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2 min read

Minnesota Original: The Real Story Behind the Bootlegger Drink

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Minnesota is a golfer's state. In fact, we consistently rank at or near the top in golfer participation in the U.S. What does this have to do with cocktails? Plenty — maybe. Minnesota's unofficial official cocktail, The Bootleg, or Bootlegger Drink, has been a favorite of the state's country club set for decades.

Who actually invented this sweet and sour minty refreshment in a glass? Even seasoned local reporters can't find one definitive answer. What's the real story? Country clubs. Prohibition. The need to mask the harsh flavors of bootlegged booze. No matter the answer, we know that the Bootlegger is a true Minnesota original.

Bootleg or Bootlegger Drink

  • 2–3 bunches of 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
  • Water
  • Club soda to top

Combine lemonade, limeade, and chopped mint in a blender and blend. Add simple syrup and blend more. To make the drink, fill a tall glass with ice and add 2 parts booze (Gin, Vodka, Bourbon), 2 parts Bootleg Mix, and 2 parts sparkling water or club soda to top it off. Don't forget the mint sprig to garnish- cheers!

(If you're looking for other Minnesota originals - check out our list of Minnesota wineries. More of a beer fan? We've got a list of Minnesota breweries for you, too!

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