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.

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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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29 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Marsha Clayton

    Add a 1/4 cup of peach pucker and use 7up instead of coke and its a Georgia Peach. Yumm

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Nelda

    Had 2 at dinner last night was different but very good
    Had never tasted one before

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Kas

    Very good recipe .Taste just like the ones we order at the bar. I did leave out the simple syrup because I thought the alcohol and coke would be enough sugar, and it was. I will definitely make this one again!!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Amanda

    Very good, not too complicated . Sure packs a punch.. Instead of 1/2 cup I used 1 tbsp. 3/4 cup I used 1.5 tbsp. 1 -1/2 cup I used 3 tbsp it was enough for 1 drink.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. greg

    Mine came out a bit cloudy but it did the job that was expected with all that clear booze in it. Tasted Very Good!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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