Bootleg Cocktail Recipe

by | Aug 7, 2019 | All, Batch Cocktails, Gin, Liqueurs, Rum, Vodka

There’s nothing like summer in Minnesota, especially when it involves a Bootleg Cocktail. It’s the perfect way to quench your thirst on a hot summer day.

Bootleg Cocktails in low ball glasses garnished with fresh mint and lemon slices on a white background.

Summer is a great time to get out of your cocktail rut and one of our summertime favorite drinks is the Bootleg Cocktail

Have you ever had one?

It is fresh, citrusy and the perfect way to use some of the abundant mint growing in my garden.

If I could get everything to grow as well as my mint does, my garden would rock! 

Top dowm image of Bootleg cocktails in a silver tray with lemon wedge, mint leaves and lime slices for garnish.

What is a Bootleg Cocktail? I’ve never heard of it. 

This recipe needs to go to the top of your must-make list. Trust me.

A Bootleg is a cocktail staple at any country club in Minnesota, but no one will give you the recipe.

Not even a hint.

You can guess at the ingredients: lemon, lime, mint, club soda….sounds simple, right?

It is – once you get the proportions down (which took us many enjoyable tries. No complaining here!)

Like your drinks a little sweeter? Add a little more mix.

Prefer them a little drier? Add more club soda or another splash of alcohol.

What equipment do I need to make this cocktail?

Not a lot, but these few items make it much easier.

1. A good blender. Now I know not everyone can splurge on a top-tier blender, but I highly suggest you save up your birthday gift cards because they make a huge difference in how quickly you can pull together one of these minty cocktails.

I own Blendtec and love it, but many people are also thrilled with their Vitamix blenders. They do a much better job of tackling that mint and pulverizing it so you don’t end up with green things stuck in your teeth.

2. We forego old school traditional bar jiggers and always use these OXO Liquid Measuring Beakers. They are easy to read and have multiple sizes to take the guesswork out of measuring smaller amounts.

Any bartender knows that proper proportions make or break a cocktail.

Single Bootleg Cocktail in a low ball glass on a white background. the drink has a yellow and white straw in it and is garnished with fresh lime wedges and fresh mint leaves.

What kind of alcohol do you use in this drink recipe?

Whenever you order a bootleg, the next question is always gin, vodka or rum? 

I prefer mine with gin, but don’t worry if you aren’t a gin lover like me. Vodka and rum are both delicious options. 

The Bootleg is a great way to serve the same drink to many people while being able to add a personal touch to suit their alcoholic tastes.

Can I make this recipe as a batch cocktail?


Don’t want to mess around with mixing drinks individually?

Pour two parts Bootleg mix to one part gin, rum or vodka and mix in a pitcher. Pour over ice and add club soda when serving.

So bring on the patio party and make a batch of bootleg mix to soak up every last bit of time with friends and family. I know we are so ready to enjoy our oh-too-short, but magical summer weather.

One of the best things about summer in Minnesota? It makes you forget winter pretty quickly. I’ll drink to that!


Need some more ideas for summer cocktails? Here are some of our favorite drinks to shake up happy hour!

Raspberry Palomas– Garnish with Lemon®

Frozen Peach Champagne Cocktail– Spend with Pennies

Aperol Gin Cocktails– Garnish with Lemon®

Prosecco Margaritas– A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

Elderflower Vodka Sodas– Garnish with Lemon®

Watermelon Gin Punch– Garnish with Lemon®

Single bootleg cocktail on the rocks in an old fashioned glass garnished with fresh mint and lime wedges.


Yield: 6 ounces

Bootleg Cocktail

Bootleg Cocktail

A citrusy, minty Bootleg cocktail that can be made with gin, vodka or rum.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


Bootleg Mix:

  • 1 - 12 ounce can lemonade concentrate
  • 1 - 12 ounce can limeade concentrate
  • 1 cup packed mint plus additional for garnish

Bootleg Cocktail:

  • 1 1/2 ounces Gin (vodka or rum can also be used)
  • 3 ounces Bootleg mix
  • splash of club soda
  • Mint for garnish


To make the Bootleg Mix:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until mint is chopped finely. Pour into jar and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let flavors develop. The chopped mint will rise to the top and it settles, I scoop most of it off before mixing the cocktails.

