A Birthday Party for Dostoevsky!

The North American Dostoevsky Society held a multimedia extravaganza birthday party for Fyodor Mikhailovich, on Zoom on Nov 11 2021 at 4pm PST/7pm EST.

The festivities will include:

  • a short opera performance
  • songs and poems inspired by Dostoevsky’s works
  • videos created by Dostoevsky fans
  • a slideshow of artwork inspired by Dostoevsky’s works
  • a slideshow of memes that engage with Dostoevsky’s works
  • readings of favorite Dostoevsky passages

Attendees were be invited to give testimonials (2 mins, entirely voluntary) during the event and were encouraged to bring their own favorite passages to read (1 paragraph).

The event included a toast to Dostoevsky and his legacy and attendees were encouraged to procure a piece of cake to eat during this part of the event and invited to make their own Dostoevsky-themed cocktails and/or mocktails (recipes below) to sip during the event and to raise a glass of during the toast.


Watch the recording here:


Mocktail and Cocktail Recipes

The Sonya (mocktail)

  • 1/2 tbsp (75 ml) elderflower cordial or syrup
  • 1 L bottle cloudy apple juice
  • 1 bottle sparkling water
  • Fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Ice

In advance: mix elderflower cordial with 1 L cloudy apple juice. Add a handful of mint leaves, stir well (or muddle and stir well), then refrigerate until needed.

When ready to toast: pour a half glass of the elderflower/apple/mint mixture and top up with the sparkling water to taste. Enjoy!


The Alyosha (mocktail)

  • 2 parts Pomegranate Italian Soda
  • 1 part Ginger beer
  • 1 part Cranberry Juice Cocktail
  • 1/3 cup Frozen Mixed Berries (optional)
  • Ice

Mix 2 parts pomegranate Italian soda with 1 part ginger beer and 1 part cranberry juice cocktail over ice. Add optional frozen berries and stir. Enjoy!


The Grushenka (cocktail)

  • 1 oz of gin or brandy
  • 0.5 oz of simple syrup
  • 0.5 oz of lemon juice
  • Around 3 oz sparkling wine (champagne or similar)

Combine gin or brandy, simple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice. Strain into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel. Enjoy!


The Rogozhin (cocktail)

  • Sugar cube
  • Angostura or some other bitters
  • Two ounces (60ml) of rye or bourbon (or brandy or dark rum)

Put a sugar cube in a rocks glass. Add two dashes of bitters. Muddle the sugar with bitters. Add two ounces of rye or bourbon. Add ice. Stir. Add a twist of orange peel. Enjoy!


This event is part of our on-going celebration of Dostoevsky’s bicentenary in fall 2021. We’re grateful to co-organizers Katherine Bowers, Kate Holland, and Kaitlin Shirley as well as technical support from Teis Jayaswal.

We also thank our sponsors who have enabled this event (and all our events) to take place:

4 thoughts

  1. Folks, this is the most exciting event on a computer I have ever seen! I, however, live in a rural area (Siberia? steppes?) and cannot attend. How much of this can I see when it is all over?

    No cake recipes?

    Liked by 1 person

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