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How To Make The Perfect Long Island Iced Tea

How To Make A Long Island Iced Tea


This article was co-authored by Tom Blake. Tom Blake manages the bartending blog, He has been a bartender since 2012 and has written a book named The Bartender’s Field Manual. This article has been viewed 499,169 times.

Though iced tea might sound tame, the Long Island Iced Tea is known to have quite a kick since it combines 5 types of alcohol and half the amount of the mixers. The cocktail is also highly adaptable–you can scale down on the alcohol, try different variations of the spirits, or swap Coke with cranberry juice for a lighter summer drink.XResearch source

The Real Long Island Iced Tea

There are a few impostors out there that claim to be Long Island Iced Teas. In actuality, there is only one correct way to make a LIIT and this is it!

Provided by Sledge

21.3 g


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, and sour mix over ice cover and shake. Pour cocktail into a Collins or hurricane glass top with splash of cola for color. Garnish with a lemon slice.

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.

Read Also: What Ingredients Are In Long Island Iced Tea

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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

Cheers to the Weekend: Heres How to Make the Perfect Long ...

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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Dont Let Long Island Iced Tea Sneak Up On You

What cocktail enthusiasts really need to keep in mind is that the flavor of this cocktail is so smooth that it barely tastes like a cocktail at all, and its easy to overindulge. One way to protect yourself from getting drunker than you intended is to ask the bartender or server how much of each alcohol is being used. In addition, be sure not to drink on an empty stomach and to drink a full glass of water before having another cocktail following this one. As long as youre careful and pace yourself, the Long Island Iced Tea will bring you a party in a glass.

Gather The Necessary Ingredients And Appliances

For two glasses of Long Island iced tea, you should have an ounce of vodka, an ounce of tequila , an ounce of light rum , an ounce of triple sec, an ounce of gin, half a cup of cola , two cups of ice cubes, two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, two lemon wedges, and a cocktail shaker. The classic version of the Long Island iced tea uses equal amounts of all the liquors. Most variations of the cocktail use equal amounts of the main liquors but reduce the amount of triple sec. You might want to try including just half an ounce of triple sec instead of a full ounce.

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Variations On The Long Island Iced Tea

There are lots of ways to play with the recipe above to create variations of the cocktail. For a sweet and sour Long Island iced tea, add five ounces of sweet and sour mix and two dashes of Blackstrap bitters to the ingredients above. You can also use Seven-Up or another light soda instead of Coca-Cola or grapefruit tea in lieu of the sweet and sour mix for yet other variations and finally, one that actually uses tea! For a sweeter and fruitier drink, you can try adding peach schnapps, use orange juice in place of the cola, and garnish with grenadine instead of lemon wedges.

Given how many hard liquors go into a Long Island iced tea, it should come as no surprise that the drink is quite strong, and will get you drunk pretty fast. So enjoy it with caution!

What Is Triple Sec What Is Curacao

How to Make the Perfect Long Island Iced Tea

Curacao and Triple Sec, or sometimes even called Triple Sec Curacao, belong to the group of orange liqueurs.

These are made by first drying the peels of oranges and bitter oranges and then soaking them in alcohol to extract the aromas and essential oils. After a few days the peels are sieved out and spices are added. The product is then diluted and distilled. By the way: orange liqueur is colourless in itself, but it is often coloured for sale.

Curacao takes its name from the island of the same name, Curacao, where Dutch settlers first produced orange liqueur in the 19th century. From there the liqueur spread all over the world. Later it was often coloured with food colouring. This is how e.g. Blue Curacao came into being.

Triple Sec originally comes from France. There are some myths around the name, because nobody knows exactly where it comes from. Triple Sec is usually drier and less sweet than Curacao. But the production is similar to that of Curacao. Examples for Triple Sec are Cointreau or Combier.

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Why This Makes The Best Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

We promise: this LIIT is nothing like the sweet and artificial flavor you might be used to. This is a classy Long Island Iced Tea recipe: full of bright citrus flavor. Heres how to make it the best:

  • Use real lemon, not sour mix. Thats right! Do not even think about using store-bought sour mix here. Real citrus brings the best zingy flavor.
  • Use Cointreau, not Triple Sec. Cointreau is an orange liqueur manufactured in France that has an orange perfume flavor. Its much tastier than your average Triple Sec.
  • Use good liquor. Sure, you can use low quality booze if its all you have. But the better the liquor, the better the drink!

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

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The Story Behind The Long Island Iced Tea

According to legend, the Long Island Iced Tea was originally named the Old Man Bishop after a gentleman who created the drink during Prohibition its sweetness making it difficult for teetotalers to identify it as alcoholic. But history always has multiple perspectives bartender Robert Butt claims that it was he who invented the drink in 1972 while participating in a cocktail contest at the Oak Beach Inn in Long Island, N.Y.

Known as one of the booziest and most iconic cocktails coming in at a whopping 22 percent ABV the Long Island Iced Tea combines five different spirits in a symphony of flavors. Equal amounts of vodka, rum, tequila, gin, and triple sec are joined by simple syrup, lemon juice, and a splash of cola to create a unique beverage that belies its strength.

Long Island Iced Tea & Long Island Drink Variations

How To Make A Perfect Long Island Iced Tea

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.

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How Many Long Island Iced Tea May I Drink

Prof. Dr. Helmut Seitz and Prof. Dr. Gerhard Bühringer from the German Head Office for Addiction Issues recommend the following with regard to the limits for the consumption of alcoholic beverages:

Every person has an individually different risk of alcohol-related disorders, due to the interaction of their genetic make-up and their learning experiences. . The following values apply to healthy people without genetic or acquired health problems: The low-risk threshold dose in dealing with alcohol in healthy people without additional genetic or acquired risks is 24g alcohol per day for men and 12g alcohol per day for women. . At this dose of alcohol, at least 2 alcohol-free days per week should be observed.

You can also find further information on information portals on the Internet!

If you look at our nutritional value table, we see that a Long Island Iced Tea contains approx. 23.4g alcohol.

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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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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

Blue Long Island Iced Tea Drink Recipe

How to Make the Perfect Long Island Iced Tea

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You can just imagine how the Blue Long Island Iced Tea drink recipe came to be. Once upon a time, it must have occurred to someone that the Long Island Iced Tea was nearly perfect. Except for one thing: it wasnt blue.

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Variations On The Classic

  • 1Swap cranberry juice for cola. After the spirits and lemon juice are in the serving glass, add a splash of cranberry juice instead of Coke. The cranberry juice will give the drink a light, summery taste.XResearch source
  • This variation is commonly known as the Long Beach Iced Tea.
  • 2Make a lighter beverage by adding more Coke and less alcohol. Scale down on the ratio of spirits to mixers by using 0.5 fl oz of each spirit. Once you pour the drink, add extra Coke until the glass is full.
  • Cutting down on the alcohol gives the Long Island a more balanced taste and can be a good idea for smaller people or light drinkers.
  • 3Swap out triple sec for a brandy-based orange liqueur. When combining spirits in your cocktail shaker, use 1.5 fl oz of brandy-based orange liqueur, like Grand Marnier, instead of triple sec. This spirit is made with brandy and orange bitters, which will give the drink significant depth compared to regular triple sec.XResearch source
  • This simple substitution can make the whole drink feel more balanced.
  • 4Use black tea simple syrup instead of Coke for a sophisticated twist. After combining the spirits and lemon juice in the Long Island Iced Tea, Add 2 fl oz of cold black tea syrup instead of Coke. Now you can taste actual tea notes in your Long Island Iced Tea!

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