Carson finds himself in a real conundrum. Whom does he please: Mrs. Hughes, his fiancée, or Lady Mary? The stress of it all has caused me to seek an alcoholic antidote, and fortunately I have one in mind for this week’s Downton Abbey Cocktail. It is an adaption of the “Mr. Stair” cocktail which pays tribute to an English schoolmaster who supposedly discovered the Williams Pear (aka Bartlett Pear). Although Carson hasn’t taken to the cocktail practice that is then developing in London, it nevertheless seems fitting to name this cocktail “The Carson” in his honor. The Carson is filled with proper English ingredients – gin, elderflower and cucumber—and its refreshing taste will cheer anyone faced with the task of pleasing too many people.

Cucumber & Watercress Finger Sandwich

Cucumber & Watercress Finger Sandwich

If you feel your tipple needs a little substance or you are just in a Britannia mood, pair The Carson with a light and refreshing variety of finger sandwiches. For the light eater, I highly recommend the Cucumber-Watercress combination with a filling of whipped cream cheese, lemon zest, and dill. For a more satiating experience, try my Aged Cheddar Scones stuffed with lightly spiced chicken chutney, thinly sliced apples, and a touch of watercress. The Carson and these finger sandwiches personify culture and quietude, a perfect accompaniment to an evening of Downton Abbey. After all, unlike football you don’t yell at the TV screen when you disagree with the action on Downton Abbey.

Aged Cheddar Scones topped with Apple, Lightly Spiced Chicken Chutney & Watercress

Aged Cheddar Scones topped with Apple, Lightly Spiced Chicken Chutney & Watercress

Aged Cheddar Scones make the perfect base for the Lightly Spiced Chicken Chutney

Aged Cheddar Scones make the perfect base for the Lightly Spiced Chicken Chutney

Soothe your Downton nerves with The Carson Cocktail

Soothe your Downton nerves with The Carson Cocktail

5.0 from 1 reviews

The Carson
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktail

Ingredients
  • 2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
  • ¾ ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce fresh cucumber juice
  • ¼ simple syrup
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • Think strip of cucumber for garnish
  • (To make cucumber juice: Peel English Cucumber, cut into chunks and puree)

Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in cocktail shaker, add ice, and gently shake. Pour into glass and garnish with cucumber ribbon garnish.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Cucumber & Watercress Finger Sandwich
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: English
Serves: 8

Ingredients
  • 4 slices white bread
  • ½ English Cucumber cut length-wise into strips
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill
  • watercress

Instructions
  1. Place cream cheese, lemon zest and dill into food processor and blend until ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Lay out slices of bread and spread cream cheese mixture on all four slices, avoiding the edges. Place cucumber slices on top of each of the slices of bread. Top two of the slices of bread with watercress. Place other piece of bread with cucumbers on top of slice with watercress.
  3. Cut all the crust (edges) off of the bread so bread is crust-less. Slice bread diagonally into a triangle and slice triangle in half.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Aged Cheddar Scones
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: English
Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese
  • leaves from 6 fresh thyme springs
  • 150 ml milk plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 egg yolk

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place flour, butter, and baking powder in bowl and mix together either using your hands or a pastry cutter. Add Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese, thyme leaves and mix. Add 150 ml of milk until the mixture forms a light dough. Do not overmix or scones will be dense and heavy.
  3. Mix remaining tablespoon milk and egg yolk together and set aside.
  4. Lightly flour surface and put dough on surface and roll out to ½ inch thickness. Cut dough with cookie cutter, tart mold or glass, and place on lined cookie sheet. Brush with milk/egg mixture and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden in color.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Chicken Chutney with Apples
 
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Author:
Serves: 24 scones

Ingredients
  • 1 roast chicken (warm) with meat cut into small pieces
  • 1 jar Major Gray Chutney
  • watercress
  • 1-2 Braeburn apples sliced and sprinkled with lemon juice
  • Aged Cheddar Scones

Instructions
  1. Place cut chicken into a bowl, add 1 jar of Major Gray Chutney and combine until mixed.
  2. Place apple slices on top of 1 Aged Cheddar Scone. Add a tablespoon of chicken meat. Top with Watercress. Add additional Aged Cheddar Scone if desired.