Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail Recipe

how to make a long island iced tea

How to Make a Long Island Iced Tea Drink

Imagine you’re at a summer gathering, and you’ve been tasked with creating the perfect Long Island Iced Tea cocktail.¬†While it’s a cocktail that’s infamously potent, when assembled correctly, the Long Island Iced Tea is a harmonious blend of five white spirits, a splash of cola, and a hint of lemon.

However, the path to perfecting this cocktail is not as straightforward as you might think. Let’s explore the intricacies of this remarkable recipe.

Origins of the Cocktail

Despite its name, the Long Island Iced Tea cocktail didn’t originate from Long Island’s tea plantations, but rather, it’s a potent mix that was born in the Prohibition era, reflecting the ingenuity of that time’s secret drinkers.

Legend tells us that back in the 1920s, an inventive bartender concocted this cocktail to deceive the authorities, disguising its strong alcoholic content with its innocent tea-like appearance. The recipe is credited to a man named Robert ‘Rosebud’ Butt, who reportedly created it for a contest in 1972, aiming to use Triple Sec as an ingredient.

The drink quickly gained popularity for its deceptive strength and sweet flavor. So, next time you’re sipping on a Long Island Iced Tea, remember, you’re enjoying a piece of cocktail history.

Recipe Ingredients

Crafting a perfect Long Island Iced Tea requires a symphony of spirits, including vodka, white rum, silver tequila, gin, and Triple Sec, balanced with the tangy freshness of lemon juice and a dash of cola for that deceptive iced tea appearance.

Now, imagine the ingredients in your mind:

  1. 15ml (0.5 oz) each of vodka, white rum, silver tequila, gin, and Triple Sec – this potent mix forms the heart of your cocktail.
  2. 30ml (1 oz) of freshly squeezed lemon juice – this adds the much-needed tang to offset the spirits.
  3. 15ml (0.5oz) simple syrup (this is needed only if you’re using fresh lemon juice and not margarita mix/lime bar mix)
  4. A dash of cola – this gives your cocktail the signature iced tea look.
  5. A slice of lime or lemon for garnish – this final touch not only adds aesthetic appeal but also enhances the overall flavor profile.

Note: in many bars and clubs, they will substitute lime bar mix (aka margarita mix) for the freshly squeezed lemon. Always try to use fresh lemon juice when possible as it creates a very different tasting long island iced tea.

Recipe Steps

To whip up this classic cocktail, start by filling a shaker with ice and pouring in the vodka, white rum, silver tequila, gin, and Triple Sec.

Next, follow these steps:

  1. Give the shaker a good shake, blending the spirits with the ice. You’re aiming for a mix that’s cold and well-integrated. You can also opt to build the drink in the glass.
  2. Strain the mixture into a tall glass, already filled halfway with ice.
  3. Add the lemon juice (either freshly squeezed or, if you have to, substitute lime bar mix)
  4. Top your drink with cola, adding a sweet, dark contrast to the clear spirits.
  5. Finish off with a wedge of lime or lemon, both for the sharp, citrusy kick and a touch of color.

There you have it – your very own Long Island Iced Tea. Savor the layers of flavor, and remember, this cocktail packs a punch!

Note that the Long Island Tea Recipe in the video below uses lime bar mix. This creates a very sweet tasting long island iced tea. This tends to be the long island iced tea recipe that many busy bars and clubs use because of the convenience.

Recipe Variations

While the classic Long Island Iced Tea is a well-loved staple, there’s a world of variations you can explore to tailor the drink to your personal taste.

For a tropical twist, try the Hawaiian version, replacing cola with pineapple juice and adding a splash of coconut rum.

If you’re a fan of cranberries, the Long Beach Iced Tea swaps cola for cranberry juice.

You can also add a Southern touch with the Georgia Iced Tea, where you’ll substitute peach schnapps for the triple sec.

For a citrusy zest, the Tokyo Iced Tea replaces cola with lemon-lime soda and uses Midori instead of tequila.

Each variation offers a unique flavor profile while maintaining the spirit of the original concoction.

Tips and Tricks

When you’re mixing up a Long Island Iced Tea, it’s crucial to balance the flavors carefully – a heavy hand with any one liquor can overpower the drink, so make sure you’re measuring accurately. Use quality ingredients; better spirits equate to a better cocktail. Opt for fresh lemon juice instead of bottled or lime bar mix for a fresher taste.

When shaking your cocktail, do so vigorously for at least 30 seconds to ensure all ingredients meld together properly. Pouring your Long Island Iced Tea over fresh ice, rather than the ice you’ve shaken it with, helps avoid dilution.

Lastly, always add your cola last to maintain its effervescence. With these tips and tricks, you’re on your way to crafting a perfectly balanced, refreshing Long Island Iced Tea.

Final Thoughts

In mastering the art of crafting a Long Island Iced Tea, you’ve unlocked a classic cocktail that’s both refreshing and surprisingly complex. It’s a drink that’s deceivingly potent, yet balanced in taste.

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