2017 Books And Bitters Recap!

Octavia guy and a closeup of the Octavia Books nameplate

For the first time, the annual partnership between Tales and Octavia Books was hosted in the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

2017 marks another successful year at the Books and Bitters Market, the annual event sponsored by Octavia Books. For eight years now, Tales of the Cocktail® has partnered with the local bookstore to showcase an impressive global selection of both cocktail books and bitters for Tales attendees to peruse through during the week of the cocktail festival.

This year, bitters were incredibly well-represented at the Bitters Market, which featured over 24 brands and sold over 600 bottles of bitters. The top five selling bitters at this year’s market were Peychaud’s, Mr. Bitters’ Variety Pack, Peychaud’s Barrel Aged, The Bittered Sling Gift Box, and Wild Hibiscus’s B’Lure Butterfly Pea Flower Extract.

The bookstore portion of the market offered close to 200 titles, representing some of the industry’s most well-respected authors and covering a wide variety of interests. The bookstore sold copies of nearly every title on offer this year, a sign of the continuing success of the partnership between Tales and Octavia Books. Not only were guests able to browse through the selection of books on offer, they also had the opportunity to meet the authors and get their book copies signed at the week-long “Shots of Inspiration” popup. Bitter makers were also present to discuss and offer tastings of their products.

“We were happy to to present nearly 200 cocktail titles – many fabulous new ones alongside some old favorites. And, they nearly all sold. The strong and continuing interest in the books – so many authors attending and the readers who purchased them in numbers – demonstrates a true commitment by mixologists and other Tales participants to understanding the art they practice.” – Tom Lowenburg of Octavia Books

The Top 10 Best-Sellers at the Books Market:

  1. Mezcal: The History, Craft, and Cocktails of the World’s Ultimate Artisanal Spirit – Emma Janzen
  2. Distilled Knowledge: The Science Behind Drinking’s Greatest Myths, Legends, and Unanswered Questions – Brian Hoefling
  3. Regarding Cocktails – Sasha Petraske
  4. Mr. Boston 75th Anniversary Official Bartenders Guide
  5. Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar Featuring the Original Formulae – David Wondrich
  6. Bitterman’s Field Guide to Bitters – Mark Bitterman
  7. Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits – Derek Sandhaus
  8. Zen & Tonic – Jules Aron
  9. The Craft Cocktail Compendium: Contemporary Interpretations and Inspired Twists on Time-Honored Classics – Warren Bobrow
  10. Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki – Martin & Rebecca Cate