Beverages, Recipes

Long Island Iced Tea (Easy Recipe)

Nothing gets the party started like a classic Long Island Iced Tea

This classic cocktail isn’t just a drink, it’s a legend in a glass. It’s infamous for mixing five different liquors. So it’s one highly potent libation!

Long Island Iced Tea with Cola, Lime and Ice

Sure, it’s a strong one. But boy, is it good. It’s sweet, a little sour, and pure liquid boozy bliss. 

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Make one to sip, savor, and soak up the sun. Or turn it into a batch cocktail for a cookout with friends.

The Long Island Iced Tea is a refreshing classic no matter how you enjoy it.

Long Island Iced Tea 

The Long Island Iced Tea (LIIT) hit the scene in the 70s. Since then, it’s become a beloved boozy beverage. 

Some say it originated in Long Island, New York. Others say it came from Kingsport, Tennessee. Wherever it came from, it’s mighty tasty. 

There are many variations, but there is only one way to nail this classic cocktail. You need premium hard liquor, quality mixers, and the right ratios. 

It has five types of spirits with a splash of cola and sweet and sour mix. The sweetness of the mixers, coupled with the warmth of the spirits, is absolutely tantalizing. 

But I’ll warn you now, this is one sneaky devil!

What Is Long Island Iced Tea?

Despite the name, the Long Island Iced Tea doesn’t contain any tea. It merely looks like it does when you mix in all the ingredients. 

So what’s really in it? It has vodka, tequila, gin, rum, triple sec, sweet and sour mix, and cola. 

All you need is one, and it gets the job done!

Two Glasses of Refreshing and Boozy Long Island Iced Tea

Ingredients 

Crafting a Long Island Iced Tea requires eight simple ingredients. Here’s the rundown of what you need.

  • Vodka – Use any type of non-flavored vodka. And remember, quality is key!
  • Tequila – Blanco tequila is best. Leave aged tequila for other classics like an authentic margarita
  • Rum – Like tequila, white rum is standard for this drink. 
  • Gin – As long as it’s quality gin, it’s good enough for a Long Island Iced Tea.
  • Triple sec – This liqueur adds a complementary orange burst.   
  • Sweet and sour mix – Like the liquor, you want to use a quality mix. You can also substitute it for lemon and simple syrup.
  • Cola – A splash gives this drink its signature color and sweet flavor. 
  • Lemon – Use a wedge for a garnish.
Two Glasses of Long Island Iced Tea With Ice Cubes

How to Make Long Island Iced Tea 

You don’t need to be a professional bartender to make this drink. All you need is a tall glass, ice, a cocktail shaker, and these easy steps. 

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  1. Pack and pour. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in equal parts vodka, tequila, rum, gin, and triple sec. Add the sweet and sour mix. 
  2. Shake and strain. Give it a good shake and strain it into a tall glass packed with ice.
  3. Top it off. Top it off with cola. Stir it briefly.
  4. Garnish. Place a lemon wedge on the rim of the glass and enjoy. 

Don’t have a cocktail shaker? No problem. 

Just mix the liquor and sweet and sour mix in a glass full of ice. Then, top it off with cola and garnish. 

Variations 

Like every classic, there are variations. All are tasty if you ask me. It just depends on your preference. 

Here are some ways you can tweak a Long Island Iced Tea: 

  • Turn it into a Texas Tea. Add a splash of bourbon.
  • Make it a Long Beach Iced Tea. Use cranberry juice instead of cola. 
  • Opt for a Hawaiian Iced Tea. Simply replace cola with pineapple juice.
  • Try a Miami Iced Tea. Trade the tequila for peach schnapps. Also, swap the cola for lemon-lime soda.
Refreshing Homemade Long Island Iced Tea With Sliced Lime

Want To Make This Less Strong?

There’s no tip-toeing around it. The Long Island Iced Tea packs a boozy punch!

If you want the flavor but not the kick, tone it down a bit. Double up on the cola and the sweet and sour mix.

Give it a sip and see if it’s to your liking. If it’s still too boozy, add another ounce of each mixer.

Serving a Crowd?

Do you have some guests coming over? Grab a pitcher. 

You can turn a Long Island Iced Tea into a batch cocktail for your company. It takes no time at all, and it’s easy.

Just count how many drinks you need. Add the number of servings you need to a pitcher with ice. Stir it, and it’s ready for the party.

Long Island Iced Tea