Shake, Stir, and Sip: The Ultimate Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

Welcome to the ultimate guide on creating the perfect Long Island Iced Tea recipe! Whether you want to impress your friends at a backyard barbecue, or simply want to unwind on a hot summer day, this classic cocktail is sure to hit the spot. As a popular drink among cocktail enthusiasts, the Long Island Iced Tea packs quite a punch with its potent blend of liquors and sweet and sour mix. However, with just a few simple steps, you can master this timeless favorite from the comfort of your own home.

Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

While there are many variations of this beloved cocktail, this particular recipe is the ultimate guide to creating the perfect Long Island Iced Tea that will delight your taste buds and give you a much-needed buzz. So, grab your cocktail shaker, some ice, and get ready to shake, stir, and sip your way to a happy hour state of mind with this ultimate Long Island Iced Tea recipe.

How to Make Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea is a popular cocktail that gained fame in the 1970s and has since become a staple in bars and restaurants across the world. This delicious cocktail is easy to make and perfect for any occasion. Here’s how you can make Long Island Iced Tea at home!


To make Long Island Iced Tea, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz white tequila
  • 1 oz white rum
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 4 oz cola
  • Ice

You can adjust the measurements based on your personal preference. It’s important to note that Long Island Iced Tea is a potent cocktail, so drink in moderation.


To make Long Island Iced Tea, follow these simple steps:

  1. Add ice to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Pour in the vodka, gin, white tequila, white rum, triple sec, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 10-15 seconds.
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.
  5. Top with the cola.
  6. Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve.

It’s important to note that some variations of Long Island Iced Tea call for the ingredients to be stirred instead of shaken. However, shaking the ingredients adds a frothy texture to the cocktail, making it more enjoyable to drink.

Tips and Variations

Here are some tips and variations to consider when making Long Island Iced Tea:

  • Add a splash of cranberry juice to give the cocktail a pink hue and a sweet-tart flavor.
  • Swap out the cola for grapefruit soda for a fruity twist on the classic recipe.
  • You can also add a small amount of simple syrup if you prefer your cocktails on the sweeter side.
  • Experiment with different types of spirits to create your own unique version of Long Island Iced Tea.
  • Serve your Long Island Iced Tea in a tall glass for the full effect.
  • Consider garnishing the cocktail with fresh herbs, such as mint or basil, for added flavor and aroma.

With these tips and variations, you can tailor Long Island Iced Tea to your liking and impress your guests with your bartending skills.

In conclusion, Long Island Iced Tea is a classic cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. With a few ingredients and some simple steps, you can make this delicious drink at home. Don’t forget to experiment with different variations to find your perfect recipe!

The History of Long Island Iced Tea


Long Island Iced Tea is a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts. It is a popular alcoholic drink often served at parties, bars, and restaurants. The origin of Long Island Iced Tea is disputed, with claims coming from bars in Long Island, Tennessee, and other places.

The most widely accepted belief is that Long Island Iced Tea originated in the 1970s at the Oak Beach Inn, a popular bar in Hampton Bays, Long Island. According to the story, the bartender Robert “Rosebud” Butt concocted the drink as a solution to the problem of how to make a long drink using very little alcohol. He made a fusion of all the remaining spirits in the bar – vodka, gin, rum, and tequila – poured them over ice with a splash of cola, and added a twist of lemon. The result was a deliciously potent drink that tasted like iced tea but had the alcohol content of a potent cocktail.

However, there are other beliefs about Long Island Iced Tea’s origins. Some bartenders in the south claim that the drink originated there. According to this story, the drink was created during Prohibition when people had to use a lot of mixers to hide the taste of the poor quality alcohol available at the time. Other theories suggest that Long Island Iced Tea was created at a contest in New York, where bartenders were challenged to make the best mixed drink.


