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How Is Long Island Iced Tea Made

Whos To Blame For The Long Island Ice Tea

How To Make a Long Island Iced Tea – Cocktail Recipe

Like all the best mixed drinks, however, the Long Island Iced Tea comes with its fair share of stories about where it was first created. One story attributes the cocktail to Robert Butts, a bartender at the Beach Inn, a bar situated in Long Island New York. It is thought that he made up the drink in the summer of 1972 as a competition entry. He had to create a drink that included triple sec. While he acknowledges that similar drink combinations may exist, he is insistent that he invented the cocktail. The Iced Tea part of the name came from the tea-like colour and sweet taste of the triple sec included in the ingredients.

The story above is believable enough, however, another story does have a little more credibility to it. A gentleman named only as Old Man Bishop is said to have invented the Long Island Iced Tea in the 1920s during prohibition, although then the drink was named after himself. Cocktails were extremely popular at this time, as the mixers were used to cover up the smell of alcohol in bars. This one was popular because drinkers could claim to be drinking tea, so long as the prohibition police didnt get too close!

Old Man Bishop lived in another location called Long Island, but this place was in Tennessee. It was his son, Ransom, that perfected the recipe some 20 years later, once his father had died. It is his version that has become the cocktail that we begrudgingly love today.

Long Island Iced Tea & Long Island Drink Variations

The Long Island Iced Tea is a heady cocktail made with tequila, rum, vodka, gin, triple sec, lime and lemon juice topped with a splash of cola. Learn how to make the classic Long Island drink plus a few fun variations.

You will also love my Black Cherry Bourbon Cola Smash

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Ahhhh the famous The Long Island Iced Tea For many of us its probably our first introduction into cocktails. And what an intro it was Because despite the innocent name theres no actual tea in this popular drink it is simply the colour of iced tea.

The LIIT is not a sophisticated drink and it wont win any mixology competitions. In fact is a little bit of a guilty pleasure cocktail much like the Pornstar Martini. If you feel slightly embarrassed to order one in a bar then why not make it at home?

So what IS in a Long Island Iced Tea? Brace yourselves This cocktail contains the better part of your drinks cabinet, no fewer than FIVE spirits. Like, is this for real?

It doesnt sound like it should work and yet it does, in major way! It is mega refreshing and the simple ratios of the Long Island Iced Tea recipe make it perfect for scaling up to serve at parties and barbecues.

Long Island Iced Teas You Should Know How To Make

Ahhhh, the Long Island Iced Tea.

As long as people have enjoyed vomiting in the bushes outside their neighborhood watering hole, theyve enjoyed sucking down Long Island Iced Teas.

Just ordering a Long Island sort of defines your night right from the start and makes a declaration to everyone around you: Im going to go from zero to humiliating just as quickly as I can.

Now, if you think people get excited by the Long Island, wait until you offer them a spin-off of the original and watch them jump around like a chimpanzee who got stung by a bee. Ive been serving these variations for years, and if you want to be loved as a bartender, learn to diversify your Long Islands and watch them clutch at their drink excitedly like a child clutches an Otter Pop on a hot summer day.

If youre not a bartender yet, and you want to learn how, you can check out TheRealBarCourse here, even if you have no experience or have no idea where to start.

But enough of that. What kind of teacher would I be if I didnt educate you on the beginnings of the Long Island and where it came from?


As with practically every cocktail with some time under its belt, the Long Island comes with debatable and uncertain beginnings. At first glance it appears as if it might have been inspired by the fruitcake: just throw anything you have in your cupboards into a container, mix it up and then ask yourself why in the hell you would ever ingest such a thing.

Whats up with that, Bob?

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Icebox Long Island Iced Tea

1140 mL bottle | LCBO#: 237792

A perfect solution for parties this mix has all the classic flavour of a Long Island Ice Tea cocktail without all the work, all you have to do is add your favourite cola. Medium amber colour aromas of citrus, orange and juniper medium sweet with flavours of orange, juniper and lemon tea.

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The History Of The Long Island Iced Tea

How to Make a Real Long Island Iced Tea

The story of the Long Island Iced Tea begins in the 1920s. It was at the height of Prohibition in America. A time where booze was banned nationwide by law. You couldnt make it, you couldnt drink and you certainly couldnt drink it.

But that doesnt mean people didnt try.

Somebody going by the name of Bishop created a lethal cocktail, containing Whiskey, Gin, Tequila, Vodka, Rum, and Maple Syrup. The cocktail was created in a small community called Long Island, in Kingsport, Tennesse and was dubbed Old Man Bishop.

This is highly regarded to be the forerunner to the Long Island Iced Tea cocktail we know and guzzle today.

But the modern Long Island Iced Tea is widely thought to have been invented in 1972 by a man called Robert Rosebud Butt.

