The Bootleg is a delightfully summery cocktail made from vodka, citrus and fresh mint. It was originally created during Prohibition in Minnesota, and is now the state’s national drink.
I love its simplicity and the fact that one can usually ‘bootleg’ most of the ingredients from a neighbour or local community garden. This version was made using 100% locally foraged Inner West lemons and mint – all above board of course!
Some people insist on freshly squeezed juice, while others use lemonade or a cordial, but this recipe uses both in order to get just the right sweet/sour balance. A dash of homemade citrus bitters takes this drink to another level – I suggest making a big batch and giving bottles as Christmas gifts.
Makes two servings
2 shots (90ml) vodka
1 shot (45ml) lime cordial
juice of one large lemon
5-6 mint leaves, finely chopped
Dash of citrus bitters (optional)
1. Combine the vodka, cordial, bitters and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker.
2. Shake well and strain into two glasses filled with ice.
3. Top with soda water.
Zest from 4 lemons
Zest from 1 lime
2 tbsp dried lemon zest
1 tsp dried orange zest
4 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 tsp dried ginger slices
1/4 tsp whole coriander seeds
1/4 tsp whole white peppercorns
5 dried kaffir lime leaves
3/4 tsp dried gentian root*
1/4 tsp whole fennel seeds
500ml 100-proof vodka
1. Combine all ingredients in an airtight glass jar.
1. Pour vodka over the ingredients, stir and seal.
2. Store in a cool, dark place for two weeks, swirling mixture regularly.
3. After two weeks, remove solids and strain liquid through a fine cloth of coffee filter paper.
4. Transfer to small dropper jars and store in a cool, dark place.
* Gentian is a herb often used in bitters and liqueurs. It is available at most herbalists and health food shops.
Recipe by Olivia Mackay, www.scoffandquaff.wordpress.com