Celebrating 21 at a Speakeasy

Story and Photography by Becca Barton

The term “21st birthday” draws to mind images of finally-legal coeds partaking in alcohol-drenched debauchery, usually ending with a revisiting of the alcohol consumed earlier, to put it mildly. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Enter Ciro’s, a local speakeasy that provides just the right hint at illicit activity in a sophisticated atmosphere.

The decision to ring in my birthday speakeasy-style had been decided a few months ago, after my cousin proclaimed, “You will totally love it.” And so, on the night of my birthday I arrived at the doorstep of Ciro’s with my two cousins, her boyfriend, and a male friend. Fashion-wise, I had embraced the 20s theme, wearing a mid-length slinky black dress with a flapper-style headpiece. 

After whispering the password, we entered a dimly lit room as the hostess led us past rows of intimately curtain-cloaked booths, finally stopping at one with just enough space to fit the five of us cozily. Lana del Ray, a personal favorite of mine, played in the background providing a sultry soundtrack to the evening.

I had my first drink in mind before looking at the menu, one my cousin had been talking up for the past few months: the Bramble, a mix of gin and blackberries. Sweet, with just the right edge of gin cutting into the fruity taste, it lived up to the hype.

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