The popular "Tales of the Cocktail" events have continued over the course of the last several days and are winding down tomorrow. This year's featured libation has been the Mint Julep, a drink associated with the Kentucky Derby and a mainstay of the Old South. Frankly, with the rise of the Mojito as a popular drink, the concept of muddling mint leaves to render a refreshing cocktail doesn't seem so quirky. A well-made Mint Julep can be quite revealing as it swirls on one's tongue. It is sweet, but not overly so. It has a bite that lingers as the bourbon it is mixed with moves towards the back of the throat. While I still prefer the rich taste of a well-made Sazerac, it's easy to see why the drink was chosen to serve as the one to feature. Two nights ago special dinners were held at select restaurants featuring sponsors of various spirits who worked with the chefs at each location to make memorable meals coupled with complementary (not complimentary, mind you) drinks. Some of the seats cost as much as $100 a piece, but the experience was one that true epicureans could boast for years to come. It's not all drinking, mind you. There are seminars on varying topics of import, especially as drinks and cocktails relate to local and historical venues and events. This year's Tales of the Cocktails seems to be bigger, more organized and better attended than previous years. It has become a mainstay of summer during a period when tourism has traditionally been slow. Thank goodness its time has come. I'll drink to that.