Bartender’s Choice

Story William Browning | Photograph Luisa Porter

Photographed by Luisa Porter.

Photographed by Luisa Porter.

In Starkville, at The Veranda, a restaurant on Lincoln Green that for a decade-plus has offered what its owners call “top-flight food and beverage,” you can order a blackberry margarita.

And you should.

A bartender named Cameron Wilcher may make it for you. Wilcher has been working at The Veranda for two years. A Carthage native, she’s a Mississippi State University graduate saving for law school. Wilcher, a blonde gal with an electric smile, likes meeting new people. Especially people in town for business or a Bulldog football game.

“I love being able to show them true Southern hospitality,” Wilcher said.

That includes a nice meal and good conversation. Also — a nice drink, which brings us back to the blackberry margarita. We enjoy a strange mix of flavors that works, and does anything sound more refreshing on a warm fall day in Mississippi?

It’s a specialty drink. And it is, along with a Grey Goose martini, Wilcher’s favorite drink to make for her customers.

It’s made with The Veranda’s house margarita mix and a homemade blackberry purée. The kicker is that the glass is rimmed with sugar instead of the traditional salt. A sweet twist on a traditional drink.

We’re all about it.


For margarita mix:

1.5 ounces Jose Cuervo Traditional tequila
1.5 ounces fresh lime juice
1 ounce fresh agave nectar

For cocktail:

Blackberry purée (sweetened with a little sugar)
Fresh blackberries

• To shaker, add margarita mix and splash of soda.
• Shake hard and pour over crushed ice.
• Float puréed blackberries on surface of drink (very important not to mix in).
• Garnish with a fresh blackberry.