A long-time summer staple, nothing keeps you as cool and buzzed in the heat as a Long Island Iced Tea! Of course, it’s simple to put together at home, too.
Long Island Iced Tea Recipe
The delicious Long Island Iced Tea has been a staple of bars, beach parties, and TGI Fridays since at least the 70s. But it got its start during Prohibition as a way for scoundrels to hide their boozy ways … interesting, right? 😉
I guess it makes sense, considering its one part cola and many parts booze. It looks like iced tea, but it isn’t! A perfect secret!
Other stories claim it was made during a cocktail creation contest at the infamous Oak Beach Inn in Long Island, New York. And then still other stories say it was originally called an Old Man Bishop and created in Kingsport, Tennessee. Cocktail origin stories are so interesting!
No matter what, it’s a delicious easy-to-make grown-up drink that’s incredibly refreshing. I hope you enjoy it as the days grow warmer!!
Long Island Iced Tea: Ingredients & Equipment
A Long Island Iced Tea uses a lot of different alcohols … basically any and every clear booze in the bar! But y’all, it’s GOOD!
To make this Long Island Iced Tea, you’ll need …
- silver tequila – unaged tequila is the best for a Long Island since it has a straightforward and slightly spicy taste that compliments the overall sweetness.
- white rum – white rums like Bacardi are ideal for Long Island iced teas! They have a sweet and mild taste that won’t overpower anything else.
- vodka – honestly, I’ve found that any decent vodka works with a Long Island iced tea. It doesn’t even have to be a fancy one! Grab your favorite.
- gin – the usual standbys like Beefeaters or Tanqueray are perfect for Long Island iced tea. They’re always worth keeping around for cocktails in general. 😉
- triple sec – triple sec is a super popular French liqueur originally made with dried orange peels. You don’t drink it by itself, but instead, use it to add a citrus twist to cocktails.
- sweet and sour mix – a yellowish liquid often used in drinks like this that are made of one part lemon (or lime) juice, and one part simple syrup.
- cola – grab your favorite!
- cocktail shaker – for shaking all your ingredients together.
- a tall glass – not exactly totally necessary, but it is traditional to drink one from a tall glass!
Note: You may also want a pitcher if you’re making this in multiple batches for a party or get-together!
Long Island Iced Tea: FAQs
Just one! It’s great if you want something for yourself. However, it’s a recipe you can double, triple, etc for friends, or put into a pitcher!
Just under 5 minutes … I promise! You’ll only be putting the ingredients in the shaker and mixing them up.
This is the classic way to make a Long Island. It’s not that strong once you do the math! While the five liquors can make it seem strong, its alcohol content just falls in the ballpark of the 32-proof range … the same as any strong rum and coke, and just around half that of the average gin martini! If you want a less strong drink, I suggest adding double or triple the sweet and sour mix and cola.
Yes! The liquor and liqueur should be shaken together before adding the cola, to make sure there’s a smooth and consistent flavor profile from the first sip to the last drop!
Other recipes you may enjoy
- 1/2 ounce gin
- 1/2 ounce silver tequila
- 1/2 ounce triple sec
- 1/2 ounce vodka
- 1/2 ounce white rum
- 1 ounce sweet and sour mix
- 1 ounce cola
- Lemon slices for garnish
- Add ice halfway full into a cocktail shaker.
- Add gin, tequila, triple sec, vodka, rum, and sweet and sour mix.
- Put the top on the shaker and shake vigorously.
- Strain the mixture and pour over ice in a glass.
- Top with the cola, garnish with lemon and serve.
- This is the classic way to make a long island. It can be very strong for some people. If you want a less strong drink, I suggest adding double or triple the sweet and sour mix and cola.
- You can make these for a crowd! Pour however many times you want (double, triple, etc.) of the liquors and sweet and sour mix into a pitcher. Stir to combine. Pour over ice and add cola to each glass with a lemon slice garnish.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 drink
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 0g
Please note that the nutritional information listed on this page is an estimation based on the products I used. Ingredients and nutritional information can vary significantly between brands. Always be sure to read labels. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Likewise, recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them.