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How To Drink Long Island Iced Tea

Whats In A Long Island Iced Tea

How To Make a Long Island Iced Tea – Cocktail Recipe

Typically a Long Island ice tea has a variety of liquors and then cola to give it the color of an ice tea. The classic cocktail is made with vodka, rum, gin, triple sec and tequila with a splash of cola for color.

There are lots of variations as some use sour mix or even tea itself. However these are what is normally in a Long Island ice tea.

Long Island Iced Tea Ingredients

The Long Island Iced Tea is a highball cocktail made with 5 liquors: vodka, tequila, rum, gin and orange liqueur. When mixed together with cola the drink has a brown color, just like iced tea . The modern version of this cocktail was most likely invented in 1972 by a bartender in Long Island, New York: hence the name.

The LIIT took off and became so popular that it made the list of the International Bartender Associations IBA official cocktails! This means that it has an official definition. Whats in a Long Island Iced Tea?

  • Vodka
  • Lemon juice
  • Cola

Yes, thats a lot of ingredients. Lets talk through why this makes the best Long Island Iced Tea recipe, and then whether there are substitutes!

Is It Called Ice Tea Or Iced Tea

Iced tea refers to hot tea that has been poured over ice ice tea is tea that has either been brewed cold or has been cooled down before serving, which minimizes the diluting effects of the ice.

Citrus. PIN IT. Berries. PIN IT. Cinnamon. During crisp, fall afternoons or winter, snowy nights cinnamon in your tea will create a spice to the drink. Honey or Honeysuckle PIN IT. Lemon Verbena, Lemon Basil or Lemon Thyme. Mint or Peppermint.

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The Dangerously Delicious Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail

  • Notorious, yet not as dangerous as it seems

  • Easy cocktail to make at home or in the bar

  • 3 surprising recipe variations

The Long Island Iced Tea. A notorious cocktail that has endured the passage of time. Dangerous due to its mixture of many different spirits and best enjoyed when served ice cold. But if you use the right balance, your Long Island Iced Tea is not that risky as it seems. And it’s actually a rather easy cocktail to make. Let us guide you on how to s properly prepare a Long Island Iced Tea cocktail that can be enjoyed without any harm.

History Of The Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea

There are many assertions about when the Long Island Iced Tea was invented, spanning different decades. But the most famous claimant is Robert ‘Rosebud’ Butt. The drink was created in 1972 when Butt was a bartender at the Oak Beach Inn Hotel in Long Island, New York. He participated in a cocktail contest in which contestants had to come up with a new cocktail using Triple Sec.

50 years prior to this, a similar cocktail was invented: the ‘Old Man Bishop’. This was during the turbulent times of the prohibition in 1920s America. In a neighborhood called Long Island in Kingsport, Tennessee, an old man with the nickname’Old Man Bishop’ invented a drink containing whiskey, maple syrup, gin, vodka, tequila, and rum. In the 1960s, the first recipe published under the name of ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ appeared in Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book .

The recipe that is now made and consumed worldwide is based on Robert ‘Rosebud’ Butt’s recipe and combines equal parts Triple Sec, gin, rum, vodka, and tequila with lime juice, sugar syrup, and a splash of cola.

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How Strong Is Long Island Iced Tea

The five liquors make Long Island iced tea seem like a strong drink, but if you do the math, it’s not terribly potent compared to other cocktails. When you pour 80-proof liquors, 60-proof triple sec, and top it with 2 ounces of soda, its alcohol content falls in the 16 percent ABV range. That is about the same as a strong rum and Coke and half the strength of a gin martini.

How I Made My Keto Version

Because most hard alcohol does not have any carbs, I kept the standard vodka, rum, gin and tequila. However triple sec is an orange liquor and has about 11g of sugar so I eliminated that completely from the drink and instead used an orange extract and a sugar free simple syrup which has no carbs.

To make the sugar free simple syrup, you add equal parts Swerve sweetener and water to a pan. Bring the two to a simmer until everything dissolves and let cool before using.

I also used Realemon lemon juice that comes in the bottle because it doesnt have any carbs either. While fresh would be nice the juice of 1 lemon has roughly 3.3g net carbs so I figure why not save a few with the bottled. I did use it as a garnish though.

