Long Island Iced Tea - Recipe, Benefits and History

It is pretty hard for one to revisit the time when they first had their tall glass of the infamous yet fun-to-drink long island iced tea! This mind-numbing drink has been the part of American lives for over a century thus making long island iced tea a legendary cocktail. It has an overall simplistic nature but its origin is a bit of a mystery - we will get to that in a while though.

What is Long Island Iced Tea?

Long Island Iced tea or simply known as long island tea is an alcoholic drink that is made using a variety of alcohols such as –

  • Vodka
  • Tequila
  • Light rum
  • Triple sec
  • Gin

Coca-cola or any other dark-coloured cola (black iced tea) is added to the drink to give the same its signature dark hue! There are several variants of the legendary and quite popular long island drink. It is a pretty heavy drink since average alcohol content in this drink often surpasses twenty-two per cent. (Reference: Long island iced tea, Wikipedia, Retrieved on 7 July 2020)

Long Island Iced Tea, Steve the Bartender, Online Video Clip, YouTube, Uploaded on 9 July 2017, Retrieved 9 June 2020. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

What are the benefits of Long Island Iced Tea?

Long Island iced tea is an alcoholic drink. This means it is high on unwanted calories. These unwanted calories come in the form of carbohydrates. An individual chugging down around eight to nine ounces of Long Island iced tea is consuming around thirty-four grams of non-dietary carbohydrate – which is twice the amount of carbohydrate one will be getting from a white sliced bread! This is the reason why people who are trying hard to stay in shape should avoid drinking high-alcohol content drinks like the Long Island iced tea. (Reference: Nutritional facts for a long island iced tea, Livestrong.com, Retrieved on 7 July 2020) These facts are according to the nutritional information of a glass of long island iced tea found out by the guys working at USDA Food Data Central.

What are the different variations of Long Island Iced Tea?

The popular long island cocktail has been experimented on by barkeeps all over the world and especially in the US. This is the reason why the drink has lots of variations. Let us explore some of the most popular ones in the following section. (Reference: Long Island Iced tea and variations, The Spruce Eats, Retrieved on 7 July 2020) 

  • Texas Tea – all one would need to do is add some bourbon into a ready glass of long island iced teaNote – when you add whiskey to a long island iced tea, it becomes just another potent cocktail since the whole point of a long island iced tea is to avoid bourbon and its derivatives!
  • Electric Iced Tea – here instead of the triple sec and the cola, the renowned blue curacao and lemon juice are used respectively. It is a pretty good looking drink that tastes even better!
  • Miami Iced Tea – a veteran barkeep would use peach schnapps into the traditional recipe of the long island iced tea. Tequila is also removed from the mix but lemon-lime soda is added to ensure the drink becomes sparkly!
  • Hawaiian Iced Tea – is made when one follows the traditional recipe diligently but skips the cola. Before serving, fresh pineapple juice is added on top!
  • Long Beach Tea – The OG recipe remains intact but instead of using cola, the barkeep would use cranberry juice.

    What is the recipe for Long Island Iced Tea?

    The classic long island iced tea recipe requires the (References: Long Island Iced TeaLiquor.com, Retrieved on 7 July 2020) following ingredients – 

    • 3/4 ounce of vodka
    • 3/4 ounce of white rum
    • 3/4 ounce of silver tequila
    • 3/4 ounce of gin
    • 3/4 ounce of triple sec
    • 3/4 ounce of simple syrup
    • 3/4 ounce of fresh-pressed lemon juice
    • Coca Cola or black iced tea, to top it off!
    • A single lemon wedge to garnish

    Steps needed to do justice to the classic long island iced tea cocktail recipe are –

    • Step 1 – Pour all the ingredients mentioned above in a clear-ice filled Collins glass except the Coke.
    • Step 2 - Top off the tall glass with a splash of coke. Be sure to stir the mixture briefly.
    • Step 3 – You can now serve the drink with a straw. Don’t forget to garnish the drink with a fresh-cut lemon wedge though!

    Note – you can tinker with the OG long island iced tea ingredients and modify the drink as per your preferences but be sure to experiment at your own risk! Drink responsibly!

