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State of the Art: American Independents

  • Southern Food & Beverage Museum 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard New Orleans, LA, 70113 United States (map)

In New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail and looking for the best drinks the city has to offer? Are you a cocktail enthusiast seeking the latest in liquid innovation? Then plan now to attend State of the Art, The Museum of the American Cocktail's (MOTAC) biggest annual cocktail celebration and fundraising event, offering the connoisseur both classic cocktails and innovative drinks from local masters mixing and twisting the cocktail canon.

Making the evening all the more special this year is a presentation by cocktail writer and spirits expert Lesley Jacobs Solmonson and the opening of two new shows at MOTAC's New Orleans Collection: "The Age of Elegance," an exhibit of Victorian-era culinary and mixology artifacts, menus, and ephemera, curated by Jeffrey Pogash, and "Shakers, Knives, and Irons," documenting the evolution of chef and bartender tattoos and featuring photographs by Romney Caruso.

State of the Art 2017 begins at 6:00 PM with a welcome cocktail and spirits seminar led by Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Senior Editor at Chilled Magazine, Drinks Editor at Foodable, author of Gin: A Global History and the forthcoming Liqueur: A Global History, and co-author of The 12 Bottle Bar.

At 7:00, the competition begins as 10 of the city's best bartenders and bartending teams vie for most creative cocktail employing independent American spirits, drawn from independent distilleries across the United States. The competition will be judged by professional judges as well as the public! You get to vote for your favorite cocktail, too, and ballot-box stuffing is definitely encouraged.

Participating Bartenders


Admission includes drinks and a variety of gourmet bites and a token to vote for your favorite cocktail. Additional tokens can be purchased during the event. Proceeds support NatFAB, home of MOTAC, the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, and Pacific Food & Beverage Museum. Advance tickets are $35 for National Food & Beverage Foundation (NatFAB) and USBG members and $40 for the general public. Admission at the door, if available, is $45 for members and $50 for the general public. NatFAB membership is available to all at

If you have any issues with the ticketing software or would prefer to make your reservation on the phone, please call us at 504-267-7490 during the week or 504-569-0405 on weekends. Tickets may be refunded or exchanged up to 48 hours prior to the event. After 48 hours no refunds will be available.

Thanks to the sponsors of the 2017 State of the Art for their generosity and support.