Long Island iced tea

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Long Island Iced Tea
IBA official cocktail
Long Island Iced Teas.jpg
The Long Island iced tea was named for its visual resemblance to non-alcoholic iced tea.
Primary alcohol by volume
ServedOn the rocks; poured over ice
Standard garnishlemon slice
Standard drinkware
Highball Glass (Tumbler).svg
Highball glass
IBA specified
PreparationAdd all ingredients into highball glass filled with ice. Stir gently. Optionally garnish with lemon slice. [1]
dagger Long Island Iced Tea recipe at International Bartenders Association

A Long Island iced tea is a type of alcoholic mixed drink typically made with vodka, tequila, light rum, triple sec, gin, and a splash of cola, which gives the drink the same amber hue as iced tea.[1] A popular version mixes equal parts vodka, tequila, gin, rum, triple sec, with 1+12 parts sour mix and a splash of cola. Lastly, it is decorated with the lemon and straw, after stirring with bar spoon smoothly.[2]

Most variants use equal parts of the main liquors, but include a smaller amount of triple sec (or other orange-flavored liqueur). Close variants often replace the sour mix with lemon juice, replace the cola with diet cola or actual iced tea. Most variants do not include any tea.

The drink has a much higher alcohol concentration (approximately 22 percent) than most highball drinks due to the relatively small amount of mixer.


Robert "Rosebud" Butt claims to have invented the Long Island iced tea as an entry in a contest to create a new mixed drink with triple sec in 1972 while he worked at the Oak Beach Inn on Long Island, New York.[3][4][5]

A slightly different drink is claimed to have been invented in the 1920s during Prohibition in the United States by an "Old Man Bishop" in a local community named Long Island in Kingsport, Tennessee.[6][7] The drink was then perfected by Ransom Bishop, Old Man Bishop's son. This drink included whiskey and maple syrup, and varied quantities of the five liquors, rather than the modern one with cola and five equal portions of the five liquors.


The drink has held its own across popular culture mediums through time. This popularity of the Long Island has spawned its own family of highballs.[4] Many drinks remain popular in their own right in numerous locales throughout the United States, while owing their existence to the success of the original Long Island iced tea. An example of a variation to the Long Island is the Grateful Dead (also variously known as the Purple Rain or the Black Superman), which uses the same mix as a Long Island but the Triple Sec is replaced with a shot of Chambord and the cola replaced with lemon-lime soda.[8] The Adios Motherfucker is considered a variation of the Long Island Iced Tea with Blue Curaçao substituting the Triple Sec and lemon-lime soda substituting the cola; it has a distinctive blue color similar to a Blue Hawaiian.[9] If cranberry juice is substituted for cola, the result is a Long Beach Iced Tea and has a reddish color.[10] If Midori is substituted in for the Triple Sec and lemon-lime soda replaces the Coca-Cola the result is a Tokyo Iced Tea and has a greenish color.


  1. ^ a b "Long Island iced tea". International Bartenders Association. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  2. ^ "롱 아일랜드 아이스티" [Long Island iced tea]. doopedia.co.kr (in Korean). Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  3. ^ Robert Butt. "The Official Website of the Original Long Island Iced Tea". Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ a b Thomson, Julie R. (August 2, 2017). "You Can Thank A Guy Named Bob Butt For The Long Island Iced Tea". Archived from the original on August 4, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  5. ^ "Long Island Iced Tea". INVENTORS. PBS Digital Studios, InventorSeries. Archived from the original on July 6, 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Moore, J. S. (October 13, 2006). Understanding Apples. Outskirts Press. p. 48. ISBN 1598007467.
  7. ^ "Long Island Iced Tea: From New York, or Tennessee?". Archived from the original on December 29, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  8. ^ "Purple Rain drink recipe". Archived from the original on August 5, 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. ^ "Adios Motherf***er Cocktail Recipe". Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  10. ^ "Long Island Iced Tea". Tablespoon.com. Retrieved July 23, 2019.

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