    Recipe for Long Island Iced Tea

    Recipe for Long Island Iced TeaRed Bubble Tea, licensed under CC BY 2.0

    What is the history of Long Island Iced Tea?

    The OG long island iced tea recipe was first cooked by Robert "Rosebud" Butt. According to the claims of this man, the recipe for this drink was concocted by him when he decided to enter a contest way back in 1972. The goal of this contest was to develop a drink using triple sec. (Reference: Long island iced teaWikipedia, Retrieved on 7 July 2020) At that time, Robert was working as a barkeep in the popular Oak Beach Inn, located on New York’s Long Island. Another story goes around in the American pubs where people claim that the long island iced tea cocktail recipe was concocted by Old Man Bishop, way back in the 1920s. (References: The story behind the Long Island Iced Tea, The Culture Trip, Retrieved on 7 July 2020) This was the time when Prohibition in the United States was going on in full swing! Old Man Bishop was the part of Kingsport, Long Island - a small community in Tennessee. Long island iced tea soon became very popular with the patrons of pubs all over America. The OG recipe concocted by Old Man Bishop was further refined by his son Ransom Bishop in the following years. Mr Ransom added –

    • Maple syrup
    • Whiskey and
    • Different quantities of the variety of liquors used by his father.

    This recipe differs from the modern variety of long island iced tea as modern-day barkeeps use a fixed quantity of the staple liquors used to make the drink!

    Wait a minute! So who is the real inventor of this legendary drink then? Well, the answer is - No one knows as it could be either of the two American gentlemen mentioned above! But who cares!? Go ahead and enjoy your drink anyway.

    What can you mix with Captain Morgan Long Island Iced Tea?

    Sure you can mix and prepare multiple varieties of Captain Morgan Long Iced tea. Here’s what you would need to do! Gather the below ingredients. (References: Captain Morgan Long Island Iced TeaFood Network, Retrieved on 7 July 2020) 

    • 0.25 ounce of Tanqueray London Dry
    • 0.25 ounce of Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
    • 0.25 ounce of Captain Morgan Silver Spiced rum
    • 0.25 ounce of Cuervo Especial Gold
    • 0.25 ounce of triple sec
    • One ounce of sweet and sour mix
    • Around 6 ounces of Coca Cola
    • A single fresh-cut lemon wedge

    Now follow the steps below – 

    • Step 1 - Add the above-mentioned liquors in a Collins glass filled with clear ice. Don’t forget to stir the mixture.
    • Step 2 – Now add the coke
    • Step 3 – use the lemon wedge to garnish. You can avoid doing this if that is not your poison!

    Captain Morgan Long Island Iced Tea

      Recipe for Captain Morgan Long Island Iced TeaKitchen Stories, licensed under CC BY 2.0

      How strong is a Long Island iced tea?

      Long Island Iced Tea is a pretty strong drink since it contains around 22 percent alcohol. To put that into perspective, a bottle of beer contains around 7 percent alcohol. Now if a person downs around 4 bottles of beer at a stretch then the tipsy after-effects will be similar to one helping Long Island Iced Tea. (References: How drunk can one get from consuming two average glasses of Long Island IcedQuora, Retrieved on 7 July 2020) 

      What is a blue Long Island Iced Tea?

      The popular blue long island iced tea is made without adding cola. Instead, barkeeps prefer adding blue Curaçao - the single ingredient that gives this cocktail its signature colour. (References: Blue Long IslandMix That Drink, Retrieved on 7 July 2020) Blue LLIT lovers choose this particular variant especially when they are tired of the clichéd cola taste and want a bit of tang in the drink. Here are the primary ingredients for this drink - 

      • One ounce of vodka (non-flavoured)
      • One ounce of gin
      • One ounce of rum (light rum is preferred)
      • One ounce of gold tequila
      • One ounce of blue curacao liqueur (as you already know, this gives the drink its signature colour)
      • Around three ounces of lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
      • Around one and a half ounces of simple syrup to make the drink a bit thick and its signature texture!

      How to make it?

