To start things off, this is the easiest way to pickle cucumbers and the recipe my mom has always used. These are crazy easy and super cheap to make, a true crowd-pleaser, and a great go-to gift for friends or coworkers.
I think these look the coolest when you use actual pickling (or “Kirby” cucumbers; at right) but you can also use Persian or English. Different cukes are good for different things – for example, pickling cucumbers naturally look the most like (duh) pickles, Persian are guaranteed in stock in most grocery stores, and English are good for different shapes and sizes (particularly stackers for sandwiches; see photo below). I’ve never used those super smooth, dark green garden cucumbers but I’m sure they’d work too. They just look funky, IMO.