Enter Rosebud

Rosebud says he invented the cocktail whilst working as a bartender in the Oak Beach Inn, The Hamptons.

This version contains Vodka, White Rum, Tequila, Triple Sec, Gin, Sour Mix, and Coke.

In his words:

We had a contest at the bar I was working at, the OBI, and they put a bottle of Triple Sec on the bar and they asked us to make something out of it. So twenty other bartenders and myself went to work and I came up with this drink.

From there the cocktail took off.

The PBS Inventor Series produced a small film about Robert Butt and how he invented the Long Island Iced Tea, which you can watch below:

Now lets get into the written-down version of how to make a Long Island Iced Tea.

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Long Island Iced Tea Variations

Making variations of the classic Tea is almost as much fun as drinking one. These are some of the best-known variations plus one of my own.

  • Long Beach Tea: Replace the cola with cranberry juice very refreshing and eye catching with a beautiful pink colour.
  • Hawaian Iced Tea: Replace the cola with pineapple juice.
  • Texas Tea: Add another spirit into the mix bourbon! Needless to say this IS stronger than the original.
  • Hipster Iced Tea: This is what my husband and I call our version which replaces some of the spirits with more trendy equivalents. A mix of Pisco, Mescal, Grand Marnier, Gold Rum and whatever else is lurking in the back of our drinks cabinet
  • Take a look at my other variation the Long Island Iced Coffee .

Take a look at my Cocktails archive for more refreshing drinks ideas theres something there for everyone

Perfect Classic Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

The perfect boozy drink to have with your friends will always be a Long Island iced tea. Almost every single type of alcohol is used to make it, with no tea in sight. The secret to that signature flavor is none other than cola!

Long Island Iced Teas have long-been a specialty drink found on almost every bar menu. They were invented in the 1920s during the prohibition-era. A man remembered only as Old Man Bishop created this tea-like beverage because mixers often covered up the smell of illegal alcohol, which is the reason for adding cola. When drinkers were questioned by authorities, they could claim that it was sweet tea in their glasses due to the brownish hue. Funnily enough, this all occurred in Long Island, Tennessee, not New York.

Old Man Bishops son has preserved this sacred recipe. He worked on this recipe for 20 years before perfecting it and releasing it onto the world. Today, it is one of the most popular drinks that every bartender must learn when attending bartending school. If you are a college student looking to get drunk for cheap, you may have a limit on how many Long Islands theyll let you order.

A classic Long Island iced tea is made up of vodka, rum, tequila, triple sec , gin, and is topped with cola. The combination of flavors tastes like tea in the end, especially when citrus is added, usually in the form of lemon juice or sweet and sour mix. Lemon or lime juice is much tastier and more natural than sweet and sour mix.

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In 2018, representatives of the two Long Islands even engaged in a public argument about who should take credit for the eponymous cocktail.

Long Island, New York bartender Butch Yamali wrote an open letter to Kingsport: “Not since the ‘Battle of Long Island’ in the Revolutionary War has Long Islands honor been so challenged. We on Long Island celebrate our beaches, our accents, and most of all, our booze.” Yamali concludes by challenging Tennessee to a “Battle for the Tea,” to be held in either state.

But Tennesseans didn’t take that sort of talk lying down. Visit Kingsport Executive Director Jud Teague responded, again in a public letter: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so thanks a bunch! You may claim youre the best but well always be the original and theres no getting around that. So, in the ‘Yall versus Yous Guys’ challenge, we graciously accept. Be sure to bring your momnem.”

Representatives from the two states met for “battle” in Washington in June 2019, after two taste tests conducted on each state’s home turf. Tennessee was declared the victor, but New York participants have disputed the results indicating that the contest was a fraud.

It seems that we’ll never really definitively know where Long Island iced tea originated and who makes it best.

Long Island Iced Tea Made With 5 Types Of Liquor Sweet & Sour And A Splash Of Cola Gives This Cocktail Its Deceptive Look And Name So Tasty But Youll Only Need One

How To Make A Perfect Long Island Iced Tea | Drinks Made Easy

Some people like to stretch their nights out on the town for hours with light beers and tall glasses of wine. Others want to race for the finish line and the Long Island Iced Tea is the perfect vehicle for that! In spite of its looks, this tricky cocktail doesnt contain any tea at all instead, its made up of light rum, tequila, gin, vodka, and triple sec, bringing each highball glass to a whopping 22% alcohol volume! Even with all that liquor and a tiny amount of mixer, these drinks go down nice and smooth and can be adapted in all kinds of ways to fit your tastes. Pair it up with my favorite shrimp recipe and its a party!

LONG ISLAND ICED TEAFollow Real Housemoms on Pinterest

Hi friends, Erica here sharing a Long Island Iced Tea recipe a classic cocktail every home bartender should know!

