Huckleberry vodka is one of the more unusual-flavored vodkas, similar in profile to other berry vodkas, but with its own distinct characteristics. It tends to be produced by smaller craft distilleries based in the U.S., where sweet-tart huckleberries (a close relative of blueberries) grow wild in mountainous regions. If you have access to fresh huckleberries, you might even infuse your own vodka at home. Whether you go for a homemade approach or purchase a special bottle of huckleberry vodka from an artisan distillery, you’ll find its unique flavor is beautifully showcased in some classic vodka-based cocktails as well as more minimalist mixed drinks. The best huckleberry vodka drinks feature neutral or complementary mixers that enhance, rather than compete, with the flavor and aroma of huckleberry.
The 360 Huck’s Cosmo, a recipe devised by the makers of 360 Huckleberry Flavored Vodka, is a riff on the classic cosmopolitan. Huckleberry vodka mingles with the potent orange liqueur triple sec, while a large splash of cranberry juice offers tartness to balance the sweet. Shake the huckleberry cosmopolitan’s three components with ice; then strain it into a chilled martini glass for a chic drink fit for a glamorous gathering or an evening just catching up with a friend.
Wine Enthusiast’s huckleberry martini recipe is similar to a huckleberry cosmopolitan, but it uses simple syrup instead of triple sec along with cranberry juice for an all-berry blend of flavors. Sugar the rim of your martini glass for a fancy effect and extra sweetness. Also consider adding a dash of bitters to balance the sweet berry flavors in this robust martini.
Berry and lemon flavors are firm friends, so lemonade, whether store-bought or homemade, is an ideal mixer for huckleberry vodka. The huckleberry lemonade recipe created by Idaho-based 44 North Vodka combines one part huckleberry vodka with three parts lemonade, served rustic-style over ice in a mason jar with mint leaves and lemon slices as a garnish. You might also like to muddle some fresh huckleberries, blueberries or raspberries with the drink. Cut the lemonade with iced tea to make an adult huckleberry Arnold Palmer, which also reduces the sugar content and calorie count of the drink.
Bozeman Spirits of Montana’s huckleberry vodka is showcased in the huckleberry mule, a simple mixed drink made with the vodka and ginger beer. You can use ginger ale, regular or diet, if you can’t find ginger beer, but a quality brand with a ginger-heavy flavor is preferable for augmenting the huckleberry flavor in the mule. Fresh berries and a squeeze of fresh lime are nice additions.
Just two ingredients go into 360 Vodka’s refreshing, mouth-puckering 360 Sawyer’s Sour: huckleberry vodka and sweet and sour mix. Serve the huckleberry sour in a highball glass over plenty of ice. If you prefer to make your own mixers from fresh ingredients, which lets you skip the high-fructose corn syrup and preservatives often present in ready-made mixes, opt for a homemade sweet and sour mix comprising sugar, water and freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices.
Joanne Thomas has worked as a writer and editor for print and online publications since 2004. As a specialist in all things food and drink, she has penned pieces for Livestrong, Robert Mondavi and Modern Mom, among other names. She found her first jobs in a series of kitchens before moving on to celebrate food via the written word. Thomas resides in California and holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of Bristol, U.K.