      • Step 1 - Well, you would need to fill up a tall glass with clear ice
      • Step 2 - Pour in all the aforementioned liquors. Please maintain the exact quantity!
      • Step 3 – Add syrup and the lemon juice.
      • Step 4 – Add the blue curacao.
      • Step 5 – don’t forget to garnish your glass of blue long island iced tea with a fresh cut slice of lemon!

        Blue Long Island Iced TeaLiving the Dash Travel, Online Video Clip, YouTube, Uploaded on 9 July 2017, Retrieved 9 July 2020. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

        How to make Long Island Iced Tea Jell-O Shots?

        It is evident by now that long island iced tea is a popular cocktail that is loved by Americans. (References: Long Island Iced Tea Jell-O ShotsDelish, Retrieved on 7th July 2020) This love for this particular cocktail led to the invention of quirky derivatives such as long island iced tea Jello Shots! Well, one would need to gather the following ingredients - 

        • Around six lemons
        • A can of the all-too-familiar Coca-Cola
        • Gelatin
        • Around two ounces of triple sec
        • One ounce of vodka
        • One ounce of tequila
        • One ounce of gin and
        • One ounce of rum – you can choose light rum but it can be altered!

        Method - 

        • Step 1 - You would need to slice the lemons - half lengthwise is preferable as it allows you to extract more juice from each slice of lemon!
        • Step 2 - Extract around two tablespoons full of juice.
        • Step 3 - Take out the insides of each juiced lemon rinds. Do this to the rest of the remaining sliced lemons. Set them aside on a baking sheet.
        • Step 4 - Take a small saucepan and place it on the oven. Set the flame on a medium or low setting. You would need to heat the Coca-Cola till it boils. Add gelatin but only after removing the coke from the heat source. Be sure to keep stirring the mixture till the gelatin dissolves in the coke.
        • Step 5 - Add the previously extracted lemon juice into the coke-gelatin mix along with the gin, vodka, triple sec, tequila, and rum. Keep stirring the mix and then transfer the content of the saucepan into a measuring cup.
        • Step 6 - Pour the mixture into the hollow lemon shells and fill it to its brim. Refrigerate the filled out lemon shells for about an hour. Take them out, slice each lemon shell into half, and serve!

        Long Island Iced Tea Jell-O Shots

          Recipe for Long Island Iced Tea Jello Shots, Delish, licensed under CC BY 2.0

          Frequently Asked Questions

          • What does Long Island iced tea taste like? Long Island iced tea tastes similar to iced tea that has a hint of orange cola and lemon tang at the end. (References: Long Island Iced Tea, Mix That Drink, Retrieved on 7 July 2020) 

          • What percentage of alcohol is in a Long Island Iced Tea? Long Island iced tea is made using a mixture of several high-alcohol containing drinks. A tall glass of Long Island iced tea contains an alcohol content that is close to twenty-two percent. (Reference: Long island iced teaWikipedia, Retrieved on 7 July 2020)
          • Does excessive consumption of long island iced tea bad for heart health? Having a drink once in a blue moon is okay. (References: Alcohol and Heart Disease, Web MD, Retrieved on 7th July 2020) Overdo it, you will be sending out an open invitation to a plethora of medical issues including liver problems and high blood pressure. A torrent of heart problems like fatal cardiomyopathy can also occur! Drink responsibly and avoid making a habit out of it!
          • Does Long Island Iced Tea have real tea in it? Long Island Iced Tea is mostly made all over America when vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec in equal parts are mixed with a splash of cola and one and a half part of sour mix. (Reference: Long island iced teaWikipedia, Retrieved on 7 July 2020) Other variants are made using fresh lemon juice instead of sour mix and iced tea instead of cola. 

          To sum it up – no, long island iced tea does not contain any real tea! We at Teacurry.com are passionate about anything and everything related to tea. We hope that you liked the way we put together a wholesome blog about our beloved Long Island iced tea. The beverage is truly close to every American heart and we hope we did justice to its history and generic overview. If you have any suggestions or opinions related to this post, be sure to leave them in the comments section below!

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