Ah, the alluring and formidable cocktail known as the Delta Gem.

A wildly popular signature offering at Giardina’s Restaurant, the Delta Gem ever flows like the nearby Yazoo River, spilling into The Alluvian Hotel’s iconic lobby.

The Delta Gem was born in 2010, fresh on the heels of the cocktail renaissance. It was precisely the spring and summer months that Greenwood, Mississippi, was aflutter with A-list actors in town filming The Help. It’s been handed down to subsequent bartenders ever since with longtime bartender James Mims carrying the torch.

Served in a sleek martini glass and topped with Champagne, the Delta Gem is altogether sweet, sour and floral with a hint of ginger. The base spirit is a choice of vodka Hendrick’s Gin, the latter layering notes of cucumber and rose to the beautiful ginger, lime and elderflower profile.

Like the Carrara marble-top tables and vintage black and white tile floors, the Delta Gem has stood the test of time. Sipping one brightly refreshing Delta Gem inside this chic hotel bar is absolutely enchanting, but sipping two? Be forewarned that she’s a temptress, a potentially dangerous sipper, and that her powers should never be unleashed too quickly.

Giardina’s was a trailblazer on Mississippi’s cocktail scene. Printing seasonal signature cocktail menus and igniting flames to orange peels over their Old Fashioneds, they brought both flair and flavors to a state with lackluster cocktail options at that time.

If The Alluvian Hotel is a jewel in Mississippi’s crown, then the Delta Gem is the sparkling peridot gleaming from its hotel restaurant bar. Pretty and powerful, she is the reigning queen of Mississippi Delta cocktails.

Excerpted from Mississippin’ in Mississippi Magazine

Giardina’s Restaurant inside The Alluvian Hotel is located at 318 Howard Street in Downtown Greenwood. Open Monday through Saturday, 4pm till with Happy Hour every Thursday.