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 resemblance to non-alcoholic Iced tea.
Type Cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
Served On the rocks; poured over ice
Standard drinkware
Highball Glass (Tumbler).svg
Highball glass
IBA specified ingredients*
Preparation Add all ingredients into highball glass filled with ice. Stir gently. Garnish with lemon spiral. Serve with straw. [1]

A Long Island Iced Tea is a type of alcoholic mixed drink typically made with, among other ingredients, tequila, vodka, light rum, triple sec, and gin.[2] It is so named because of the resemblance to the color and taste of iced tea. A popular version mixes equal parts vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and triple sec with 1½ parts sour mix and a splash of cola, which gives the drink the same amber hue as its namesake.

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, or add white crème de menthe; however, most variants do not include any tea. Some restaurants substitute brandy for the tequila. Some variants of the drink have alternative names such as Texas Iced Tea, Georgia Iced Tea, Tokyo Tea, Three Mile Island, and Adios Mother Fucker.

The drink has a much higher alcohol concentration (approximately 22 percent) than most highball drinks due to the relatively small amount of mixer. Long islands can be ordered "extra long", which further increases the alcohol to mixer ratio.


There is some dispute as to the origin of the Long Island Iced Tea. However, numerous sources attribute the origin to one or both of two inventors in the 1920s or 1970s. The Long Island Iced Tea appears in literature as early as 1961.[3][4][5]

Alternatively, 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.

Robert "Rosebud" Butt claims to have invented the drink as an entry in a contest to create a new mixed drink including Triple Sec, in 1972 while he worked at the Oak Beach Inn on Long Island, NY.[8][9] Various local New York references echo Butt's claims.[10] Local rumors also ascribe the origin to either Butt or another bartender at the Oak Beach Inn, Chris Bendicksen.[11]


  1. ^ "IBA recipe". Iba-world.com. 1951-02-24. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  2. ^ http://www.iba-world.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=226&tmpl=component&task=preview&Itemid=532
  3. ^ New picture cook book by Betty Crocker in 1961
  4. ^ American home all-purpose cookbook by Virginia T. Habeeb in 1966
  5. ^ Punch: Volume 256 by Henry Mayhew, Mark Lemon, Tom Taylor in 1969
  6. ^ Understanding Apples, J. S. Moore, Outskirts Press (October 13, 2006), ISBN 1598007467; p. 48
  7. ^ Long Island Iced Tea: From New York, or Tennessee?, Accessed August 6, 2012
  8. ^ The official website of the original Long Island Iced Tea, Robert Butt, accessed August 6, 2012
  9. ^ Chirico, Rob (2005). Field Guide to Cocktails: How to Identify and Prepare Virtually Every Mixed Drink at the Bar. Quirk Books. p. 159. ISBN 1-59474-063-1. 
  10. ^ The Drivers' Seat Long Island Iced Tea, Douglas Harrington, Hamptons.com, July 1, 2009. Accessed August 6, 2012
  11. ^ Long Island Ice Tea: A little History and a Great Recipe, accessed August 6, 2012

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