Summer Drink Recipe: The Bootleg

Memorial Day kicks off the opening season of a classic Minnesota drink.

Memorial Day weekend kicks off a very special Minnesotan tradition: bootleg season! Minnesota’s version of a mint julep or mojito, the bootleg recipe varies from place to place, as does the origin of the drink. Many country clubs in town sell bottles of their own bootleg mix, whose color varies from swampy looking (the mint) to bright green (food coloring).

Says John Farrell III, vice president of sales and merchandising for Haskell’s, “I personally put limeade in a blender with as much fresh mint as I can fit.” Farrell shares his recipe with Lake Minnetonka Magazine readers.

Bootleg Recipe

2–3 bunches chopped mint, stems removed, plus a mint sprig for garnish
½ cup simple syrup
1½ oz. rum, vodka or gin
1 can frozen limeade
1 can frozen lemonade
Club soda to top

Mix: Combine lemonade, limeade, simple syrup and chopped mint in a blender. Add a bit of water until the blender is about 80 percent full. (You can store this mix in the fridge and re-fill as the summer goes along, Farrell also notes.)

To make the drink, fill a tall glass with ice and add your rum, vodka or gin. Pour the bootleg mix on top until the glass is about three-fourths full. Top with a dash of club soda (or lemon-lime soda for a sweeter result) and a mint sprig to garnish.