44 North Huckleberry Vodka Review and The Royal Bloodline

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44° North Huckleberry Vodka is produced by the 44° North Distillery in Idaho. According to their website, it is the first vodka approved to wear the Idaho Potato Commission’s official seal. It is distilled from 100% Idaho potatoes, blended with sweet Rocky Mountain water, and infused with mountain huckleberries.

It is sweet and fruity on the nose with a rich berry smell. It doesn’t smell artificial, in fact it has a fresh and natural smell that entices you to take a sip. The natural smell carries through on the taste filling your mouth with a burst of berry flavor. It is silky smooth and well balanced, finishing with a warming sensation rather than a harsh burn.

It is on par if not better than some of the other flavored vodkas available from many of the major and more well known distillers.
I used the Royal Toast as my inspiration for the drink below.
Royal Bloodline
1.5 oz 44° North Huckleberry Vodka
1 oz Lillet Blanc
.5 oz Cherry Brandy (Cherry Brandy)
1 dash of Orange Bitters
stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Notes:
The rich cherry brandy and light berry flavor of the vodka are balanced out by the complexity of the Lillet Blanc. The vodka also adds an alcoholic punch that helps to open up the other flavors and bring out the nuances of the Lillet.

The 2nd drink is called:
Black Magic
2 oz 44° North Huckleberry Vodka
.5 oz – .75 oz Coffee Liqueur (depends on the strength of your liqueur. the stronger the coffee flavor the less you need.)
1 tsp of lemon juice
shake and strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Notes:
This one tastes just as you would imagine. It has a strong coffee flavor with a fruity background provided by the vodka. The lemon juice helps to brighten and lighten both of the stronger flavors and bridge the gap between them. Try this in place of your next black or white russian and let me know what you think.

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The Beccaccino

I discovered this recipe on the Imbibe website and it sounded quite intriguing.

The Beccaccino
1oz. brandy
.5oz. Bénédictine
.5oz. Amaretto (Disaronno Original)
.5oz. Irish Mist
2.5oz. chilled, strong coffee (El Salvador Estate Peaberry)
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, stir and strain into a glass. Garnish with whip cream and 3 coffee beans. I used homemade whip cream which is rather simple to make.
Notes:
It is essential to use your favorite coffee as this is the primary ingredient. The brandy comes through in the beginning right along with the coffee. The bénédictine and Irish Mist combine to add a subtle honeyed, fruity and spicy note that dances across the palate underneath the bitterness of the coffee. The whip cream adds a sweet and creamy texture to the whole experience. I don’t get much if any amaretto although occasionally I experienced a subtle nutty flavor but I really had to search for it. In fact if I didn’t know it was an ingredient I would have never known by taste alone it was there.
If you like coffee and strong drinks then you should definitely check it out.

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