Thursday, May 21, 2015

Huckleberry Lemonade

As a Montanan, it's only right that I be completely obsessed with huckleberries. If there is a way to incorporate it into a recipe, I'll find a way. Now with grilling season in full swing and family BBQ's just around the corner, what could be more refreshing at a gathering than a pitcher of sweet, fruity Huckleberry Lemonade?

What makes this lemonade so wonderful is simple huckleberry syrup. Just like any simple syrup, you bring a sugary mixture to a gentle simmer until the sugar is dissolved. When the berries have begun to soften and burst open you know something great has happened. Lemon zest and Nielsen Massey vanilla extract add just the perfect touch and elevate the syrup to the next level.

I found this really interesting chart on Nielsen Massey's website that helps you pair the right vanilla (Madagascar Bourbon, Mexican and Tahitian) with the right recipe. For this sweet drink, I chose to use the Tahitian blend due to its fruity flavor with floral notes. Plus, according to the chart it pairs best with fruits and cold dishes. Perfect!

If you are feeling like making this lemonade "adult", I highly recommend adding some regular or huckleberry flavored vodka to the pitcher. Be careful! This sweet concoction goes down easily!
And if you live in an area where huckleberries aren't available, blueberries work just as well!

Huckleberry Lemonade
Servings: 6-8
  • 1 cup Huckleberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup Granulated White Sugar
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Vanilla Extract (or Madagascar Bourbon)
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 7 cups Water, divided
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water, sugar, huckleberries and zest of 1 lemon. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Let the syrup simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the huckleberries begin to soften and burst open. Remove the syrup from heat, strain with fine mesh strainer into a large bowl and let cool. Once cool, stir in the teaspoon of Tahitian Vanilla Extract.
In a large pitcher, pour in all the huckleberry simple syrup, lemon juice and remaining 6 cups of cold water. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve over ice and garnish with extra huckleberries.
Tahitian Vanilla Extract provided by Nielsen-Massey for Hi-Line Healthy to review. All opinions are 100% my own. Photograph of Tahitian Vanilla Extract provided by Nielsen-Massey.

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