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Bonfire Night Parkin with a Gin, Ginger and Lime Cocktail

by Admin Edatachase

Bonfire Night Parkin with a Gin, Ginger and Lime Cocktail

Does anyone else find that the run-up Bonfire Night smells amazing? I don’t know if it’s just around my house, but there always seems to be a smell of bonfires (possibly obviously, but there never seems to be one on the go) spice and leaves cutting through the air.

My dogs bullied me into taking them for their bedtime walk in the pouring rain and even then, the air was filled with that gunpowder smell which never seems to be around at any other time of the year.

For me, that smell is very comforting, even if it does mean I will shortly have to reassure my big bad wolf that the big bangs are not trying to kill him (please be pet aware when using fireworks). That October/November aroma is a consistency that has always come back every year and wrapped me up, letting me know that the year is tipping into the build-up for Christmas and all the joy that brings.

When that scent descends on the valley, it feels like the world telling me it’s time to go into hibernation. That everything is safe and will be all right when I wake up.

Unfortunately, no matter how magnificent a blanket tower I make, I have yet to achieve human hibernation (although not for lack of trying), so to do homage to my favourite smell, I made a Parkin, with a Gin, Ginger and Lime cocktail.

I was reading a recipe book of regional cakes and it mentioned a Grasmere Gingerbread, which included lime to cut through the ginger. Since there was already a Parkin in the house and I have been instructed by my family that I can ‘only bake one cake at a time or there will be consequences’, I decided to try a cocktail version of this idea and it holds up incredibly well. The lime adds a freshness to the ginger and really brings out the botanicals in The Exe Gin beautifully.


Parkin Recipe

  • 225g plain flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 125g medium oatmeal (or same amount porridge oats pulsed in the food processor for a minute)
  • Zest of 1 large orange (finely grated)
  • 125g butter
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp molasses or treacle
  • 75ml milk
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
  2. Heat the butter, sugar, golden syrup, molasses, and milk in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted and the sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  3. Sift the flour, ginger, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl, then stir in the oatmeal and orange zest.
  4. Add the beaten egg to the met ingredients and mix in.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the syrup mix. Stir together until the mixture is smooth.
  6. Pour the mix into the prepared tin and shake the tin to make sure that the batter is evenly spread.
  7. Cover with tin foil and bake for 35-40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove when a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin and then remove and wrap in greaseproof paper. You should leave this to cake to mature for a week for maximum flavour, but patience and cake do not mix well, so rest assured that it tastes good whenever you eat it. If you do possess the gift of patience, this cake will keep for up to 4 weeks if you keep it in an airtight container.

Pair with

I’m not going to give quantities here, because everyone likes their cocktails a little different, in my experience (except Cosmos… then my way is the only way), in terms of strength, or what flavour they want to be dominant. I prefer things sourer than my mum, for example.

The ingredients for this recipe are simple, though.

Have fun!


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