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Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

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However the Long Island cocktail came about (and the issue is deeply contested), it became famous by the 1980s, and holds the record for being the best means of dispensing with the bottom of every bottle in your liquor cabinet.


  • ¾ Ounce vodka
  • ¾ Ounce white rum
  • ¾ Ounce gin
  • ¾ Ounce tequila
  • ¾ Ounce triple sec
  • ¾ Ounce simple syrup
  • Coca Cola
  • Lemon round for garnish

Long Island Iced Tea

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The Long Island Iced Tea is one of many creative cocktails whose numerous ingredients are intended to simulate the flavor of something entirely different. Although definitely not tea nor containing any tea, the Long Island Iced Tea does taste like tea, and it did hail from Long Island. Robert C. “Rosebud” Butt is credited with creating this drink in the 1970s ever since, he has been toast of the town as well as the butt of many diatribes. As Joseph Scott and Donald Bain point out in The World’s Best Bartender Guide, the problem with the Long Island Iced Tea is that it doesn’t taste like an alcoholic drink, and therefore those otherwise circumspect about drinking alcohol summarily end up as boiled as an owl. In fact, two’s the limit in most bars, and other bars will no longer serve it because it goes down so easily—and soon the drinker follows suit.

Still, the Long Island Iced Tea need not be a knockout punch. By halving the ingredients, the flavor remains but the kick is softened.

Originally an American frat house formulation (served beside the likes of jungle juice), the Long Island Iced Tea has made its way in and out of bars and lounges across the country, inspiring adherents and detractors along the way. While not intended to be a nightcap, it nevertheless has a way of abruptly and unceremoniously putting an end to an evening.

For the non-alcoholic guests, we recommend a refreshing Arnold Palmer drink.

Long Island Iced Tea and Its Many Variations

Long Island iced tea is a popular mixed drink. Get ready to pour because the recipe requires five white distilled spirits (including triple sec), a shot of sour mix, and cola. Despite the fact that it contains no tea, the Long Island is as refreshing as a tall glass of iced tea. The taste is surprisingly similar too, but it can pack a punch, and all that alcohol can quickly sneak up on you.

Among the most famous cocktails, Long Island iced tea is at the top of the list. Since bartenders know the recipe, it's an easy one to order at most bars, and it's simple enough to make at home as long as you have all of the ingredients. Most often, the least-expensive gin, rum, tequila, and vodka from the bar's well are used, making it budget-friendly as well.

A notorious reputation for getting people drunk follows Long Island iced tea. The problem is that it's an easy drinker that's often made too strong. Many bartenders (professional and amateur alike) will overpour the liquors. This not only makes the drink stronger, but it also knocks the taste out of balance. To make a better Long Island iced tea, keep in mind that flavor is more important than potency. In total, this recipe contains 2 1/2 ounces of liquor. While it is on the light end of the Long Island's spectrum, it's still the same as drinking three or four beers.

Why this makes the best Long Island Iced Tea recipe

We promise: this LIIT is nothing like the sweet and artificial flavor you might be used to. This is a classy Long Island Iced Tea recipe: full of bright citrus flavor. Here’s how to make it the best:

  • Use real lemon, not sour mix. That’s right! Do not even think about using store-bought sour mix here. Real citrus brings the best zingy flavor.
  • Use Cointreau, not Triple Sec. Cointreau is an orange liqueur manufactured in France that has an orange perfume flavor. It’s much tastier than your average Triple Sec.
  • Use good liquor. Sure, you can use low quality booze if it’s all you have. But the better the liquor, the better the drink!

Our homemade TGI Friday’s Long Island Iced Tea recipe is a slight variation on the classic technique.

TGI Friday’s claim to be the birthplace of the class Long Island Iced Tea which might explain why their version of the cocktail is the best!

The sour mix is readily available at most stores but can also be substituted by using one ounce of fresh lemon juice.

Learn how to make TGI Friday’s Long Island Iced Tea by following these steps.

  • Author: Recipe Marker
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1 x
  • Category: Alcohol
  • Method: mix
  • Cuisine: drink


  • 0.5 oz white rum
  • 0.5 oz vodka
  • 0.5 oz Grangala triple orange liquor/triple sec
  • 0.5 oz gin
  • 1 oz sour mix
  • 2 oz cola
  • 1 slice lemon
  • ice, to serve


  1. Into a cocktail shaker fill by ¾ with ice.
  2. Then pour in the white rum, vodka, grangala, gin and sour mix.
  3. Shake well for 15 seconds then strain into a tall glass filled with ice.
  4. Top the glass with cola then garnish with a slice of lemon and serve.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 173
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Sodium: 0.1g
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.3g

Keywords: TGI Fridays Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

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The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

Pour the spirits and sour mix into a collins glass filled with ice.

The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

Garnish with the lemon wedge. Serve and enjoy.

The Spruce / Karen Hibbard


  • There are many variations on this recipe floating around in bars. Some bartenders will skip the gin, and others use another style of whiskey. The point is that it should include whiskey of some sort, but feel free to adjust the recipe to your taste.
  • You can substitute the sour mix called for in this recipe with equal parts simple syrup and fresh lemon juice.

How Strong Is the Texas Tea?

The liquor list for the Texas tea is long, but if you follow the recipe you're only pouring a total of three ounces. This is important to keep in mind.

If you over-pour, the drink can get out of hand very quickly and it will be too strong. Before you know it, you'll be drunker than expected and have one nasty hangover in the morning. It happens all the time with the Long Island family of drinks, so here's a little comparison to put it into perspective.

If you pour the Texas tea with 80-proof liquors, a 60-proof triple sec, and 2 ounces of cola, the drink would have an alcohol content of approximately:

  • 1/2-ounce pour of each liquor: 20 percent ABV (40 proof)
  • 1-ounce pour of each liquor: 27 percent ABV (54 proof)

You can see the difference that an extra 1/2-ounce can make. When compared to the Long Island iced tea (which averages 16 percent ABV), that shot of bourbon we add has an impact as well.

Long Island Ice Tea

Or 'Long Island Iced Tea' : A very popular long drink.

  1. Muddle 2 lime wedges and pour into highball glass
  2. Build spirits and juice over ice and top with coke.
  3. garnish with a lime wheel

Volume: 4.5 oz
Alcohol units: 3.0 standard drinks
Alcohol by volume (ABV): 22%


Times viewed: 201276
Average Score: 8.9 (46 votes)


Long Island Iced Tea, a summer drink, was first served in the late 1970s by Robert (Rosebud) Butt, a bartender at the Oak Beach Inn, in the Town of Babylon, Long Island, New York

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Variation of a Long Island.

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User Lists


Post a comment about this drink:

When you look at the ingredients list, you wonder what the hell it will taste like, but they all compliment each other into a lovely drink. It was the cocktail of the evening at one of my dinner parties and was loved by many of the guests.

Comment by Lord Dionysus on 2017-05-25 14:52:12

Beautiful. I've done my own South East Asia variation of it, please check it out and tell me what you think :)

Comment by bensydney on 2010-12-20 03:42:09

Added by Athena on 2009-05-13 20:30:28
Last updated on 2012-10-29 07:54:16
Status: Approved

Lemon Trees and Lemon Tea

Unsurprisingly, citrus fruits are considered some of the best ingredients to add to alcohol mixtures because of the way they cut at the liquors' overwhelming heat in a complementary way. A splash of Limoncello into a regular Long Island Iced Tea recipe converts this daunting cocktail into something even the casual drinker can enjoy. So, test out all of these Limoncello and tea cocktail recipes to see which one makes your mouth pucker up in the best way.

Long Island Iced Tea

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