Packing a serious punch, this classic Long Island Iced Tea Recipe is made with five types of alcohol including tequila, rum, vodka, gin, and triple sec. Surprisingly delicious, serve this simple cocktail in a highball glass for one, or mix together a pitcher and make it a party!
What is a Long Island Iced Tea?
The infamous Long Island iced tea is an alcoholic mixed drink made with equal parts gin, tequila, vodka, rum, and triple sec (or Cointreau), fresh lemon juice (or sour mix) and a splash of cola. Despite its name, there is no actual iced tea in a Long Island iced tea. Instead, it acquired its name thanks to its color, which, after mixing, resembles that of iced tea- especially when served in a highball glass and garnished with lemon.
In most cases, and thanks to its relatively small mixer amount, Long Island iced teas have a much higher concentration of alcohol when compared to other mixed drinks. You’re welcome (though, please, do drink responsibly).
Anyway, the origin of this wild drink is claimed to be the genius of a Robert “Rosebud” Butt. Apparently he invented and then entered his Long Island iced tea recipe into a contest for new mixed drinks using triple sec in 1972 while on Long Island, New York.
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? Let’s have some fun.
What’s in a Long Island Iced Tea?
Your entire liquor cabinet.
Ok, just kidding. Maybe not the entire thing. Just five totally different white distilled spirits (vodka, rum, gin, tequila, and triple sec), a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a splash of cola.
In other words,
- 1/2 ounce Vodka
- 1/2 ounce White Rum
- 1/2 ounce Gin
- 1/2 ounce Tequila Blanco
- 1/2 ounce Orange Liqueur (Triple Sec, Cointreau, etc.)
- 1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
- Cola, just a splash
There are, of course, several variations to this recipe. The most common version replaces the lemon juice with a sour mix.
How to Make a Long Island Iced Tea?
Don’t let its long list of ingredients fool you – this is one seriously easy cocktail to mix together. For best results, I highly recommend measuring with a bar jigger and shaking yours up in a cocktail shaker.
- Gather the ingredients.
- Add all ingredients (except for the cola and a lemon wedge) to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake until chilled, approximately 5-10 seconds.
- Pour contents into a highball glass filled with ice.
- Top with a splash with cola, stir and garnish with lemon.
If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, simply add all the ingredients (except for the cola and a lemon wedge) to a highball glass filled with ice. Stir well. Top off with cola and garnish with lemon.
Probably the easiest cocktail you’ll ever make – except for maybe my margarita recipe.
There are countless variations of the original Long Island iced tea recipe, here are a few of my favorites.
- Texas Tea – Just add bourbon. Yes, add all five of the white liquors, plus bourbon.
- Long Beach Iced Tea – Here, the cola is replaced with cranberry juice, giving it a distinct, reddish color.
- Electric Iced Tea – Blue curacao replaces the triple sec and lemon-lime soda (for example, Sprite) replaces the dark-colored cola. The end result is a brilliant blue-colored cocktail.
- Hawaiian Iced Tea – Swap the cola for pineapple juice.
- Tokyo Iced Tea – In this version, the cola is swapped out for Midori, a sweet, bright, and green-colored liquor made in Japan.
More Cocktail Recipes,
If you try making this Long Island Iced Tea Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE FORKED SPOON NEWSLETTER FOR FREE AND RECEIVE WEEKLY RECIPE NOTIFICATIONS DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX!
Long Island Iced Tea Recipe
- ½ fluid ounce Vodka
- ½ fluid ounce Tequila Blanco ((silver, blanco, or white))
- ½ fluid ounce Gin
- ½ fluid ounce White Rum
- ½ fluid ounce Cointreau or Triple Sec Liqueur
- ½ fluid ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
- Lemon wedge (to serve)
- Fill an ice shaker with ice. Add everything except for the cola and lemon wedge. Shake until chilled, approximately 5-10 seconds.
- Pour contents into a highball glass filled with ice and top with a splash of cola.
- Give it a quick stir, garnish with a wedge of lemon, and enjoy!
- 1/2 ounce is equal to 1 tabespoon
- 6 ounces is equal to 3/4 cup
- 6 ounces Vodka
- 6 ounces Rum
- 6 ounces Tequila
- 6 ounces Gin
- 6 ounces Triple Sec
- 6 ounces Lemon Juice
- 2 cups Cola, plus for to taste
- Lemon wedges, for serving
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)