Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Ice Tea is a cocktail and contains equal parts rum, vodka, tequila, gin, orange liqueur, one and a half parts sugar syrup and lime juice and is topped up with cola. Although the name suggests it, it does not contain iced tea. The cocktail is stirred and not shaken. Compared to other cocktails, it has a higher alcohol content, but does not taste as much like alcohol.

Long Island Icetea Cocktail
Refreshing Cocktail: The Long Island Iced Tea (Picture by long-island-iced-tea.com).

Recipe for the original Long Island Iced Tea:

Long Island Iced Tea ingredients:

  • 1,5 cl White rum (40 %Vol.)
  • 1,5 cl Orange liqueur (e.g. Triple Sec, Curacao)
  • 1,5 cl Vodka
  • 1,5 cl Tequila
  • 1,5 cl Gin
  • 3 cl Fresh lemon juice
  • 1,5 cl Sugar syrup (Simple Syrup)
  • 150ml Cola (or as much as fits into the glass)
  • 5 Ice cubes

Preparation Long Island Iced Tea

  • The preparation of the Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail is very easy. Put all ingredients into a glass filled with ice and stir a few times.
  • Garnish the cocktail with a few slices of lemon or lime and that's it!
Print this recipe

The preparation of a Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail as video


How do I make sugar syrup myself?

Long Island Iced Tea without sugar syrup? It doesn't have to be! I'll show you how to make sugar syrup very simply. Basically, there is a difference between:

  1. Simple Syrup
  2. Rich Simple Syrup
  3. Different sugar types

Simple and proven: Simple syrup with household sugar

Making sugar syrup yourself is easy. You simply dissolve a certain amount of sugar in water - and the syrup is ready. Simple syrup is often used for Long Island Iced Tea, which has a sugar to water ratio of 1:1. For 500ml of Simple Syrup you take 500ml of water and stir in 500g of sugar. It is quicker if you heat the water beforehand. It should not boil, however, as this will cause water to evaporate, which can lead to the ratio no longer being correct. Simple syrup tastes great in Long Island Iced Tea as it is not too sweet. However, it should not be stored for too long, as it can start to go mouldy due to the relatively low sugar content.

Sweeter and longer lasting: Rich Simple Sirup

Rich simple syrup is sweeter than simple syrup and has a sugar to water ratio of 1:2. This makes it safer to store, as bacteria can hardly multiply due to the sugar. It is a little thicker than Simple Syrup and is also very suitable for Long Island Iced Tea. However, you must be careful to use correspondingly less syrup for mixing. If you mix Long Island Iced Tea with Rich Simple Syrup, you should use a third less syrup than with Simple Syrup. In our recipe, this would be 1cl Rich Simple Syrup per serving.

For those who like to experiment: different types of sugar

In addition to the white sugar commonly used in households, there are of course other types of sugar that differ in taste, appearance and price. In this table you will find an overview of all the information about the different types of sugar:

Type of sugar Advantages Disadvantages
White sugar + high degree of purity

+ versatile

+ durable

- no nutritional added value

- more expensive than white sugar

Brown sugar + high degree of purity

+ versatile

+ durable

- very similar in taste to white sugar

- is often only dyed

- no nutritional added value

- more expensive than white sugar

Raw cane sugar + increased nutrient content

+ has a stronger taste than white sugar

+ aromatic

+ durable

- In contrast to whole cane sugar, it is partially refined

- has therefore less nutrients

- more expensive than white or brown sugar

Whole cane sugar + Highest nutrient content of all sugar types

+ strong own taste

+ often available in organic quality

- less long shelf life than the other types of sugar

- Since it is a natural product, natural variations in taste and colour occur

- is the most expensive of the sugar types mentioned here


What percentage of alcohol is in a Long Island Ice Tea?

With the original recipe, Long Island Iced Tea has an alcohol content of 10-20%vol, depending on how much cola you pour. With 150ml cola, the cocktail has an alcohol content of approx. 10.5% vol. You can find out how many grams of alcohol a Long Island Iced Tea contains under Nutrition.


How many grams of alcohol is in Long Island Ice Tea?

One serving of Long Island Iced Tea made to the original recipe contains Approx. 22.8g pure alcohol. This results from the following spirits: Vodka (4.8g), Tequila (4.8g), Gin (4.8g), white rum (4.8g), Triple Sec (3.6g). You can find out the volume percent of alcohol contained in a Long Island Iced Tea in the FAQ.


Why is the Long Island Ice Tea called like that?

The cocktail is called Long Island Iced Tea because it looks like iced tea when ready mixed. However, it does not get its appearance from iced tea, but from the mixture of various spirits and cola.


