It may be called a Long Island Iced Tea, but there's not a drop of tea in it. Get the ingredients for this potent cocktail, as well as a few recipe variations.
Long Island Iced Tea Recipe
- 1/2 ounce vodka
- 1/2 ounce gin
- 1/2 ounce light rum
- 1/2 ounce tequila
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau or triple sec
- 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup (Or 1 teaspoon superfine sugar)
- 3-4 ounces cola (Cut calories with diet cola)
- Measure out all the ingredients except for the cola, pour them into a cocktail shaker and shake for about 10 to 15 seconds.
- Strain the contents into a tall glass with ice and top off with the cola.
- Add a lemon slice for garnish.
Watch a Professional Mix This Cocktail
Adjusting the Strength
The Long Island contains a lot of alcohol, and the recipe above is strong enough for most people. Some recipes call for an ounce or more of each liquor to make a stronger drink. However strong you prefer your cocktail, the key is to mix equal parts of each liquor called for in order to maintain the same balance.
Long Island Variations
Follow the original Long Island recipe, but make these additions and/or substitutions.
- Texas Tea - Add 1/2 ounce bourbon.
- Raspberry Long Island - Add 1/2 ounce raspberry liqueur.
- Peach Long Island - Add 1/2 ounce peach schnapps.
- Cherry Long Island - Use cherry vodka, add 1/2 ounce cherry juice, and substitute lemon lime soda for the cola.
- Electric Long Island - Eliminate rum and tequila and add 1/2 ounce bourbon. Substitute lemon lime soda for cola.
- California Iced Tea - Substitute orange juice for cola.
- Long Beach Iced Tea - Substitute cranberry juice for cola and eliminate the lemon juice.
- Blue Long Island - Add 1/2 ounce or more of Blue Curacao (to suit your taste) and top off the glass with sweet and sour mix instead of soda.
Origin of This Cocktail
If you're into cocktail trivia, it may interest you to know that, according to the Field Guide to Cocktails, the Long Island Iced Tea really was created in Long Island. Robert C. Butt, aka "Rosebud," is credited with creating the drink at some point in the 1970s. The drink became immensely popular and remains so today.
Don't Let This Drink Sneak Up on You
What 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. The combination actually tastes more like simple iced tea with lemon, so it's easier to overindulge without realizing it before it's too late. When you order this cocktail in a restaurant or bar, ask how much of each alcohol will be used. That way you'll know just how much alcohol you'll actually be drinking, and you can pace yourself accordingly. It's also a good idea to limit yourself to no more than two Long Islands for the entire evening, and space them out with refreshing ice water or regular iced tea in between. The Long Island is a truly enjoyable cocktail as long as you drink responsibly.