Poetic Bakes

Nothing beats baking for a drizzly weekend activity, but did you know that you can give your sweet concoctions a ginny kick with Poetic License? Luke is a keen cook himself, and he’s done plenty of experimenting. Here are two of his favourite ways to eat his Northern Dry Gin.

Gin and Tonic Pancakes

Gin and tonic pancakes

For the pancakes:

100g plain flour
2 large eggs
300ml milk
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying

For the G&T syrup:

140g liquid glucose
200g sugar
100ml premium tonic water
75ml Poetic License gin
1 pink grapefruit, cut into quarters
zest of ¼ a grapefruit
1tsp pink grapefruit juice


Start by making your gin and tonic syrup. Put 100ml of premium tonic water in a microwaveable container and stir vigorously, then stir in 200g of sugar. Microwave the mixture for six minutes, stirring every minute. Add a teaspoon of pink grapefruit juice, then the zest. Add the liquid glucose and stir. Pour into a jar and pop in the fridge to cool.

When you’re ready to make your pancakes, put the flour, eggs and milk in a large bowl or jug along with a pinch of salt. Whisk to a smooth batter. If you have time, leave it to rest for 30 minutes (this stage is optional).

Set a pan over a medium heat and wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper. When it’s hot, pour a thin layer of batter into the pan and cook for one minute on each side, or until golden. Keep your pancakes warm in a low oven as you go.

Serve your pancakes warm with good drizzle of your delicious Poetic License gin and tonic syrup.

Elderflower, Gin and Lime Cake

by Emma Carlton

Elderflower, gin and lime cake

For the cake:

2 lemons
5 medium eggs, separated
100ml double cream
200g ground almonds, sifted
250g golden caster sugar
10g baking powder
5ml vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Butter, to grease the tin

For the syrup:

1 lime
50ml elderflower cordial
50g caster sugar
20ml water
50ml Poetic License gin

For the lime strands:

25g caster sugar
25g water
Lime zest (from the lime you’ll juice for your syrup)

For the cream:

200ml double cream
20g icing sugar
Seeds of ½ vanilla bean


To begin, preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Liberally butter a Bundt cake tin and dust the sides with a tablespoon of the ground almonds.

Take the two whole lemons and pierce the skins all over with a sharp knife. Place them into a pan, then fill with water and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for around half an hour, or until the fruit is soft and tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the cooking liquid.

In the meantime, zest the lime into long strips over a pan. Add the elderflower cordial, juice of one lime, caster sugar and water to the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for five minutes (or until the sugar is dissolved) and remove from the heat. Once cool, add the gin and set to one side.

Cut the cooked lemons into halves, remove the pips and put them into a food processor. Pulse until you have a thick puree. Add the golden caster sugar and egg yolks, 100ml of double cream and the vanilla. Pulse again until mixed, add the almonds and baking powder, and pulse again until completely combined.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of sea salt until doubled in size and firm in texture. Slowly pour the mixture into the egg whites and gently fold everything together with a metal spoon. Empty the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Once baked, set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Gently pierce the top of the cake a few times with a wooden skewer and slowly drizzle half of the syrup over the top. Set the cake aside to cool completely.

To make the lime zest strips, put the lime zest from the syrup in a pan with 25g of caster sugar and 25ml of water already at a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, until the zest is soft, glossy and edible.

Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack.  Using a pastry brush, coat the rest of the cake with syrup, then prepare to make the icing. To do this, put cold double cream, icing sugar and vanilla into a bowl. Whisk everything together until the cream thickens and forms soft peaks. Fill a piping bag and pipe little swirls of cream around the top of the cake sprinkle with lime zest. Voila!