Photos By Hillary Ehlen
Having opened in West Fargo in December, MacKenzie River is a newcomer to the Red River Valley’s food and drink scene. On the food side, you can expect a variety of American fare, including pizza, pasta, burgers and fries. The wet portion of MacKenzie River mixes classic favorites with some new twists. An exciting feature to note is their bar’s frost rail that allows drinks resting on the bar to remain cold- yum! Bartender Victoria Hubbard told us all about their bar, including this huckleberry favorite on their cocktail menu.
Journey to Bartending
I am Victoria and I’m the bar manager at MacKenzie River. I’ve been with the company here in Fargo since we opened this location in December. I have almost 10 years of bar experience, I’ve managed a couple of other places out of state. I was at another restaurant in town for three years, then this opportunity opened up and I jumped at it. So here I am, I love it.
About the bartending experience at MacKenzie River
We have our own set recipes, because we are a corporate company. So we’re very consistent in that the drinks need to be made the same way here as it they are at the other locations. Me being the bar manager, I kind of drill that into my bartenders. This is the first corporate company I’ve worked for so it has taken a little getting used to, but I’m having fun.
Most Popular Drinks Amongst the Regulars
The Huckleberry Mojito and the Huckleberry Lemon Drop are two very popular ones. We also do a blood orange whiskey sour that’s pretty popular. Then we have the Smoked Old Fashioned, which is a really fun one to make. It has a really nice summer campfire smell when you light it up, so everybody at the bar smells it and sees it and then we’ve got like 30 people coming back to the bar for one! Plus we use a cherry wood chip in it, so it gives it that really sweet smoke smell.
About This Drink
Our Huckleberry Lemon Drop has your Huckleberry vodka, mixed with citron vodka, a little bit of lemonade and some simple syrup. You squeeze two lemons into the shaker tin first and then you put huckleberries in the shaker tin with the vodkas. When we garnish it we put a small scoop of huckleberries at the bottom and then strain the drink in there. It’s actually really sweet for having that huckleberry that is very tart.
The huckleberry drinks do well because we are a Montana-based company and the huckleberry is big in Montana. So we have a lot of people that come in for the huckleberry drinks. There aren’t a lot of bars here that carry the huckleberry vodka that we carry, and if they do, they don’t have the actual fresh huckleberries like we do.
Huckleberry Lemon Drop Martini
- 44 North Huckleberry vodka
- Absolut Citron
- Housemade simple syrup
- Fresh huckleberries
- 2 lemons
- A splash of lemonade
Garnish with a sugar rim and lime