Yeah As I sit here with my 3 month old squirming in my arms, I am thinking why not pour up another glass of this vodka. Yes vodka is this weeks pick for the Drinking Man’s Game. To be specific it’s 44° North’s Mountain Huckleberry Vodka. Being completely honest with you, the only Huckleberry that I am familiar with is Huckleberry Finn and Huckleberry Hound, so this is uncharted territory for me. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised by my first experience with Huckleberry and 44°North.
This week I decided to switch some things up. My usual liquor store didn’t have any new options, so I diverted to my backup location. I tend to use this location as a secondary option because at times it’s a bit pretentious for my liking but let’s not get distracted. I initially went in with intentions of purchasing something more in the spirit of autumn, but again I fell for aesthetics. You guys should know by now I’m a sucker for presentation. My backup store came through and I was so surprised! From bourbons to ports, there were so many unfamiliar options that made the entire experience refreshing. I literally stood in the aisle looking like a 2 year old watching Paw Patrol. Sorry, can you tell I have gotten a lot of quality time with my little guy as a new father?
Okay, let’s get down to business and talk 44° North’s Mountain Huckleberry. As mentioned, I wasn’t aware that a huckleberry was an actual berry. There has never been a single situation in my life where it’s been flavor or a food option. Since I mentioned food, 44° North’s Vodka Mountain Huckleberry is a potato vodka and that means its gluten-free folks! One characteristic of potato vodka is that they seem to be smoother and lack the biting sensation most grain vodkas can present. I prefer that bite in certain spirits but not necessarily my vodka. I see it as a smooth spirit and feel it should always bare that taste.
Now on to my favorite part, drink preparation; which was pretty seamless for the Mountain Huckleberry. A Huckleberry’s taste is very similar to that of a blueberry so naturally I went for the homemade lemonade I made a few days ago. 44° North is obviously aware of how complimentary blueberry and lemonade are as ingredients, and even provide a signature recipes for drinkers to prepare. This was actually the other area where I decided to alter things a bit. Most of us typical consumers aren’t mixologists and at times making drinks can be daunting or boring. I took the short route to perfection and went with a few of 44° North’s signature recipes. The first, Huckleberry Lemonade was exactly what I imagined when I first tasted 44° North Mountain Huckleberry. The smoothness of the vodka and tartness of lemonade definitely complimented each other. To give you an idea of how much I enjoyed this recipe, I finished half the bottle of Huckleberry Mountain preparing this mix. I guess I got a bit heavy handed, but hey it was well worth it. Don’t fret if the same happens to you, you are reading this for a reason, nothing wrong with being fond of the drink. The second of 44° North’s recipes was Huck and Soda which is pretty straight forward. It is a variation of often patronized vodka soda mix, and while being traditional it was still pretty damn good.
After nearly finishing this bottle I think it was pretty obvious this was one I enjoyed. So I’m sure there are still a few questions of where it sits amongst other gluten free vodkas. The three most popular brands seem to be Smirnoff, Three Olives, and Tito’s. I have had some journeys with all three of these brands. Smirnoff and Three Olives more so in the past, with Tito’s being often stocked in my home now. 44° North Huckleberry is flavored but it’s more of a compliment flavor than a flavored Vodka like you see with Smirnoff and Three Olives at times. It’s hard to compare it to Tito’s due to the light berry flavor. However, I am big proprietor of Tito’s and lemonade, and I may have enjoyed this 44° North Huckleberry and lemonade a bit more than I do that. It was smooth and refreshing at the same time which is always a huge plus. On top of that who doesn’t enjoy a good berry lemonade nowadays?
44° North Vodka provides a impressive vodka at a price that won’t break your wallet. At $30 dollars this vodka is not only moderately priced, and is also a great alternative to some of the gluten free vodkas you may already know. If you’re looking for a new drink this weekend that is a sure bet, pick up 44° North’s Vodka Mountain Huckleberry.