What is the strongest cocktail?

The strongest cocktails contain a high percentage of strong spirits and only a few so-called 'mixers' such as fruit juices or cola. Often spirits with an alcohol content of more than 40% vol. are also used. Here are five of the strongest cocktails:

  1. zombie
  2. Wears his name because the first person who drank him felt like a zombie after the cocktail! The Zombie contains various types of rum, including high-proof demerara rum with 75% vol. alcohol. Due to the sugar from different syrups and fruit juices the alcohol also rises quickly to the head. By the way: In the restaurants of the inventor Donn Beach, only a maximum of two zombie cocktails are served per guest!

  3. Death in the Afternoon
  4. This cocktail was invented by Ernest Hemingway, who was not known to be a great friend of permanent abstinence. His original recipe reads: "Pour a measuring cup of absinthe into a champagne glass. Add ice-cold champagne until it reaches the right opalescent mildness. Drink three to five of them slowly. That sounds like a strong cocktail!

  5. Negroni
  6. This cocktail contains no non-alcoholic ingredient. Gin, vermouth and Campari are added in equal parts to the glass and stirred. so, you should not drink too many of this cocktail!

  7. Long Island Iced Tea
  8. This notorious cocktail consists of five different spirits and comparatively few mixers. This makes it one of the strongest cocktails. Although miraculously it doesn't taste much like alcohol, it's a very strong cocktail!

  9. Aunt Roberta
  10. Wears his name because the first person who drank him felt like a zombie after the cocktail! The Zombie contains various types of rum, including high-proof demerara rum with 75% vol. alcohol. Due to the sugar from different syrups and fruit juices the alcohol also rises quickly to the head. By the way: In the restaurants of the inventor Donn Beach, only a maximum of two zombie cocktails are served per guest!


Which rum is suitable for cocktails?

The biggest differences are between matured and unmatured rum. Actually, rum gets its brown colour from storage and the maturing process in wooden barrels. With cheap rums that have not been stored in barrels for a long time, it is quite possible that brown rum was simply coloured with caramelised sugar.

Of course, cocktails only become particularly good if you use high-quality ingredients. That's why I can only recommend to make sure that you don't just buy the cheapest rum when you buy it.

Medium-matured white rum is best suited for Long Island Iced Tea. This is first stored in wooden barrels and then filtered to make it clear again. Aging in wooden barrels makes the rum spicier but at the same time milder. A variety that is perfectly suited for this is the white Plantation Rum.

Brown rum, unlike white rum, is not filtered after storage and therefore has an even stronger and more complex taste. Often there are also notes of fruit, chocolate or vanilla.

As the Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail contains many different spirits, I would rather use white, milder rum to keep the taste of the drink light.


What is Triple Sec? What is Curacao?

Curacao and Triple Sec, or sometimes even called Triple Sec Curacao, belong to the group of orange liqueurs.

These are made by first drying the peels of oranges and bitter oranges (called lahara on the island of Curacao) and then soaking them in alcohol to extract the aromas and essential oils. After a few days the peels are sieved out and spices are added. The product is then diluted and distilled. By the way: orange liqueur is colourless in itself, but it is often coloured for sale.

Curacao takes its name from the island of the same name, Curacao, where Dutch settlers first produced orange liqueur in the 19th century. From there the liqueur spread all over the world. Later it was often coloured with food colouring. This is how e.g. Blue Curacao came into being.

Triple Sec originally comes from France. There are some myths around the name, because nobody knows exactly where it comes from. Triple Sec is usually drier and less sweet than Curacao. But the production is similar to that of Curacao. Examples for Triple Sec are Cointreau or Combier.


How do I mix Long Island Iced Tea without orange liqueur?

Orange liqueur is made by dissolving the essential oils from the peel of oranges in alcohol. This production process is not very simple, so it is difficult to make orange liqueur yourself. If you do not have orange liqueur at home, you can use one or two squirts of orange flavour instead, which you can find in the baking ingredients in the supermarket.


How many Long Island Iced Tea may I drink?

Prof. Dr. Helmut Seitz and Prof. Dr. Gerhard Bühringer from the German Head Office for Addiction Issues recommend the following with regard to the limits for the consumption of alcoholic beverages:

'Every person has an individually different risk of alcohol-related disorders, due to the interaction of their genetic make-up and their learning experiences. (…). The following values apply to healthy people without genetic or acquired health problems: The low-risk threshold dose in dealing with alcohol in healthy people without additional genetic or acquired risks is 24g alcohol per day for men and 12g alcohol per day for women. (…). At this dose of alcohol, at least 2 alcohol-free days per week should be observed.'

