Christa M Cotton

A native of Leesburg, Georgia, Christa worked in the family business during college, ultimately helping to establish 13th Colony Distilleries – Georgia’s first craft distillery.

After graduating from Auburn University in 2010 she moved to New Orleans, working at a boutique ad agency specializing in tourism, hospitality and entertainment. After years working alongside chefs, restaurants, hotels and events, she founded the New Orleans Beverage Group in 2017; acquiring the El Guapo trademark and re-joining the craft spirits industry she’s passionate about.

As CEO, Christa is responsible for all things bitter. She leads overall strategy and recipe development while keeping projects and initiatives on time and under budget. She’s a certified sommelier and makes a killer cocktail, but spends most days negotiating contracts and managing the business. She’s known for fostering strong relationships, forging partnerships with Neiman Marcus, Whole Foods and Costco, among others.

She serves as a liquor judge for the annual Good Food Awards, a prestigious food and beverage competition managed by the Good Food Foundation, of which she is an active member. She’s a member of the James Beard Foundation and a volunteer/ occasional dog foster parent for the LASPA and ARNO. She’s also a passionate advocate for New Orleans culture, history and architecture.

In her spare time, Christa enjoys traveling, cooking and exploring New Orleans with her daughter, Flora, as well as studying for her next Sommelier exam and loving on her Bernese Mountain Dog, Archie Manning.