Long Island Iced Tea has evolved over the years, from a simple mix of spirits concocted by Rosebud to the modern-day recipe that we know today. Originally, the cocktail was made with just five spirits: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and triple sec. Today, Long Island Iced Tea consists of five types of liquor, cola, and sour mix or lemon juice.

The modern-day cocktail recipe typically includes one ounce each of vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and triple sec, mixed with a splash of cola, and topped up with sour mix or fresh lemon juice, and served over ice. The sour mix or lemon juice is important because it helps to cut through the sweetness of the cola and gives the drink a sour kick.

Cultural Significance

Long Island Iced Tea is a cultural icon that is popular in the United States and around the world. It is a popular party drink that is often served at backyard barbecues, a night out, or during happy hour at a bar. It has also been featured in popular culture, from movies to TV shows to songs.

Long Island Iced Tea’s popularity has led to many variations of the drink being created, with bartenders adding their own twist to the classic recipe. Some variations include replacing the cola with soda water or adding fruit juices, while others include swapping out the traditional spirits with different varieties.

In conclusion, Long Island Iced Tea is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time. A fusion of different liquors, cola, and sour mix, it is a drink that has remained popular for over 40 years. Whether you are a seasoned cocktail connoisseur or a casual drinker, Long Island Iced Tea is a must-try for anyone who enjoys a refreshing, boozy drink.

How to Serve Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea is a refreshing and popular cocktail that is perfect for warm summer days or any occasion that calls for a delicious drink. Whether you are hosting a party or simply treating yourself, learning how to serve Long Island Iced Tea properly can make all the difference in ensuring your guests enjoy their drinks.


When it comes to glassware, tall glasses are ideal for Long Island Iced Tea. The highball or Collins glass are commonly used and can hold a large amount of liquid with additional space for ice. If you are hosting a party, pitchers are also a good option and can be filled with the mixture and topped with ice before serving. Make sure to chill your glasses beforehand to keep your drink cool and refreshing.


Garnishes are not necessary for Long Island Iced Tea, but they add an extra touch of flavor and visual appeal to your drink. Popular garnish options include a lemon wedge, lime slice, or mint sprig, which adds a fresh aroma to your drink. You can also use a cocktail cherry or orange slice, which can complement the sweetness of the drink and make it more eye-catching.


If you are serving Long Island Iced Tea to accompany a meal, consider pairing it with snacks or food that go well with the flavors of the cocktail. Salty snacks like chips and nuts can balance the sweetness of the drink, while spicy foods like buffalo wings or barbecue can add a kick to your taste buds. For a more filling meal, you can pair your drink with burgers, grilled chicken, or seafood.

In conclusion, serving Long Island Iced Tea is easy and fun. Remember to choose the right glassware, add a garnish for an extra touch of flavor, and consider pairing it with snacks or food to make your drink even more enjoyable. With these tips and tricks, you’re sure to impress your guests with a delicious and refreshing Long Island Iced Tea at your next party or gathering.

The Perfect Occasions for Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea is a popular cocktail that is enjoyed by many because of its delicious taste and versatility. It is perfect for various occasions, may it be a summer party, a cocktail hour, or a happy hour. This classic cocktail is a refreshing drink that is easy to make but packs a powerful punch. Here are some reasons why Long Island Iced Tea is the perfect cocktail for summer parties, cocktail hours, and happy hours.

Summer Parties

Summer parties are the ideal setting to serve Long Island Iced Tea. The refreshing taste of the cocktail is perfect for hot summer days. The drink has a balanced flavor that combines the sweetness of sugar syrup and sourness of lime juice with the strength of spirits such as vodka, gin, tequila, and rum.

The versatility of Long Island Iced Tea makes it adaptable to different party themes. For example, you can add fresh fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, or watermelons to make it more fruity and summery. The garnish possibilities are endless as well. You can add mint leaves, lemon slices, or even a small umbrella on top of the drink to add a fun and festive touch.