If you have a liquor cabinet stocked with the basics, you can create just about any classic cocktail. The Long Island Iced Tea is likely the strongest one you can mix up, but make sure you sip these babies slowly they sure do pack a punch! The origins of the LIIT arent quite as clear as the drink itself. The name would lead you to believe it to be invented in Long Island, New York, and that IS where the current incarnation got its name in the 1970s. However, the cocktail may have been invented in the 1920s during the prohibition era. That version of the drink was made with maple syrup and whiskey in addition to the clear liquors.

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Lets Do Some Cocktail Math

With no less than five spirits, a LIIT contains about 2 1/2-3 shots of alcohol, approximately 22 percent. Lets do the math: 60ml/2oz of high proof spirits plus 15ml/ half an ounce of Triple Sec.

Long Island cocktail has a reputation for packing a wallop like a donkey kick . This could be down to the fact that some bartenders pour very generous measures when making a LIIT.

But the real reason is that this drink is so darned drinkable, so addictive, that you finish it quickly and want a second one the minute the glass is empty. You have been warned!

Ingredients In Long Island Iced Tea

When there are equal parts of five liquors in a cocktail, one liquor should not overpower any of the others. The goal is to achieve balance in the cocktaileven one that packs as much of a punch as the Long Island Iced Tea. To do that, you’ll need quality spirits, but not necessarily high-end spirits.

Top shelf bottles, or small-batch artisanal spirits from the local distillery, can be used in this recipe, but their nuances will get lost in the mix. The LITas a bar server would call itis perfectly happy with the tried and true middle shelf brands of these spirits.

  • Tequila: Tequila Blanco is an unaged tequila that’s also known as silver or white tequila. Espolòn Tequila Blanco and El Jimador Silver Tequila are quality value rums that will work well in an LIT.
  • Rum: Captain Morgan White Rum or Bacardi White Rum work really well in a Long Island Iced Tea. They’re good rums that don’t break the bank.
  • Vodka: An LIT doesn’t need your favorite vodka, just a well-made vodka, like Tito’s Handmade Vodka or New Amsterdam Vodka.
  • Gin: Standards such as Beefeaters or Tangueray are perfect for Long Island Iced Tea, as is New Amsterdam Gin.
  • Triple Sec: Triple Sec is a sweet, orange flavored liqueur. Cointreau is one brand of well-known triple sec, but feel confident using one that has a lower price tag such as DeKuyper. If Grand Marnier is all you have in your liquor cabinet, it’s a fine alternative even though it’s a blend of cognac and triple sec, not straight triple sec.

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Nutrients Of Long Island Iced Tea

How many kcal does a Long Island Iced Tea have? You can find out here. One serving contains:

  • 5 Ice cubes


  • The preparation of the Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail is very easy. Put all ingredients into a glass filled with ice and stir a few times.
  • Garnish the cocktail with a few slices of lemon or lime and thats it!

The Perfect Tequila Cocktail Is Sipped From Three Separate Glasses

Perfect Classic Long Island Iced Tea Recipe (Easy Recipe ...

Old Man Bishops recipe, which predates Rosebuds by about 50 years, called for a half ounce each of rum, gin and tequila, plus a full ounce each of vodka and whiskey. The edge was taken off of this less-than-savory brew by topping the five liquors with maple syrup.

This recipe was also a hit, according to legend, but it wasnt until the 1940s that it really took off. Thats when Old Man Bishops son, Ransom, modified the original recipe by adding lemon, lime and cola.

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So who really invented the drink? Was it bootlegging Old Man Bishop or bartender Rosebud Butt? While its worth noting that neither recipe is quite the version that we encounter today, which is made by also including bottled sour mix, both Long Islands appear to have a legitimate claim to the cocktail.

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Long Island Iced Tea Nutrition Facts

This is the best Long Island Iced Tea recipe of all time! This Long Island Iced Tea recipe is one hot mess of a drink. The recipe reads more like a frat house hazing than one of the worlds most popular cocktails. And yet, somehow, it works. Long Island Iced Tea is a cocktail made with vodka, gin, tequila and rum and was first served in 1970. Many claim to be the creators of this young-at-heart staple, but this version is the real deal. And while the name of this classic cocktail is misleading, very few actually liken the taste to a real iced tea.One thing we know for sure is that this cocktail has certainly made a name for itself outside of Long Island. The drink has a much higher alcohol concentration than most highball drinks due to the relatively small amount of mixer.The Long Island Iced Tea is a curious cocktail. In spite of the name, a Long Island Iced Tea contains no tea! Long island iced tea made with five types of liquor and a splash of cola gives this cocktail its deceptive look and name.Whatever your view of the Long Island Iced Tea is, it is a popular drink and one that every bartender should know. The Long Island Iced Tea is one of our favorite guilty pleasures!

Best Long Island Iced Tea Recipe


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