Today we’re sharing how to make a refreshing and delicious Long Island Iced Tea – plus a few fun variations on this notorious LIT.
Long Island Iced Tea Recipe
Despite it’s name and appearance, a Long Island Iced Tea doesn’t contain a drop of iced tea.
Instead, it’s compromised of 4-5 different types of clear alcohol, cola (like Coke) and a splash of limeade or sour mix. But the flavor would definitely lead you to believe that you are in fact enjoying a sweet and tangy iced tea!
Although there is some contention about whether or not this cocktail was first created in Long Island, New York or a small community in Kingsport, Tennessee also called Long Island, either way – that explains the Long Island bit of the name!
A traditional Long Island Iced Tea contains 4 ounces (2 shots) of alcohol, making it a very strong drink – however, it doesn’t taste strong at all, hence it’s somewhat controversial reputation.
A good Long Island Iced Tea shouldn’t taste very boozy or sickly sweet. It should taste like a refreshing glass of iced tea – slightly tangy, sweet and smooth. The alcohol should be barely perceptible.
Long Island Iced Tea Variations:
- Boston Tea Party – use blue curacao in place of the triple sec and lemon-lime soda instead of the cola
- Black Widow (also known as Grateful Dead) – replace the triple sec with raspberry liqueur and the cola with lemon-lime soda
- Hawaiian Iced Tea – replace the cola with pineapple juice
- Long Beach Iced Tea – replace the cola with cranberry juice
- Tokyo Ice Tea – use Midori (melon liqueur) in place of the triple sec and lemon-lime soda in place of the cola
- Tennessee Tea – leave out the tequila and replace the gin with Tennessee whiskey
- Texas Tea – add a shot of whiskey or bourbon
- Miami Iced Tea – use peach schnapps instead of tequila and use lemon-lime soda in place of the cola
What is Long Island Iced Tea Mix? This typically refers to a pre-measured and mixed combination of the alcohols needed to make a Long Island Iced Tea, and usually you still need to add your own sour mix/limeade and cola to it.
I often order my liquor from Drizly because they have a quick delivery time (sometimes within 40 minutes) and no expensive mark-ups. Purchasing from them supports local retailers, too. You can order all of the alcohol needed for this recipe here.
Long Island Iced Tea Ingredients
- White Rum
- Blanco Tequila
- Triple Sec
- 1/2 cup cola
- Lemon Wedges
- Maraschino Cherries, optional
Tip: most versions call for tequila, but I usually leave it out. If you want to leave out any of the alcohols (except for the triple sec), increase the other alcohols up to 1 oz (again, except for the triple sec).
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Liquid Measure
- Cocktail Shaker <– I have this Bartending Kit which contains everything I ever need to make fancy cocktails at home
- Mason Jars
- Sharp Kitchen Knife
- Cutting Board
How to Make Long Island Iced Tea
Place vodka, gin, white rum, triple sec and limeade in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake vigorously and then pour into two glasses filled with ice.
Add dark cola of choice until the drink takes on an “iced tea color” and then garnish with lemons, cherries, and cute straws.
Grab your free printable recipe card for our Long Island iced tea recipe:
- 3/4 ounce vodka
- 3/4 ounce gin
- 3/4 ounce white rum
- 3/4 ounce blanco tequila
- 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
- 1 Tablespoons limeade, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup cola, approximately
- 2 lemon wedges
- 2 Maraschino Cherries, optional
- Place vodka, gin, white rum, triple sec and limeade in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and then pour into two glasses filled with ice.
- Add dark cola of choice until the drink takes on an "iced tea color" and then garnish with lemons, cherries, and cute straws.
Technically, this recipe is for one Long Island Iced Tea, but personally I would find that too much alcohol in one drink so I split it into two and fill the glasses with a generous amount of ice.
Most versions call for tequila, but I usually leave it out. If you want to leave out any of the alcohols (except for the triple sec), increase the other alcohols up to 1 oz (again, except for the triple sec).
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
What other classic cocktails do you enjoy? I hope you love our recipe for a homemade LIT at home!
For more tantalizing cocktails, check out our full cocktail recipe collection here: