Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail: A Classic Refreshment

Meta Description: Discover the secrets of the Long Island Iced Tea cocktail, a timeless favorite. Explore its history, ingredients, and how to make this iconic drink in your own home.


The Long Island Iced Tea cocktail is a classic libation that has delighted drinkers for decades. Despite its name, this cocktail doesn’t actually contain any tea. Instead, it’s a delightful blend of spirits and mixers that results in a refreshing and potent drink. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of Long Island Iced Tea, exploring its history, ingredients, and how to make this iconic beverage that’s perfect for a sunny afternoon or a lively evening.

Uncovering the Origins

The Surprising History

The origins of the Long Island Iced Tea cocktail are somewhat shrouded in mystery. It is believed to have been created in the 1970s, possibly in Long Island, New York. However, its true birthplace remains a subject of debate among cocktail enthusiasts.

The Art of Deception

One of the intriguing aspects of this drink is its deceptive appearance. Despite its innocent, iced tea-like color, the Long Island Iced Tea packs a punch, thanks to its combination of multiple spirits.

The Essential Ingredients

A Blend of Spirits

The Long Island Iced Tea is renowned for its unique combination of five different spirits: vodka, rum, gin, tequila, and triple sec. These spirits come together to create a harmonious and boozy base for the cocktail.

A Splash of Mixers

To balance out the strong spirits, the cocktail includes sour mix and cola. The sour mix provides a tart contrast, while the cola adds sweetness and effervescence.

The Squeeze of a Lemon

A generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice is the final touch that brightens up the cocktail, giving it a zesty and refreshing flavor.

Crafting the Perfect Long Island Iced Tea

The Recipe

Creating the perfect Long Island Iced Tea requires precision and care. Here’s a simple recipe to help you master this classic cocktail:


  • 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz rum
  • 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz sour mix
  • 1 oz cola
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon wedge and cherry for garnish


  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, and sour mix to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until the mixture is chilled.
  4. Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice.
  5. Top off with cola.
  6. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top.
  7. Garnish with a lemon wedge and cherry.
  8. Stir gently and enjoy responsibly.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Long Island Iced Tea?

Yes, you can create a mocktail version by replacing the spirits with non-alcoholic alternatives and adjusting the proportions accordingly.

What is the alcohol content of a Long Island Iced Tea?

The alcohol content can vary depending on the recipe and bartender, but it’s typically quite high due to the combination of five different spirits.

Is it true that the Long Island Iced Tea was invented as a way to hide the taste of alcohol during Prohibition?

While the cocktail’s history is a bit murky, it is not believed to have originated during Prohibition. Its origins likely date to a later era.

Are there any variations of the Long Island Iced Tea cocktail?

Yes, there are many variations, including the Texas Tea, which substitutes bourbon for tequila, and the Long Beach Iced Tea, which uses cranberry juice instead of cola.

What food pairs well with a Long Island Iced Tea?

The cocktail pairs well with a variety of foods, including spicy dishes, seafood, and barbecue.

Can I use diet cola in a Long Island Iced Tea to reduce calories?

Yes, you can use diet cola if you prefer a lower-calorie option.


The Long Island Iced Tea cocktail continues to be a beloved classic in the world of mixology. Its intriguing blend of spirits and mixers, coupled with its refreshing taste, makes it a go-to choice for many cocktail enthusiasts. Whether you’re sipping one by the beach or shaking it up at home, the Long Island Iced Tea is a timeless libation that deserves a place in your cocktail repertoire.

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