Campaigners call for return of vodka-based Pimm’s

A campaign group is calling on Diageo to reintroduce Pimm’s No.6 Vodka Cup permanently, after the company discontinued the product for the second time.

Pimm’s No.6 Vodka Cup was brought back in 2015 and discontinued again in 2021

Launched in 1964, Pimm’s No.6 was originally known as a Vodka Sling, but was soon dubbed the Vodka Cup.

Pimm’s enthusiasts Angus Campbell and Alistair Troughton started The Real Pimm’s campaign group in 2014 after they were unable to buy the vodka-based product.

The move led to Diageo reversing its decision to discontinue the variety in 2014. The product was made available from summer 2015 following an outpour of emails, social media messages and written letters from Pimm’s lovers.

The campaign was revived last month after Diageo told some fans that it had decided to discontinue No.6 again this year due to ‘low demand’.

Troughton said: “Why do we continually have to face this battle with Pimm’s? Our 2021 campaign has seen us receive hundreds of emails from loyal No.6 Vodka Cup drinkers who have enjoyed it for decades as they prefer the taste, arguing it is drier and less sweet than the original No.1 gin-based Pimm’s.

“We all hope they will listen to us again and commit to not only producing this iconic version to Britain’s favourite summer drink, but letting more people know about it rather than never promoting it.”

The campaigners said the company had continued to prioritise the promotion of fruit-based Pimm’s varieties such as strawberry and mint, blackberry and elderflower, and a new raspberry and redcurrant apéritif, the latter of which was released in May 2021 at the same time as a new campaign and redesign.

“Perhaps the low demand is a result of the fact that Pimm’s have never promoted No.6,” said Campbell.

“It has always been very hard to buy and of the millions of Pimm’s drinkers across the country, only a small proportion even know it existed. Instead of listening to the legion of Vodka Cup fans who prefer the drier version, Pimm’s continually pushes sweet fruit-based versions that never last longer than a summer due to low take up.”

Diageo response

A Diageo spokesperson said: “Over the last few years, sales of the No.6 Vodka Cup have been at such small levels that it is no longer viable to continue this particular variety within the Pimm’s portfolio.

“We are grateful to the small group of loyal supporters of No.6 Vodka Cup and hope they will be tempted to try our new Pimm’s Sundowner, an exciting new apéritif drink launched this summer.”

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