You can also find further information on information portals on the Internet!

If you look at our nutritional value table, we see that a Long Island Iced Tea (225g) contains approx. 23.4g alcohol.


Which glass do I use to serve the Long Island Iced Tea?

The right cocktail glass is a must for a good cocktail. After all, you want to conjure up a special moment with a cocktail. The shape of the glass is also decisive for the taste. Each glass shape has different effects on the content. For example, a bulbous shape like wine glasses allows more air to get into the liquid. A thick base, like a tumbler or old-fashioned glass, means that the glass is heated less by hand and the contents stay cold longer.

Long Island Iced Tea is usually served in a tall beaker, the so-called highball glass. The content of this type of glass is usually 240 to 350 millilitres. The high glass brings out the colour of Long Island Iced Tea particularly well. In addition, there is enough ice to keep the drink nice and cold.


How do I decorate a Long Island Iced Tea?

Decorate your Long Island Iced Tea and let your creativity run wild. To give the drink a summery look, you can use sliced lemons or limes. You can either put them directly into the glass or hang them on the edge of the glass. A colourful straw also looks great.

How do you spell Long Island Ice Tea or Iced Tea?

The original spelling of the popular cocktail is: Long Island Iced Tea.

What is the pronunciation of Long Island Iced Tea?

[lɒŋ ˈaɪlənd aɪst ti].


Interesting facts about Long Island Iced Tea

The history of Long Island Iced Tea

The time of origin of the famous cocktail is not exactly defined. Some claim that the Long Island Iced Tea has its origin in Long Island near Kingsport, Tennessee. During the American alcohol prohibition in 1920 a bishop there mixed the well-known ingredients into a drink. The bishop's son, called Ransom Bishop, then gradually improved the recipe and made the drink regionally known.

Contrary to this theory, Robert Butt, also called "Rosebud", claims to be the inventor of Long Island Iced Tea to this day. He writes on his official website of the Long Island Iced Tea. about how the cocktail was created. According to this, he invented the cocktail in 1972 while working as a bartender at the Oak Beach Inn on Long Island, New York State. At a cocktail contest, he mixed the well-known ingredients with cola and, by his own account, landed a hit. By the mid-1970s, the cocktail was probably already being served all over the island. In the 1980s the drink was then known all over the world.

Robert Butt writes that the cocktail became so famous also because it looks so harmless. Although the drink looks like ordinary iced tea, it contains five different spirits. If you ask someone at a party for Long Island Iced Tea, you will hear some funny stories.


Nutrients of Long Island Iced Tea

How many kcal does a Long Island Iced Tea have? You can find out here. One serving (225g) contains:

water 182 g
Energy 241 kcal
Fat 0,338 g
of total fatty acids 0,002 g
carbohydrates 19,5 g
of which sugar 19 g
protein 0,022 g
salt 36 g
alcohol content Long Island Iced Tea 23,4 g
caffeine 11,2 mg

Trace elements and vitamins in Long Island Iced Tea:

calcium, Ca 2,25 mg
iron, Fe 0,09 mg
phosphorus, P 15,8 mg
potassium, K 15,8 mg
Zinc, Zn 0,158 mg
copper, Cu 0,022 mg
Selenium, Se 0,225 µg
Vitamin C 0,9 mg
Thiamine 0,009 mg
Riboflavin 0,007 mg
Niacin 0,009 mg
Choline 0,675 mg

Source of the data is the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


3 simple Long Island Iced Tea varieties

The classic Long Island Iced Tea is a delicious cocktail and is super fun to drink. If you ever feel like trying something new, I have some exciting variations for you here.

Long Island Ice Tea without Tequila

For those who don't like tequila, but still don't want to do without delicious Long Island Iced Tea, the following recipe is just right. It is exactly the same as the original recipe, except that there is no tequila in it.

Ingredients for Long Island Ice Tea without Tequila:

  • 1,5 cl White rum (40 %Vol.)
  • 1,5 cl Orange liquor (z.B. Triple Sec, Curacao)
  • 1,5 cl Vodka
  • 1,5 cl Gin
  • 3 cl Fresh lemon juice
  • 1,5 cl Sugar syrup (Simple Syrup)
  • 150ml Cola (or as much as fits into the glass)
  • 5 Ice cubes

Preparation

  • The preparation of the Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail is very easy. Put all ingredients into a glass filled with ice and stir a few times.
  • Garnish the cocktail with a few slices of lemon or lime and that's it!

