Kathryn Smith

Pull up a barstool and get better acquainted with Al Capone, Carry Nation, George Remus, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and a host of other historical personalities as you learn of the South's unique role in the ’20s and early ’30s, when alcohol was banned by the federal government.

Georgia Writers Museum proudly welcomes back author and historian Kathryn Smith, this time presenting her newest book, “Baptists and Bootleggers: A Prohibition Expedition through the South…with Cocktail Recipes.” The book will be first released in September. The “Meet the Author” event will be held live on Thursday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. at the museum. Tickets are $45 per person ($40 each for more than one person) and include admission to our Bootlegger’s Ball with Prohibition-era cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, lively music, and dancing, and of course our noted author, Kathryn Smith! Tickets available at www.georgiawritersmuseum.org. Costumes encouraged; cocktails expected! 

Smith’s previous books include “Gertie: The Fabulous Life of Gertrude Sanford Legendre,” “Heiress, Explorer, Socialite, Spy,” which won the Benjamin Franklin Gold Award in biography from the Independent Book Publishers Association; and “The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership that Defined a Presidency,” which was a finalist for the Southern Book Award in Biography.

Part travelogue and part history, “Baptists and Bootleggers” is a refreshingly lighthearted tour of sites throughout the South associated with Prohibition, such as museums (the American Prohibition Museum in Savannah), hotels, distilleries, bars, speakeasies, and even cemeteries. Each chapter features biographies of colorful figures in the battle to ban alcohol (and evade the ban), some long-lost to history. The book points travelers to places of interest and concludes with recipes for cocktails with such alluring names as The Presbyterian (made with Palmetto Whiskey), the Mary Pickford (based on rum), Kentucky Mule (bourbon, of course), and White Trash Lemonade (made with white lightning moonshine).

Smith had her first alcoholic drink, a frozen daquiri, while attending a Beta Club convention in high school; a friend smuggled in the blender in her suitcase. Her taste has improved since then. Today, her favorite drink is the FDR Martini, featured in her latest book. She writes about history from her home in Anderson, S.C., often bringing her husband, Leo, along on journeys to investigate historical sites. She blogs at bootleggers.substack.com. 

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