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50 Drinks in 50 States: The Bootleg in Minnesota

Get inspired to drink your way across America (without ever leaving your backyard) with Margaritaville’s 50 Drinks in 50 States series.

Who were we kidding with a trip to the beach in Maryland – it’s still winter! Naturally, let’s bounce north to Minnesota where the average winter temperature ranges from -2 to 20 degrees (F) depending on which end of the state you’re visiting. While the State of Minnesota cites milk as its official drink, producing 9.7 billion pounds of it per year, others may beg to differ.

During the winter months, it can take more than multiple layers of clothing to warm up – so we bring you The Bootleg.

There are several stories of how and where The Bootleg was created, but all signs point to the Prohibition era and local country clubs. The Woodhill Country Club of Wayzata, MN claims to have made the first Bootleg and they sell a bottled version of the mix today. The mixture consists of a lemon-lime combination and hint of mint. The Bootleg Mix is added to gin, vodka or bourbon and finished off with club soda. The mix covers up much of the alcohol taste or smell, which could have been a strategic measure during the Prohibition days.

As you ride out the winter temps, you can pretend you’re playing golf at the club while sipping this cocktail in the comforts of your home. Now, don’t get us wrong, Minnesota is well worth a visit for their 10,000 Lakes, the Mall of America (home of a new Margaritaville Restaurant!), and beautiful outdoor escapes…but we suggest waiting for those temps to go up. Enjoy!


  • 1 oz. gin, vodka or bourbon
  • 1 oz. Bootleg Mix (recipe below)
  • 6 to 8 oz. club soda

Bootleg (Makes 20 oz., or about 20 servings)

  • 12 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 6 oz. frozen limeade concentrate
  • 1/2 c. finely minced, fresh mint leaves (no stems)
  • 1/2 c. simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar brought to a boil in a saucepan and cooled)
  • Combine in blender until mint leaves are finely chopped. Refrigerate.


Fill a tall glass with ice. Add alcohol of choice, Bootleg Mix and top off with sparkling water. The Mix will keep for a few days in the refrigerator but use as soon as possible.

A Twist

Take the Bootleg Mix with freshly squeezed lemon juice (1/2 cup) and lime juice (1/4 cup). You can also top it off with Sprite, 7-Up or sparkling water.