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Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail

Warning, Warning! The Long Island iced tea cocktail recipe is delicious, refreshing, smooth and goes down pretty easily so you have to be careful as it is also very potent.

Wider glass in front filled with the cocktail in front of the collins glass with lemon wedges and stirrers in them

There are 5 different spirits in the Long Island iced tea cocktail, but the added sweet & sour mix and cola make you forget the alcohol content and sling it back like a thirsty sailor.

This is truly a one and done cocktail. Meaning you have one and you are done for the night. Or maybe a two and done. Do I hear three?

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No. Don’t do it. It’s not worth the hangover.

One Long Island iced tea cocktail has 4 1/2 ounces of booze in it. A martini has 4 to 4 1/2 depending how you make it. So it shouldn’t surprise you that both cocktails are on the list of 10 most alcoholic drinks in the world.

The history of the drink

I read a pretty amusing post about when the LIIT was invented. It says that a similar drink called “Old Man Bishop” was concocted in the 1920’s when liquor was scarce so a cocktail needed to pack a punch.

Another guy named Bob Butt (I kid you not) claims ownership of inventing The Long Island iced tea cocktail in 1972.

I wonder what the truth is. All I know is that people still order this cocktail in bars and I’ve made many over the years.

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Helpful tips

  • You can use either gold rum or white rum in this drink, but don’t use dark rum as it is too dark and will not reproduce the color of iced tea.
  • Although I’m always going on and on about using good quality alcohol, you don’t need to use premium ingredients in this drink as it is balanced and you can not taste the individual spirits.
  • Wash your citrus before using. This is especially important if you are placing a wedge in the cocktail.
  • If you are washing a single piece of citrus, use a natural, unscented hand soap, squirt some in your hand and rub over the fruit.  Next, run cold water to rinse the fruit as you use a vegetable brush on the skin.
  • If using a lot of citrus, place them in a bowl with three cups of water and 1 cup of white vinegar. After 10 minutes, remove the fruit and run them under cold water, using the brush to scrub the skin.
  • The homemade sweet and sour is made with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. I like a 2:1 ratio (two parts sour to one part sweet). It is my belief that most sweet and sour mixes are too sweet. I say, try it this way to see what you think and if you find it not sweet enough, add simple syrup in .5 ounce increments.
  • You don’t need to measure the Coca Cola, I did for the purpose of this recipe, but you can just pour it into the glasses. Leave enough room to add the lemon wedges.

How to make the Long Island iced tea cocktail

Pre-step

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice and get a measuring glass and your glassware. I chose a flared tall glass and a Tom Collins glass. Cut two lemon wedges.

After you measure out the ingredients, pour into cocktail shaker.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – tequila, gin, gold rum, vodka, triple sec, lemon, simple syrup and Coca-Cola.

Tequila, vodka, gin, rum, triple sec, lemon and soda on a table

Step two

Measure 2 ounces tequila. (A)

Step three

Measure 2 ounces gin. (B)

Tequila and gin measured with the bottles int he background

Step four

Measure 2 ounces gold rum. (C)

Step five

Measure 2 ounces vodka. (D)

Gold rum and vodka measured out with the bottles and shaker in the background

Step six

Measure 2 ounces lemon juice. (E)

Step seven

Measure 1 ounce triple sec. (F)

Lemon juice and triple sec measured out with the lemon and bottle in the background

Step eight

Measure 1 ounce simple syrup. I didn’t take a photo of it for some reason. Maybe all the booze got to my head even though I hadn’t drunk any yet.

Step nine

Add more ice to the two glasses, cap the shaker, shake for 15 seconds and divide between the two glasses. Get the Cola and lemon wedges.

Everything but the coca cola poured in the glasses with a few lemon wedges in a white dish

Step ten

Fill the glass up with the Coca Cola, which usually equates 1 – 1.5 ounces per drink.

Two straight glasses filled with the potent amber cocktail with two stirrers and lemon garnishes in the background

Squeeze the juice out of each lemon wedge into the cocktails. One per drink.

Let’s look at the vertical view.

Vertical view of the wider glass filled with the potent cocktail with a lemon wedge and stirrer

Remember, that this is a dangerous drink because, if well blended, it does taste like iced tea, so you won’t feel how strong it is going down!

I hope you enjoyed this Long Island iced tea cocktail recipe!

Other strong cocktails

And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish!

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST  to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

Collins glass with the amber cocktail in front of the wider taller glass - square

Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail

A delicious but potent cocktail! It has 5 liquors in it and is delicious so be careful not to sling it back like a thirsty sailor!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktails
Cuisine: Cocktails
Keyword: long island iced tea, potent cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 Cocktails
Calories: 360kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces dark or gold rum
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces lemon juice
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce Coca Cola or other cola (1 – 1.5 ounces) (No need to measure it, just pour it in)

Garnish

  • 2 lemon wedges

Instructions

  • Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice
  • Add all the ingredients except for the Coca Cola
    2 ounces tequila, 2 ounces gin, 2 ounces dark or gold rum, 2 ounces vodka, 2 ounces lemon juice, 1 ounce triple sec, 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Add more ice to the glassware. Cap the shaker and shake for 15 seconds. Strain and divide between the glasses
  • Pour Coca Cola in each glass, leaving enough room for a lemon wedge
    1 ounce Coca Cola or other cola
  • Squeeze in the juice from the wedges in each glass. One wedge per glass
    2 lemon wedges
  • Stir, sip, smile, and enjoy.
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Notes

Helpful Tips
  • You can use either gold rum or white rum in this drink, but don’t use dark rum as it is too dark and will not reproduce the color of iced tea.
  • Although I’m always going on and on about using good quality alcohol, you don’t need to use premium ingredients in this drink as it is balanced and you can not taste the individual spirits.
  • Wash your citrus before using. This is especially important if you are placing a wedge in the cocktail.
  • If you are washing a single piece of citrus, use a natural, unscented hand soap, squirt some in your hand and rub over the fruit.  Next, run cold water to rinse the fruit as you use a vegetable brush on the skin.
  • If using a lot of citrus, place them in a bowl with three cups of water and 1 cup of white vinegar. After 10 minutes, remove the fruit and run them under cold water, using the brush to scrub the skin.
  • The homemade sweet and sour is made with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. I like a 2:1 ratio (two parts sour to one part sweet). It is my belief that most sweet and sour mixes are too sweet. I say, try it this way to see what you think and if you find it not sweet enough, add simple syrup in .5 ounce increments.
  • You don’t need to measure the Coca Cola, I did for the purpose of this recipe, but you can just pour it into the glasses. Leave enough room to add the lemon wedges.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin C: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
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Originally published in February of 2017.

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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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18 Comments

  1. Oooh, I haven’t had one of these in a while – it’s time to make your recipe! Thanks for posting, I think I can tackle this drink!

  2. So I’m embarrassed to admit this but I’ve never had a long island iced tea. I also had no idea that there are 5 liquors in this drink. One and done will be my limit for sure.

    1. Hehe. Me too, Kelly. And no need to be embarrassed, I think being a bartender has put it in the forefront of my mind.

  3. My husband loves a good long island iced tea. we’ve tried several recipes and they are never quite right. i made this one for him and he said this is the best one we’ve made yet. Thank you!

    1. Kathleen, you just made my day! I’m so glad you took the time to tell me that your hubby enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers!

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