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Long Island Iced Tea: A Classic and Potent Cocktail

Long Island Iced Tea: A Classic and Potent CocktailThe Long Island Iced Tea is a classic and potent cocktail known for its deceptive taste and generous alcohol content. A favorite at bars and restaurants alike, this well-balanced drink is often seen as the life of the party. Despite its name, the Long Island Iced Tea does not actually contain any tea – rather, it is a skillful blend of multiple spirits that creates a refreshingly sweet and smooth cocktail. In this article, we will explore the ingredients, step-by-step process of making the drink, and the fascinating history and curiosities surrounding the Long Island Iced Tea.


  • Vodka: 1/2 oz
  • Gin: 1/2 oz
  • White rum: 1/2 oz
  • Tequila (silver or blanco): 1/2 oz
  • Triple sec: 1/2 oz
  • Fresh lemon juice: 3/4 oz
  • Simple syrup: 3/4 oz
  • Coca-cola: A splash
  • Ice
  • Lemon wedge for garnish


1. To make the perfect Long Island Iced Tea, begin by filling a cocktail shaker with ice. Adding the appropriate amount of ice is crucial, as it helps to keep the drink cold and dilutes the strong alcohol mixture.

2. Next, pour all the spirits – vodka, gin, white rum, tequila, and triple sec – into the shaker. Keep in mind that the quality of the spirits will impact the overall taste of the cocktail. So, always choose high-quality options when crafting one of these delicious drinks.

3. Add the freshly-squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup to the shaker. Using fresh lemon juice is essential, as it provides the ideal balance of tartness and sweetness to the cocktail.

4. Now, seal the shaker and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds. This process serves to combine and chill the ingredients, while also providing an ideal level of dilution to your Long Island Iced Tea.

5. Strain the mixture into a large glass filled with ice, leaving enough room for the Coca-Cola. Top off the drink with a splash of Coca-Cola for that classic color and taste.

6. Lastly, garnish your Long Island Iced Tea with a lemon wedge, and it’s ready to be served and enjoyed!

History and Curiosities:

The exact origin of the Long Island Iced Tea is somewhat disputed, with multiple claims and counterclaims. However, the most widely-accepted version is that the cocktail was first crafted by a bartender named Robert “Rosebud” Butt during a bartending competition in 1972 at the Oak Beach Inn, located in Long Island, New York. The objective of the competition was to create a new mixed drink using triple sec as one of the ingredients.

The Long Island Iced Tea gained popularity throughout the 1970s and 1980s, becoming a staple at bars and parties across the United States. Its sweet taste, combined with a high alcohol content, makes it a particularly potent cocktail, perfect for those who want a strong yet easy-to-drink option. Fans of this cocktail should drink responsibly and beware of its deceptive smoothness.

An interesting curiosity about the Long Island Iced Tea is the many variations that have been spawned over the years. Some popular alternatives include the Texas Tea (which replaces the triple sec with whiskey) and the Georgia Peach (which swaps Coca-Cola for peach schnapps and cranberry juice). As this classic cocktail continues to leave its mark on the world of mixology, we can look forward to new and creative interpretations of the Long Island Iced Tea for years to come.

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