Long Island Iced Tea

CocktailRumTequilaVodka

Long Island Iced Tea! Served in a pitcher, this is the ultimate party cocktail. Made with tequila, rum, vodka, gin, and triple sec. It packs a punch!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Let’s clarify one thing I wish I had known when I was younger: there is no iced tea anywhere in the Long Island Iced Tea. It is simply the color of iced tea.

This is critical knowledge to have if you plan to drink one. Or three. Because not knowing this will get you in a whole heap of trouble.

The Long Island Iced Tea is a curious cocktail. Theoretically, it shouldn’t taste all that good considering how many different liquors are being mixed together.

Yet, it works!

Long Island Iced TeaThe triple sec (an orange-flavored liqueur), lemon juice, and cola bind everything just perfectly.

This cocktail is an easy one to throw together in a big pitcher for a party. I wait until just before the guests arrive, then mix everything together in a bowl with ice. Strain it into a pitcher and serve!

The step of mixing with the ice helps to quickly chill the drink and adds just the right amount of dilution to the finished cocktail.

Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 12 cocktails

You can buy prepared simple syrup for this recipe, or make it yourself!

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tequila blanco (silver, blanco, or white)
  • 1/2 cup white rum
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup gin
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups cola soda
  • Halved lemon slices for garnish

Method

1 Mix and chill: Fill a large bowl with ice. Add the tequila, rum, vodka, gin, triple sec, lemon juice, and simple syrup and stir until the mixture is well-chilled.

2 Strain the mixture into a pitcher and add the cola. Finish with a quick, short stir.

3 Serve: Pour individual drinks into highball or hurricane glasses filled with ice. Garnish with lemon wedges. Feel free to top off with a splash of cola, if desired. Serve.

Variations:

Texas Tea: Add 1/2 cup of your favorite bourbon whiskey to the recipe. (Strangely, one would think this would make it a Kentucky Tea?) Best sipped outside while doing absolutely nothing.

Long Beach Tea: Substitute cranberry juice for the cola for a fruitier and more intensely tart version of this cocktail. A novel option for backyard cookouts.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

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16 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Libby

    I’ve pinned the recipe. It’s been a long time that I’ve had a truly good long island. Most restaurants (if not all) cheat and use a sweet and sour mix and all you taste is the mix. Not good at all. My brother used to make really good long islands.

  2. C J Allenbrand

    OMG. I have searched for a good alcoholic drink all of my life but to my chagrin have never found one. UNTIL NOW!! My friend introduced me to this drink with a warning which I ignored, unfortunately. After three drinks I called my husband and told him he would have to pick me up because there was no way I could drive home.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Marie Moore

    Oh my goodness, this was simply delicious. I used the cola version and tomorrow I will make the option with cranberry juice. Fantastic Long Island Ice Tea!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Susan

    Best Long Island Iced Tea recipe I have found!! Better then a lot of restaurants I have ordered from!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. J

    Good but needed a splash of sweet and sour mix.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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