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Who Created The Long Island Iced Tea

The story of Long Island iced tea is as sordid as its ingredient list, and its true origin may be lost to history. One Prohibition-era story credits Charles Bishop, a 1930s moonshiner in then-dry Tennessee. Jump to the 1970s, and the concoction’s creation could go to Robert Bott, a bartender from Long Island. Then there is the tale that the Long Island was an original drink of the T.G.I. Friday’s franchise. It is entirely possible that Bishop made the drink and that it was forgotten for a few decades until Bott remade it and gave it the now-famous name. At some point, the restaurant probably caught wind of it and claimed it as their own .

Keto Long Island Ice Tea Recipe The Ultimate Low Carb Summer Cocktail

This is a Glass of Trouble | How to Drink

May 15, 2020 by Denise

If you are fan of this classic cocktail, you will love my keto Long Island Ice Tea recipe. It has all the flavor of original but without the carbs. A mixture of spirits and the citrus flavors make this a great keto cocktail for the weekend!

You might also like this keto Arnold Palmer cocktail!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information visit our policies page.

Most of the time when I make low carb drinks they taste just as good with or without the alcohol. However this keto Long Island ice tea is all about the alcohol as its known for being mostly alcohol. Thats one of the reasons I thought it would make a good keto cocktail.

I didnt used to like these drinks until I had one in a restaurant know for them. It was so good that I had to try my hand at making it low carb. It turned out delicious and will definitely be on my summer drink list.

  • In a small pan, add sweetener and water and simmer until dissolved. Let cool before using.
  • In a shaker cup, add the vodka, gin, rum and tequila.
  • Pour in the diet cola, lemon juice, simple syrup and orange extract.
  • Shake or mix well and pour into 2 tall glasses with ice.
  • Garnish with a slice of lemon.
  • Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe card you can print and save for later.

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Experts Tips For Long Island Iced Tea

  • Itââ¬â¢s simple enough to make this cocktail at home and itââ¬â¢s very easy to gather all the required ingredients.
  • Use good quality alcohol to limit the starting flavour. Using top-shelf brands is literally tastes like Iced Tea.
  • If you want a budget-friendly drink, you can use the least expensive liquors.
  • Itââ¬â¢s easy to make this drink too strong. Many bartenders overpour liquors usually. However, this is not only making the drink stronger, but it is also knocking the taste out of balance.
  • Keep in mind that the flavour is more important than potency when making a better Long Island Iced Tea.
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    Origins Of The Long Island Iced Tea

    A cocktail just couldnt be considered a true classic unless there was controversy over who invented it. As it is with so many other mixed drinks, so it is with the Long Island Iced Tea. There are two stories about how the drink was invented: one origin story says it was first created in the 1920s, and the other version says the drink was invented in the 1970s.

    The origin story that most people are familiar with is that bartender Robert Rosebud Butt created the Long Island as part of a cocktail creation contest while working at the Oak Beach Inn on Long Island, New York. All New Yorkers will claim that either Rosebud or fellow Oak Beach bartender Chris Bendicksen are the rightful creators of the Long Island Iced Tea, but there is another intriguing story that places the creation of the drink in 1920s Tennessee.

    According to residents of the Long Island community in Kingsport, Tennessee Old Man Bishop, a local retiree, who also happened to have a moonshine business on the side, invented the drink in the 1920s and later passed the formula to his son, Ransom Bishop. This Tennessee version of the Long Island used whiskey, gin, rum, vodka, tequila, lemon and lime juices, and maple syrup.

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    Recipe For Long Island Iced Tea


    Step 1.

    Take a Collins glass fill it with ice then pour vodka, rum, tequila, gin, triple sec, simple syrup, and lemon juice.

    Step 2.

    Add a dash of Coca cola to the top and stir briefly.

    Step 3.

    Now garnish it with a lemon wedge and serve it with a straw.

    Heres A Video By Tipsy Bartender On How To Make A Long Island Iced Tea

    The Iced Tea part of the name comes from the tea color and sweet taste of the triple sec. ~LongIsland.com

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    Crazy Facts About Long Island Iced Tea

    Long Island Iced Tea &  Long Island Drink Variations ...

    By Ls Cohen Published: April 09 2020

    The Long Island iced tea is a popular drink among us Islanders as well as non-Islanders alike, but very few know how to make it correctly.

    Below we list some crazy facts and controversial history of the famous drink.

