Guy Fawkes’ Day Cocktail: The Parkin Highball

A custom cocktail called the "Parkin Highball" in a tall glass on top of a bar.

The Parkin Highball cocktail

I am well-known among my friends for celebrating obscure holidays. While I love the mainstream holidays here in the states such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, I will also make a special dinner, decorate my kitchen chalkboard, or develop a cocktail to celebrate St. Crispin’s Day, the Autumnal Equinox, or the anniversary of the debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Today, November 5th, is Guy Fawkes’ Day, and as I saw the date approaching on my calendar, I decided to create a special beverage to celebrate the day. In researching the holiday, an annual commemoration of the day in 1605 when Guy Fawkes was arrested while guarding explosives that he and fellow Gunpowder Plot conspirators had placed beneath the House of Lords, I stumbled across a video on the Tasting Holiday YouTube Channel, in which the site’s host, Max Miller, resurrected a 1915 recipe for Yorkshire Parkin, a type of ginger cake traditionally created for, and eaten on, Bonfire Night (aka Guy Fawkes’ Day).

Parkin is made with oatmeal, black treacle, flour, lard, and ginger. I took this recipe as an inspiration to create a Parkin Highball, combining the rich flavors of Parkin but lightening it with some citrus and soda water. The familiar poem recited on Guy Fawkes’ Day was the inspiration for the type of spirit I used as the base of the drink:

Remember, remember, the 5th of November

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot

I know of no reason, why the gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgotĀ 

The Parkin Highball

  • 1 oz Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
  • 1 oz treacle or dark molasses
  • Scant 0.75 oz fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz King Floyd Ginger Liqueur
  • 2 dashes King Floyd Ginger Bitters
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Freshly cracked nutmeg
  • Soda or sparkling water, to top
  • Garnish: Lime Wheel
  • Glassware: Highball

Add all ingredients except soda water to a shaker tin with ice, and shake at least 40 times to thoroughly incorporate the treacle. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice, top with the soda water, and garnish with the lime wheel.


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