Mixology at Home – Huckleberry Cocktail
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - You really can’t go wrong with huckleberry. It is a great fruit in almost any recipe: jams, candies, pies, muffins, pancake syrups, and yes, it is the right thing for this cocktail!
I know because on a trip through Montana one year the bar at Glacier National Park had everything huckleberry and I enjoyed their huckleberry cocktail.
A little side note – last year on Good Morning Black Hills we had an Everything 605 day, where everything focused on something South Dakota, including a Mixology at Home cocktail that could be considered the state’s, own, Teddy Roosevelt-inspired rum concoction. We also mentioned some other states’ drinks and Montana supposedly was Jack Daniel’s and coke. Well, I had forgotten about the huckleberry cocktail. That should be Montana’s state drink.
So, here’s my take on it.
- 2 oz vodka (huckleberry vodka is a thing, but just like the berries, difficult to find)
- ¼ oz triple sec
- ¼ oz simple or brown sugar syrup (sweeten the drink a little; huckleberries are tart)
- ¾ oz huckleberry syrup (again, depends on your taste)
- ½ oz lime juice
- Purple sugar for rim (optional)
Directions: Add vodka, triple sec, huckleberry and simple syrups, and lime to a shaker, fill with ice, and shake to mix and chill the drink. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with purple sugar.
I stumbled on a jar of huckleberry syrup that is specifically for drinks. However, you can make your syrup if you can find huckleberries. They are seasonal, usually only found a couple of months over the summer.
To make huckleberry syrup, use equal parts water, brown sugar (cane sugar is an OK substitute), and huckleberries (No huckleberries? Substitute blueberries). I have seen some recipes that call for two parts huckleberries and less water. Finding the right mixture for your taste might take a couple of attempts.
Bring mixture to a boil and then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. With a spoon, periodically smash the berries against the side of the pan to release more of the juice. The longer it simmers, the thicker the syrup. Let cool and then strain into a bottle. It should be good for at least two weeks in the refrigerator.
Origin of the phrase “I’m your huckleberry.”
One of the best lines in the movie “Tombstone” is when Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday says to Johnny Ringo … “I’m your huckleberry.”
There are a lot of opinions about the origin of “I’m your huckleberry,” but let’s go with southern slang that means the right person for the job.
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