To make Bootleg Cocktail:

  1. Pour gin and Bootleg mix into low ball glass filled with ice. Top with club soda, stir and garnish with mint.


The bootleg mix will make 12 cocktails.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

6 ounces

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 0gSugar: 26gProtein: 0g

LOVE this recipe?

Follow us on Pinterest for more great recipes! Just click the little pin button at the top of the recipe card.

This Bootleg Cocktail is a Minnesota summer favorite! Filled with citrus and mint you can't go wrong with this cocktail. Bonus: It works with gin, vodka or rum!

We're the creative juices behind Garnish with Lemon. In the past 8 years, millions of people have sipped & snacked on our recipes. Need easy, delicious party food and drinks for your next shindig? You’ve come to the right place.

Our Story

About Lisa

Hi, I’m Lisa! Looking for the party? It’s probably at my house. Nothing brings me more joy than sharing good food with friends and family. That and a seriously good cocktail.


  1. Avatar

    Well I love the name that’s for sure. I have to look for this Bootleg mix and the drink sounds amazingly refreshing!!!

    • Avatar

      Hi Cathy, It’s a great refreshing summer drink, so yummy. I’m making them tonight! Have a great weekend!

    • Avatar

      Thanks, Steph! Let me know what you think! Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Avatar

    we actually snagged the (a) recipe from a relative bartender at woodhill,

    what you have plus
    6oz lemon juice
    1/4 cup powdered sugar

    we also have found that if you briefly freeze the mint leaves they shatter very finely in a food processor.

    you are welcome 😉

    • Avatar

      Ooh, Thanks! Will give it a try-love the idea of slightly freezing the mint. Cheers!

  3. Avatar

    Oh my…made a batch of the boot leg mix and this certainly trumps the mojitos that have been my summer staple! My boys even enjoyed a ‘virgin’ bootleg while we all sat out on the porch. I like the idea of freezing the mint leaves & will try that next time. Thanks for all of the great recipes – LOVE the site! t has inspired me to get out of my food rut.

    • Avatar

      Thanks, Tina! Hope your summer is going well 🙂 We need to get together and drink one of these bootlegs 🙂

  4. Avatar

    Hi Lisa, this is probably a stupid question, but I assume you add water to the mix as well right?


    • Avatar

      Hi Gary, Not a stupid question at all! In fact, you do NOT add water to the mix-just use the concentrate full strength. Cheers!

  5. Avatar

    This is a darn good recipe, But growing up at Oak Ridge
    C.C. in hopkins. Darrel S. The main bartenders recipe has been tried and true for over 30 years. Follow above recipe, just add 1/2 can frozen O.J. and 2 Tbl corn syrup….mix well, put in Tupperware and freeze over night. Add 1-2 Tbl to each glass. Add vodka, muddle to mix/melt, finish with club soda…..enjoy

  6. Avatar

    Gin is my favorite! I have to make this as soon as I can find some Bootleg. I’ve never heard of it. I love your little whisk too!

  7. Avatar

    Could this be put into a pitcher for a group so don’t have to make each one individually? Any suggestions? Thanks

    • Avatar

      Hi Suzanne, I make the bootleg mix and then mix 2 parts bootleg mix to one part gin, vodka or rum and keep chilled. Serve over ice and add club soda before serving. Hope that helps. Cheers!

  8. Avatar

    How many drinks can be served from this recipe? How large of a can of lemonade & limeade? We are making for a big group – when can I add the soda – I would like to have it ready a while ahead if possible. I’ve had it and it was very refreshing.

    • Avatar

      Hi Mary, You can make 8 cocktails with this recipe. I added the size of the lemonade and limeade cans to the recipe, I use 12 ounce cans. I add the soda right before everyone comes or as I am serving them. That way people can add a little bit more if they want a lighter drink. This is such a great cocktail for a group! Enjoy!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *