This infamous drink reached the height of its popularity in the early 1980s. Of the many stories surrounding its origin, perhaps the most credible attributes its creation to sometime in the late 1970s by Robert “Rosebud” Butt at Oak Beach Inn in Babylon, New York. A cooling, combination of four different white spirits, triple sec, lemon and lime, crowned with a splash of cola. I’ve been managing cocktail bars for a dozen years and am exactly the type of so-called “mixologist” you might imagine would begin an article about the Long Island Iced Tea by insulting it.
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Now that you know how to make a Long Island Iced Tea and several variations, it’s time to call a few friends and get the party started. If the prominent connection between poor judgement and strong cocktails haven’t dissuaded you from wanting to make a Long Island Iced Tea, here’s the recipe. There are two competing origin stories for the Long Island iced tea, one from Long Island, Tennessee and one from Long Island, New York.
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Sour mix is a sweet and sour cocktail mixer that can be recreated at home with citrus juices and simple syrup. This drink takes the cake when it comes to enjoying fruity, refreshing cocktails when the heat rises, although as you might know, long island iced teas are infamous for being boozy. Easy to drink, and easy to…well, go to your head. So drinkers be warned, this is one you want to sip slowly across an afternoon. The Long Beach Iced Tea is like a Long Island Iced Tea, except you swap the cola for cranberry juice.
But I’ll tell you right now, I would never do that. I know people who would say all those things, but not me. It doesn’t sound like it should work and yet it does, in major way! It is mega refreshing and the simple ratios of the Long Island Iced Tea recipe make it perfect for scaling up to serve at parties and barbecues. If cranberry juice is substituted for cola, the result is a Long Beach iced tea.
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If one cocktail is all you want, use 1 tablespoon each of tequila, rum, vodka, gin, and triple sec; 1 1/2 tablespoons each of lemon juice and simple syrup; and about 3 tablespoons of cola. The traditional way is to add all the ingredients apart from the Cola into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with the coke , stir and garnish with lime or lemon slices. This boozy beverage mixes vodka, triple sec, tequila, light rum, and gin, shaken with lemon juice and a splash of cola. Pour the vodka, rum, tequila, gin, triple sec, simple syrup, and lemon juice into a highball glass or beer mug over ice.