A few months ago, when our woods were exploding with huckleberries, we decided to use some of our bounty to infuse vodka. We prepared our mixture, poured it into mason jars and let it sit in our garage for two months. Yesterday was the opening of our concoction. We didn’t make much, not being sure how it would turn out, but it’s pretty darn tasty so next year we will be making more!
Here’s our recipe, which can easily be adapted to your own tastes:
Unflavored Vodka (the only way it came when I was growing up!)
Fresh huckleberries (we use evergreen, as that’s what grows in our yard but wild mountain huckleberries would be even better)
Several slices or chunks of crystallized ginger
Dried Valencia orange peel (although fresh would be delightful as well)
Quart mason jars
Add one generous cup of berries to each mason jar. Fill 3/4 with vodka. Add two to three tablespoons of honey and a few dashes of orange peel per jar. Drop one or two good-sized slices of the ginger in each jar (we used one this year; will probably add more to half of them next year). Seal jars and keep in cool, dark place for at least one month. When ready, shake well and strain into decorative containers.
The resulting color is beautiful, and the vodka tastes fine on its own (keep it in the freezer for best taste). It also makes a good mixer with juice, as it’s not too sweet. Here are a few suggestions:
Serve over ice with lemonade and a dash of gingerale.
Use in a vodka martini, mixed with cranberry or a cranberry mix juice and ginger syrup–shaken, not stirred.