so it's got to be worth a go! He says, tempting fate...

So, in tackling this culture and mind-changing question of Pimms or Austin's I undertook a side by side taste test for science! Not only that, but I roped in my family to partake as my alcoholic guinea pigs by drinking these concoctions 50/50 spirit to lemonade with no fruit (as I take it at the end of a long summers day).

In direct comparison there is the very slightest taste difference, but not for the better or worse - it's not like you say "Goodness gracious! That Austin's tastes like Satan's unholy, newly passed water!"
Despite this slight variation when sampled one after the other, if you were to taste one in isolation I would challenge anyone to tell the difference. As far as I can see the most significant difference is purely cosmetic with Pimms throwing a bit of froth that clings to the side of the glass.


The fact is that once you get down to it along with your Pimms (or cheaper alternative) you are adding ice, lemonade, mint, cucumber, strawberry, apple, orange, the kitchen sink and almost anything you can lay your hands on in an amateur mixologist frenzy. Even if there was a marked difference between the two in  flavour, so much is dependent on how you mix your Pimms, and the quality of all the other ingredients as well.

I really stand by the quality of Austins in the face of Pimms, it is a most absolutely passable and drinkable alternative at half the price, that no-one apart from the very most discerning (and stuck up) would call you out on.

In conclusion, it is Austins o'clock, raise the union flag, and sing of the fact that the sun still never sets on the British empire (seriously it doesn't, how crazy is that?). We're going to be celebrating the wonderful thing that is Andy Murray for many weeks to come, and Austins provides summer in a bottle at a huge saving in these austerity-ridden times. Huzzah!

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