Additionally, Long Island Iced Tea is a crowd-pleaser. It is a drink that guests will enjoy, regardless of their taste preferences. Whether they like sweet or sour cocktails, they will surely love Long Island Iced Tea. This classic cocktail is perfect for entertaining guests during summer parties, and it will keep them coming back for more.

Cocktail Hours

Cocktail hours are the perfect venue to enjoy Long Island Iced Tea. Incorporating this classic cocktail alongside other classic cocktails will add variety and excitement to the event.

Long Island Iced Tea can also be a great way to introduce guests to new alcoholic beverages. Its strength, combined with its flavor, makes it a great choice for those who are looking for an alternative to their regular drinks. It is also a great conversation starter, as guests will be curious about the ingredients and history of the cocktail.

When serving Long Island Iced Tea during a cocktail hour, it is essential to use high-quality ingredients to make sure that the cocktail has a balanced taste. The right combination of ingredients will ensure that guests will appreciate the cocktail and will remember the event fondly.

Happy Hour

Long Island Iced Tea is a great choice for happy hour. It is one of the strongest cocktails out there, which makes it perfect for those who want to unwind after a long day. It is also a crowd-pleaser, which means that it is an excellent choice for a work event or a quick catch-up with friends.

Happy hour is all about having fun and enjoying a drink with friends or colleagues. Long Island Iced Tea is a perfect cocktail for this setting because it is easy to make, and it can be customized to suit individual tastes. You can add more or less alcohol depending on the guest’s preference, making it easy to mix and match the cocktail to suit all attendees.

The popularity of Long Island Iced Tea means that it is widely recognized and readily available in most bars. Guests who are not familiar with the cocktail will likely be intrigued by its name and will want to give it a try.


Long Island Iced Tea is a classic cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. Whether it be a summer party, a cocktail hour, or a happy hour, Long Island Iced Tea is sure to impress and keep guests coming back for more. Its versatility and refreshing taste make it an ideal cocktail for a hot summer day. Its strength, combined with its ability to adapt to different preferences, makes it perfect for a cocktail hour or happy hour. Whatever the occasion, Long Island Iced Tea is a guaranteed hit.

Bottoms Up!

We hope you enjoyed learning about the ultimate Long Island Iced Tea recipe. Whether you’re a professional mixologist or a novice bartender, following this recipe will ensure that you impress your friends at the next party. So, shake, stir, and sip your way to a delicious and refreshing Long Island Iced Tea. Don’t hesitate to experiment with the recipe and tailor it to your own preferences. Cheers and thanks for reading!


1) Can I omit any ingredients from the recipe?

Absolutely! The beauty of cocktails is that you can tailor it to your own tastes. However, keep in mind that omitting any ingredients will adjust the overall flavor of the drink.

2) Can I replace cola with another soda?

Yes, you can. However, to get the classic Long Island Iced Tea taste, it’s recommended to use cola.

3) Can I use fresh lemon juice instead of sweet and sour mix?

Yes, you can. However, make sure to add some simple syrup to balance out the sourness.

4) Can I make Long Island Iced Tea in advance?

Yes, you can. However, it’s recommended to mix everything except for the cola and ice, and keep it in the fridge. Add the cola and ice just before serving.

5) Do I need to use premium liquor?

No, you don’t have to. However, using higher quality liquor will affect the overall taste of the cocktail.

6) Can I use diet cola?

Yes, you can. However, using regular cola is recommended for the best taste.

7) Can Long Island Iced Tea be made without alcohol?

Yes, it can. Simply replace the alcohol with a combination of lemon-lime soda, iced tea, and a splash of cranberry juice.

8) How do I serve Long Island Iced Tea?

It’s usually served over ice in a tall glass with a lemon wedge for garnish.

9) How strong is the Long Island Iced Tea?

It’s a potent drink and can pack quite a punch. However, if made correctly, it should have a balanced flavor that makes it easy to drink.

10) How long does it take to prepare Long Island Iced Tea?

It typically takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare, depending on your experience and how fast you can make the cocktail.