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Netroots what? Never heard of it.

Oh, yeah, I know. Big hootenanny of happy progressives laughing, joking, drinking, smoking, saving the world up north somewhere.

But we're too cool for that, you and I. Or maybe too broke. We can have a perfectly good time right here at home with our friends and loved ones (okay, cats). Who needs some dumb old Netroots Whatever, anyway? We can laugh joke drink and smoke just fine here, thank you very much.

Particularly the drinking part, if by here you mean here in New Orleans this week. It's the dead middle of the dreadful summer, which means it's the season for that annual celebration of our fair city's greatest gift to civilization, the cocktail.

Yes, it's time for Tales of the Cocktail, a week-long festival of parties, seminars, lectures, markets teach-ins, pop-ups (and, one presumes, fall-downs) all celebrating the mixed libation.

Oh, the Brits can prattle on about their 18th-century experiments in making gin barely palatable--and you're sure to find that debate raging at some TOTC seminar or another--but most authorities agree that the modern cocktail dawned in our fair city in the mid-19th with Aaron Bird's creation of the Sazerac, a cognac and absinthe concoction flavored with sugar syrup and bitters.

Techniques and tips for making the perfect Sazerac--or just about anything else that can be poured in a glass and down a hatch--will be explored at TOTC, including making one's own bitters, if that's how you roll. Just take a look at the events.

So, if your sour grapes at missing NN haven't mellowed into sweet wine, you can always belly up down our way and drown your sorrows.

Or perhaps there's something must-see happening in your neck of the woods? Pray tell...


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