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The Ubiquitous Non-Wonderland Cocktail

 

There are numerous alcoholic cocktails named after the titles of the Alice books and after characters in the books, such as White Rabbit (vanilla liqueur), Mad Hatter (vodka), Cheshire Cat (rum), Though the Looking-Glass (absinthe and vodka), and others. However, none have a legitimate connection with Alice's adventures; in fact, there can never be an authentic Alice-named cocktail for one reason: No alcoholic beverage is served in the Alice books, though Alice is offered nonexistent wine by the March Hare during the "mad tea party" in Wonderland and the ingredients of the size-altering beverage labeled Drink Me is not revealed, though it has a faint taste of  "buttered toast." Today, Alice's erroneous connection to these cocktails is the mistaken belief that she and her strange acquaintances existed in a mental world of mind-distorting sensations, perhaps caused by alcohol-induced buzzes. Source: AWT's cocktail files.

Illustration commentary: Top: A miniature Alice eyeing the mysterious bottle labeled Drink Me is an 1899 illustration by the American artist Blanche McManus (1870-1935), who drew her illustrations for the two Alice books in red, green, and black.  McManus's was one of the first artists to create new illustrations for the Alice books, which were usually reprinted with black-and-white illustrations by the Alice books' first illustrator, John Tenniel. Bottom: The classic depiction of Alice drinking the size-altering liquid in the bottle labeled Drink Me. The artwork is a 1946 colored version of John Tenniel's 1865 black-and-white illustration for the original edition of Wonderland. Source: AWT's illustrator files.

Wine cellar factlet: It is doubtful that a modern reviewer of the French red wine Château Margaux, who wrote that "deeper and deeper went the nose, down an Alice in Wonderland hole of elegance," knew that the author of the Alice books stocked a wine cellar with Château Margaux while serving from 1882 to 1892 as curator of a "common room" (a social room) at Christ Church, the author's college at the University of Oxford. Sources: J.E. Jones and J.F. Gladstone, The Alice Companion (London, 1998) and Cellar Tracker (.com), 3 Jan 2012.

Juvenile wine factlet: In Victorian England, children as young as Alice (age 7) drank spiced wine served in small glasses at the dinner table and wine in sweetened punch served to children at parties. Source: Isabella Beeton, Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management (London, 1861).

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