Long Island Iced Tea

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.


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


  • 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.

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  • 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!


  • Susan

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


  • J

    Good but needed a splash of sweet and sour mix.


  • JCastanza

    This stuff will knock you on your a**. We found that it needed the lemon squeezed from the wedges we garnished with. We had this for book club, and we all needed a ride home. Half way through the evening, we cut it with with some tonic water and more lemon juice but the damage was done. You really need to watch it with this stuff. NO KIDDING. That said….terriffic recipe!!


  • Kriss

    Awesome, lov it!


  • Cynthia

    I made it to take to see the movie Get Out in the park because we wanted to simulate what they drank in the movie but with a little more punch! This was perfect!! It went down nice and easy and had just the right amount of punch. I made a little too much but it lasted in the refrigerator for several days.
    It didn’t taste like alcohol at all, so be careful!


  • Annette

    How can it be made ahead where of time? I’ve got a crowd of 60 and I would like to put it in a large glass dispenser?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Annette, mix the liquor and the simple syrup ahead of time. When it’s time for your party, add the ice and cola.

  • Christina Powell

    Can you just add cola with Long Island Iced Tea and not the other Alcohol

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Christina, “Long Island Iced Tea” is an alcoholic drink. Without the alcohol it’s just coca cola and lemon juice.

  • Chris

    don’t forget the electric lemonade that’s made with blue curacao instead of triple sec (the taste is exactly the same but the bright blue color is nice). a perfectly made long island really does taste like tea and should never taste of alcohol, unless you’re planning on it being an early night. i don’t chill mine, i just build them over ice and give it a shake at the end to mix everything before the shot of cola. be very wary about making them by the pitcher, it’s easy for the servings (and thus your gathering) to get out of hand.


  • Elise Bauer

    The first time I had a Long Island iced tea I was living in Boston, right out of college. I was at a bar, totally clueless about cocktails, and someone asked if I wanted a Long Island iced tea. “Sure!” I had no idea what made an iced tea from Long Island special, but whatever, I was game.

    Oh, it was so good. It didn’t taste anything like iced tea though. Nor did it taste of alcohol. I seriously thought it was just a different kind of iced tea.

    This was a problem. Being the lightweight I was, I could barely stand up from my chair after drinking that “iced tea”. LOL

    Now that I’m older and a tiny bit wiser, I know better. It is a terribly delicious drink, and wonderfully refreshing. Thanks Garrett for reviving these memories. It was a pleasure to make and drink these with you!

  • Aretha

    Perfect timing for my barbecue this weekend!!! I appreciate the variations of the recipe also. A million thanks.