Long Island Ice Tea with Whiskey

If you believe the older genesis of Long Island Iced Tea, the cocktail contained whisky from the beginning, but no Triple Sec. This variation is based on the original recipe by Ransom Bishop from 1920, so get into the time machine and try it out!

Ingredients for Long Island Iced Tea with Whiskey:

  • 1,5 cl White rum (40 %Vol.)
  • 1,5 cl Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1,5 cl Vodka
  • 1,5 cl Gin
  • 3 cl Fresh lemon juice
  • 1,5 cl Sugar syrup (Simple Syrup)
  • 150ml Cola (or as much as fits into the glass)
  • 5 Ice cubes

Preparation

  • The preparation of the Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail is very easy. Put all ingredients into a glass filled with ice and stir a few times.
  • Garnish the cocktail with a few slices of lemon or lime and that's it!

Long Island Ice Tea Sausalitos recipe

Bar Sausalitos is known for its delicious and especially large version of the Long Island Iced Teas cocktail. This is basically the original recipe with adapted quantities for the jumbo version. Cheers!

Ingredients for Long Island Iced Tea with Whiskey:

  • 3 cl White rum (40 %Vol.)
  • 3 cl Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 3 cl Vodka
  • 3 cl Gin
  • 6 cl Fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cl Sugar syrup (Simple Syrup)
  • 300ml Cola (or as much as fits into the glass)
  • 5 Ice cubes

Preparation

  • The preparation of the Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail is very easy. Put all ingredients into a glass filled with ice and stir a few times.
  • Garnish the cocktail with a few slices of lemon or lime and that's it!


Long Island Iced Tea in organic, sustainable, non-alcoholic?!

Organic Long Island Iced Tea

Those who value organic food do not have to do without it when mixing Long Island Iced Tea. Most of the ingredients needed to prepare Long Island Iced Tea are also available in organic quality:

  • Organic lemons are available in most supermarkets
  • Organic sugar is available in organic shops either as whole cane sugar or as organic beet sugar.
  • Organic rum can be found in relevant online shops.

Sustainable straws

From 2021 plastic straws are banned in the EU. This is a good thing, because there are much more sustainable alternatives:

  • Glass straws are pleasant to the touch and can be reused. They can also be easily washed in the dishwasher.
  • Metal straws can also be reused and washed in the dishwasher.
  • Bamboo straws can be reused, but should be cleaned by hand.
  • Compostable straws are intended for single use, but are more sustainable than plastic straws because they are completely biodegradable.

Is Long Island Iced Tea also available non-alcoholic? Yes!

Long Island Ice Tea tastes surprisingly close to iced tea, although it contains five different spirits and not a bit of iced tea. This effect can of course be used if you prefer your Long Island Cocktail to be alcohol-free. Today I will present you with two recipes:

Simple recipe for alcohol-free Long Island Ice Tea

  • 150ml Ice Tea Lemon Flavor
  • 150ml Cola
  • 3 cl Fresh lemon juice
  • 1,5 cl Sugar syrup (Simple Syrup)
  • 1-2 dashes of orange aroma (optional)
  • 5 Ice cubes

Preparation

  • The preparation of the Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail is very easy. Put all ingredients into a glass filled with ice and stir a few times.
  • Garnish the cocktail with a few slices of lemon or lime and that's it!

Premium recipe for alcohol-free Long Island Ice Tea

Most types of spirits are now also available in non-alcoholic versions. You probably won't find these variants in your next supermarket. But you can order them in relevant online shops.

  • 1,5 cl Alcohol-free white rum
  • 1,5 cl Alcohol-free Vodka
  • 1,5 cl Alcohol-free Gin
  • 3 cl Lime juice
  • 1 cl Sugar syrup (Simple Syrup)
  • 1-2 Spritzer Orange-aroma (optional)
  • 5 Ice cubes
  • 150ml Cola (or as much as fits into the glass)

Preparation

  • The preparation of the Long Island Iced Tea Cocktail is very easy. Put all ingredients into a glass filled with ice and stir a few times.
  • Garnish the cocktail with a few slices of lemon or lime and that's it!


About me

My name is Karlo Kiebitz. I love cocktails - especially Long Island Iced Tea. Over the years I have tasted Long Island Iced Tea in countless variations, from the pub around the corner to the award-winning bar. I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience. For example, that a really good Long Island Iced Tea does not have to be expensive!

Mixing the perfect Long Island Iced Tea is an art. When the few ingredients are of good quality and their fine flavours are in just the right proportion, a truly special drink is created.

On this page I would like to share my experiences and my passion with you and encourage you to mix yourself. Try it out, it's worth it!

Whiskey Sour Georg

Have fun mixing!

Cheers, Karlo