With a twist


Cocktails of the 1920s are fun to read about. Frothy, syrupy, and sweet, the drinks of that era necessarily had to include lots of glitz and flavor to overcome the substandard gin and whiskey being made at the time.

Backroom liquor gave rise to drinks like "The Bees Knees" made with bathtub gin, lemon juice, and lots of honey. Prohibition also popularized American standards like the "Mint Julep." The sweet ingredients included In a Julep were a natural disguise for questionable bourbon. In addition, Cuban drinks saw a rise in popularity. Those who were wealthy enough traveled to Cuba to circumvent the ban and brought back with them a taste for drinks like the "Bacardi Cocktail" and "Mary Pickford."

At the upcoming reading series, "Two Books, One Community: Great Gatsby & Fire in Beulah," readers will have a chance to learn how to make modern, fancy cocktails during one of our new book discussions with a "twist." These new discussions with a twist are intended to allow participants to dig deeper into their book discussions by sharing a related activity while talking about the books.

The different discussions with a twist include:

  • 3/21/2016 at 6:30 p.m. at Stillwater Public Library. Enjoy a tea service and work on your sewing, knitting, cross-stitch, or other project, as the librarian reads selected, important passages from the books.
  • 4/2/2016 at 2:30-4:40 p.m. at OSU Art Museum. Discuss 1920s art movements and "The Great Gatsby," then make artful collages based on what you have learned.
  • 4/4/2016 at 7 p.m. at Gatsby's. Learn how to make high-end, Jazz age cocktails and discuss "The Great Gatsby."
  • 4/13/2015 at 7 p.m. at Zanottis. Discuss jazz and "Fire in Beulah" with a music expert.
  • 4/21/2016 at 7 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Discuss both books with an expert on the psychological impact of slavery in current fiction.
  • 4/28/2016 at 7 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Enjoy a soul food potluck dinner and discussion of "Fire in Beulah" with a food studies expert.

Sign up for discussions with a Twist or for a traditional discussion begins March 8 at our 12 p.m. afternoon speakers at Stillwater Public Library with cocktails, live jazz, and an introduction to our books by NSU scholar, Dr. Andrew Vassar. Or, at 7 p.m., attend our evening speakers at Brooklyn's in the Cellar with live jazz and food and drink for purchase. Free copies of "The Great Gatsby" and "Fire in Beulah" will be provided to anyone who signs up for a discussion.

For more information, visit http://library.stillwater.org/TheBeesKnees.php.

Sponsors: Stillwater Public Library, Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History, Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Funding Partners: This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Other funding partners include Stillwater Public Library Trust, Friends of Stillwater Public Library, and Friends of OSU Library. 

Community Partners: Stillwater Public Schools, Wondertorium Museum, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, City of Stillwater Community Center, OK Quality Printers, Downtown Stillwater, Town & Gown.

OSU Partners: OSU Library, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, African American Student Association, NAACP.