Pimm's Cups and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

With the arrival of the royal baby this past week, I thought it would be fitting to go with a British theme for this week's Summer Fest focus on cucumbers.  The Brits know a bit about pomp and circumstance whilst keeping cool as a cucumber.  The first things that came to mind were Pimm's cup and cucumber tea sandwiches.  Only makes sense, no?  At least it does to me.  I find both super easy to make, light and refreshing, and so proper.

So you ask, what is a Pimm's cup?  Pimm's is an herb-infused gin that's been around since 1823, very low in alcohol (25%), making it easy to drink.  A Pimm's cup is a light, British version of a sangria - Pimm's No. 1 liqueur with a mixer (lemonade, gingerale, lemon-lime soda), cucumbers, strawberries, citrus (lemon or orange) and garnished with a sprig of mint.  It's the drink of choice for Wimbledon.  How proper.

One of my favorite cookbooks is Winnie-the-Pooh's Teatime Cookbook.  So easy, pragmatic, wry sense of humor and... British.  This cookbook contains many different tea sandwiches, all of which we made on a regular basis while growing up.  My mother was an anglophile- she loved all things English.  To me, they seemed so fancy and petite with the crust cut off and cut into finger-sized mini sandwiches.  I always found it surprising how flavorful these tea sandwiches were with such few ingredients, unlike the complicated American counterpart.

Pimm's Cup (per serving):
1 oz Pimm's No. 1
6 oz lemon-lime soda or gingerale
3 strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and cut into quarters
6 thin slices of cucumber (English/seedless, unpeeled)
4 thin slices of lemon
sprig of mint
ice cubes

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches (per serving):
2 slices of white bread (I used Udi's)
2 tablespoons of chive cream cheese
6 thin slices of cucumber (English/seedless, unpeeled)
2 sprigs of flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper

Pimm's Cup:
In a highball glass, combine the Pimm's with the soda and cucumber, strawberries, lemon, and ice cubes. Top with a sprig of mint.  You can see I forgot to add the mint in my picture.  It was still phenomenal.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches:
Thaw out bread (if applicable). Do not toast - we are going for soft and white here.  Spread a seasoned cream cheese of your choice on both slices of bread.  Top with a little bit of the parsley.  Followed by laying the cucumber down in two rows, overlapping them.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put both pieces together making a sandwich, cut off all four sides, and cut down the center.

Serve and enjoy immediately.  Goodies this fresh and proper wilt quickly.

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

This is part of Food Network's Summer Fest. Check out The FN Dish. The summer produce we're focusing on here is the cucumber. On twitter, we're tagging #SummerFest. Here are other delicious cucumber recipes to try out:

Feed Me Phoebe: Fennel Tzatziki with Mint
The Lemon Bowl: Japanese Quick Pickled Cucumbers
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Burmese Cucumber Watermelon Composed Salad
Domesticate Me: California Salad with Roasted Chicken and Avocado Dressing
Taste With The Eyes: Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi with Shrimp and Minari
Devour: Cucumber and Mint Lemonade 
Haute Apple Pie: Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spicy Cucumber, Carrot and Onion Refrigerator Pickles
Red or Green: Spicy Cucumber Gazpacho
Virtually Homemade: Cucumber Tomato Bruschetta
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Neer Mor — Zested South Indian Buttermilk with Cucumber
Weelicious: Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches
Blue Apron Blog: Barley Salad with Heirloom Cucumbers & Golden Beets
The Sensitive Epicure: Pimm's Cups and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
FN Dish: Pickles Past the Jar


Lori Lynn said…
Hi Erin - really nice way to showcase cucumbers! Brava!