How To Make National Park-Inspired Margaritas
Last month at Grand Teton National Park, I tasted my first huckleberry when all of the #ALEx14 bloggers enjoyed a ranger-guided hike at Jenny Lake. As we hiked, the park ranger pointed out the plants, berries, and trees that were flourishing at the high elevation.
I was hiking alongside Ramon from MrBrownThumb when he pointed out that there were huckleberries growing along the trail. He quickly snapped a picture and picked a few for us to taste. They were smaller than a blueberry, firm and sweet with a bite of tartness.
I learned that huckleberries begin to ripen between July and September and can grow at elevations ranging from 2,000 to 11,000 feet. There are around 40 species of huckleberries and they can be found from Wyoming to Oregon, north into Canada, and even in Alaska. Huckleberries can be shades of blue or red and can take fifteen years to reach maturity, but will bear fruit in their earlier years.
And I also found out that we are not the only ones who enjoy huckleberries. Bears love them too. Using their claws, they pull out patches of the huckleberry bush and gobble up the berries. Our guide informed us that bears can eat up to 15 gallons of huckleberries a day. Wow!
Like their delicious friend the blueberries, huckleberries are nutrient-packed and are known for their antioxidant powers. They are said to aid in digestion, improve vision, and stimulate blood circulation. High in vitamin C, vitamin B, and iron,these tiny jewels pack a healthy punch.
I fell in love with huckleberries and knew I just had to share a recipe with you. I picked up a jar of wild huckleberry preserves at Dornan’s Trading Post to bring the flavors of Wyoming home with me. I knew the sweet, tart flavor of the berries would pair wonderfully with the warmth of tequila. Everyone knows I love a great margarita, so today I share with you a margarita inspired by Grand Teton.
Here’s my recipe for huckleberry margaritas:
INGREDIENTS (makes 2)
2 tablespoons huckleberry jam
2 tablespoons Cointreau
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup tequila
Combine huckleberry jam, cointreau, lime juice, and tequila in a blender. Blend until smooth, serve in a salt rimmed glass over ice.
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