    • Recipes call for at least five shots in a Long Island Iced Tea
    • Ingredients include gin, tequila, vodka, white rum, Triple Sec, Gomme sugar syrup, lemon juice, and a splash of cola.
    • Bob Rosebud Butt is credited with inventing the Long Island Iced Tea in 1972.
    • Butt invented it working at the OBI East in the Hamptons for a friendly contest
    • He says they put a bottle of Triple Sec on the bar and challenge 20 bartenders to make a drink
    • There is a 2013 mini documentary by PBS in its Inventors series about Butts drink
    • In the video Butt shows you how to make a Long Island Iced Tea

    Watch the documentary about Long Island Iced Tea and Bob Rosebud Butt below

    Video: PBS Digital Studios/YouTube

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    Long Island Iced Tea Recipe Tips

    There is no iced tea anywhere in the Long Island Iced Tea. It is simply the color of iced tea. This is critical knowledge to have if you plan to drink one. The popularity of the Long Island has spawned its own family of highballs.Many drinks remain popular in their own right in numerous locales throughout the United States, while owing their existence to the success of the original Long Island Iced Tea. Most variants use equal parts of the main liquors, but include a smaller amount of triple sec .

    Close variants often replace the sour mix with lemon juice, replace the cola with diet cola or actual iced tea, or add white crème de menthe. Most variants do not include any tea. If this drink is treated with respect and the person pouring keeps in mind that taste is more important than potency, the Long Island Iced Tea is a good drink.This Long Island Iced Tea recipe is an easy one to throw together in a big pitcher for a party. I wait until just before the guests arrive, then mix everything together in a bowl with ice. Strain it into a pitcher and serve!

    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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    How To Make A Long Island Iced Tea

    As we use only very small volumes of each spirit in this Long Island Iced Tea recipe and the alcohol content is also somewhat diluted by the lime juice, sugar, and cola, this cocktail is safe to enjoy on a lovely summer evening. But of course, always in moderation. The Long Island Iced Tea cocktail is actually a long drink and it’s one of the easier cocktails to make at home or in the bar.

    How To Make Long Island Iced Tea

    Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail Recipe – SO BOOZY!!

    You can build your Long Island Ice Tea in the glass: so you dont have to dirty a cocktail shaker or spend time shaking! The only time involved here is measuring out each liquorwhich does take a few minutes because there are so many components! Heres all you need to do to make this easy drink:

    • Stir: Pour the components into a highball glass. Add ice and stir.
    • Garnish: Add a lemon wedge if desired.

    Keep in mind: this drink has only 2.5 ounces alcohol, so its not as boozy as you think! Its similar to many of our 200+ cocktails, especially the other highball cocktails.

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    The History Of Long Island Iced Tea

    Before we get into the ingredients, it is important to learn a little something about this beverage, where it comes from and what its cultural background is. Now, it is believed that a man named Robert Butt has invented Long Island iced tea in 1972. He allegedly invented this drink to enter a contest sponsored by Triple sec. The name for this drink was inspired by his workplace at the Oak Beach Inn on Long Island, New York.

    On the other hand, there is a claim that the drink was first invented in the 1920s during the Prohibition era in the United States. It is believed that the drink was invented by an Old Man Bishop in a Long Island community in Tennessee. This, however, seems to be a different type of Long Island iced tea as it had some different ingredients. Nevertheless, the variations to the drink became a standard, as different communities added their local twist to the drink. Nowadays, bars across the country and the world serve, of course, the standard, original version of Long Island iced tea, but surely enough, other varieties seem to be gaining popularity with different communities and consumers. Some of the most famous Long Island iced tea include Long Beach iced tea, Tokyo Iced tea, and the Adios iced tea.

    If You Like This Try These

    Looking for another “all but the kitchen sink” cocktail with a kick? A Rum Runner and a Zombie, both tiki drinks, have that same vibe. However, if you over-simplify the Long Island Iced Tea, you get something like a Tom Collinsgin, lemon, sugar, bubbles. And of those cheesy drinks everyone loves to hate but loves to drink, there’s the Kamikaze, the Sex on the Beach, the Alabama Slammer, and many, many more.

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    A Few Substitute Ideas

    What if you dont have the entire laundry list of liquors on hand, but still want to make an LIIT? Here are a few ideas for some substitutions:

    • Vodka, tequila, or gin: Leave one of these out and double one of the other liquors. For example, if you dont have gin double the tequila. But try to have at least 3 of the 4 main liquors.
    • White rum: Use another type of rum if you dont have white on hand. Aged adds a sophistication to the flavor. Or again, you can leave it out and double one of the other liquors.
    • Cointreau: Want a Cointreau substitute? Use Triple Sec, Grand Marnier or Orange Curacao.


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