CHAPTER ONE

The Mad Hattress' Tea Party

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.

One afternoon, the Mad Hattress sat on her table set out under a tree. The table was long, and laid out for a tea party. “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. Contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?” 

The Mad Hattress pondered this thought for a while, whilst sipping on a cup of tea, as she sat on a rather large, extravagant table, decorated with more drink and food than one could possibly eat.

 

 

 

She turned to the dormouse who was quietly asleep in a tea pot; "I want to try something new!”, said the Mad Hattress.

"I'm bored of the classic tea, I’m bored of the good old G & T, I need something thrilling and exciting! I shall host a Mad Hattress Tea party!”

The Mad Hattress started mixing and experimenting with the different items she had on her table. She wanted to find a new combination of drink that would re-define the alcoholic beverage. She wanted something ground breaking. She decided to add the lady grey tea, and the good old fashioned gin together. She gently gave it a stir and took another sip; The Mad Hattress' eyes widened with excitement. "This is going to be simply marvellous".

 

With a skip in her step, the Mad Hattress invited everyone she knew to attend her impromptu tea party.
So the tale of the Gin & Rum Blend begins…

It's rude to offer something you don't have...

The first to arrive was the Queen of Hearts. "I have arrived”. Her shrill voice commanded authority.

"Your Majesty, would you like some wine?"

The Queen looked around the table and saw nothing but tea pots, cups, cakes, Gin, Rum and tropical fruit. “I don't see any wine. It’s quite rude to offer something you simply don't have!" she replied.

"Well why not have a spot of tea, or maybe some Gin, or maybe both!”

"I shan't try both! That sounds ridiculous"

"Too late!” Quicker than the Queen could object, the Mad Hattress had thrust the new combination of Gin and Tea into her hands.

"It's marvellous isn't it?" The Mad Hattress was quite pleased with what she had achieved in such a short time.

"It isn't awful Mad Hattress”, she paused, “but it isn't good either; it needs something else, something sweet and zesty?"

"I have some oranges! A few squeezes should do it".  The Mad Hattress grabbed the cup and poured the contents into her hat. She grabbed a few oranges, and squeezed them tightly, until there was no more juice left to squeeze. She then gave it a large stir and poured it back into a teacup. 

 

They both tried again: ”Not bad, not bad", they both retorted. After a few too many sips, the Mad Hattress and The Queen of Hearts merrily sat down for a game of cards (a game of Rummy to be precise) whilst they waited for the late arrivals. Meanwhile.... "I'm late, I'm late, I cannot be late!" - the White Rabbit was nervously checking his pocket watch.

I'm late, I'm late! I cannot be late!

After much time had passed, the White Rabbit arrived at the Mad Hattress' tea party. Breathlessly he alerted the queen and the Mad Hattress that he had arrived.

“Sit down White Rabbit, your nervousness is making me feel uncomfortable"

"Here drink some of this”. The Queen of hearts thrust the teacup into his shaky hands.

"What is it?", stuttered the White Rabbit

"Why, its a marvellous concoction of one's deepest darkest desires. Mixed with a splash of Gin, a dash of tea and a mix of zesty orange. It gives one a feeling of euphoria."

"It all sounds a bit bizarre, but I suppose I could try it."

The White Rabbit took a sip. His ears began to twitch, his tail began to wiggle, his nose began to scrunch and his face erupted into a grimace. "Not sure if this works, Mad Hattress. I think it needs something else...."

"Something else? What do you suggest?"

They all sat around the table playing rummy, contemplating what they could add into their drink to make it taste even better. 

 

"Ahhhh haaa!", exclaimed the White Rabbit, whilst he was staring at the contents of the table. "I think I know what it needs!"

"Do Tell?", exclaimed the Mad Hattress.

"It needs some Rum"

“RUM!?”, both the Mad Hattress and Queen of Hearts bellowed.

The White Rabbit cautiously examined the table for the right Rum. After a few minutes of deciding, he picked a deep dark rum. Taking the tea cup with the drink, he poured it back into the Hattress' Hat, put a few drops of rum in, and gave it a swirl. Then, he poured it back into the cups.

"Give this a try?"

They all took a tea cup and had a good sip. With that, they looked at one another in agreement: this was getting better. 

"This is absolutely incredible White Rabbit, what a jolly good job! I feel the base is there, but it needs to be served with something else, don't you agree? They all looked at the table again, they tried their new drink with tonic  but something wasn't quite right.  They tried their drink with fresh lemonade, but the lemons over powered the oranges. They needed something that would compliment the bitterness of the tea, the fruitiness of the gin and the heat of the rum.

 

The Mad Hattress grabbed the ginger ale and poured it into her drink and took another sip. This time she had cracked it! Her wonderful drink needed to be served with ginger ale. "This is truly magnificent" said the Queen.

"We shall call it a Gin & Rum Blend"! Said the Hattress, whilst they continued their game of cards.

"Very good," agreed the Queen. "It precise and to the point, I like it"

"Rummy! I've won! I've Won!"

The White Rabbit placed his cards down in triumph as he won the game of Rummy. The Queen and the Hattress both exchanged looks and nodded in agreement. "Rummy what an excellent name". They all thought in silence.

 

And so my friends, this is how the story of the Mad Hattress Gin & Rum Blend came about and how the trio of Gin Rummy started.

 

When life gets a little dull, try something new! Go on! We dare you!

 

*Extracts have been taken from Alice Through the Looking Glass By Lewis Carroll and adapted for Gin Rummy Spirits

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