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!
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
You can buy prepared simple syrup for this recipe, or make it yourself! Combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat (1/2 cup of each will make a good amount). Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate; it will keep for several weeks.
- 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 (see Recipe Note)
- 1 1/2 cups cola soda
- Halved lemon slices for garnish
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.
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.