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Resembling iced tea in color only, Long Island Iced Tea is a strong (but surprisingly tasty) mixed drink made with gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, vodka, and a splash of cola.

Two highball glasses of long island iced tea.

Long Islands are made with more types of liquor than you can shake a stick at, and that’s a fact. The surprise comes when you taste the thing and realize that, against all odds, it tastes good.

And I don’t mean “good” like how some people sip Scotch neat and enjoy it. I mean “good” to a person like me: someone who doesn’t have a lot of time or energy to imbibe regularly and is happiest with a weak fruity cocktail.

But Long Islands? Make them right and they taste great, and that’s exactly what we’re aiming for here.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for long island iced tea.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Tequila: Choose tequila blanco, aka silver tequila, which has not been aged. This lighter tequila is great for mixed drinks.
  • Triple sec: Or substitute another orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
  • Simple syrup: To make it yourself, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove from heat and cool before adding to your cocktail shaker with the other ingredients. Store leftover simple syrup covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the gin, tequila, triple sec, vodka, white rum, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
Mixing a long island iced tea.
  1. Using a bar spoon, gently stir. Top with cola. Garnish with lemon slice and serve.
Mixing a long island iced tea.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 1 cocktail.
  • Glassware: Long Island Iced Tea is traditionally made in a highball glass, an 8-ounce to 12-ounce glass tumbler such as a Collins glass.
  • Big batch: To make a batch of 8 cocktails, combine 6 ounces (¾ cup) EACH of gin, tequila, triple sec, vodka, and white rum in a pitcher. Add 2 ounces (¼ cup) EACH lemon juice, simple syrup, and cola. Have ice, glassware, and garnishes on hand so guests can help themselves.
  • Sour Mix: For lemon-lime flavor, replace the lemon juice with sour mix.
  • More mixers: Try iced tea or Diet coke in place of the cola.
  • Grateful Dead: Substitute Chambord (black raspberry liqueur) for the triple sec and lemon-lime soda for the cola.
  • Tokyo Iced Tea: Substitute Midori (Japanese melon liqueur) for the triple sec and lemon-lime soda for the cola.
  • Long Beach Iced Tea: Substitute cranberry juice for the cola.
Two highball glasses of long island iced tea.

Recipe FAQs

What’s a Long Island Iced Tea made of?

Not iced tea, that’s for sure! In a tall glass filled with ice, add gin, tequila, triple sec, vodka, white rum, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Stir gently, top with a splash of cola, and garnish with a slice of lemon.

Why do they call it a “Long Island Iced Tea”?

This cocktail was allegedly created by Bob “Rosebud” Butt on Long Island, New York in 1972. Bob Butt created the drink for a competition, and the rest is history.

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Two long island iced teas with a bottle of Coke in the background.

Long Island Iced Tea

Resembling iced tea in color only, Long Island Iced Tea is a strong mixed drink made with gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, vodka, and a splash of cola.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 2 mins
Servings 1 cocktail
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Calories 316

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 ounce gin (1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons)
  • 3/4 ounce tequila (1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons, see note 1)
  • 3/4 ounce triple sec (1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons, see note 2)
  • 3/4 ounce vodka (1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons)
  • 3/4 ounce white rum (1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 ounce cola for topping (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 slice lemon for garnish

Instructions 

  • Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the gin, tequila, triple sec, vodka, white rum, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  • Using a bar spoon, gently stir. Top with cola. Garnish with lemon slice and serve.

Notes

  1. Tequila: Choose tequila blanco, aka silver tequila, which has not been aged. This lighter tequila is great for mixed drinks.
  2. Triple sec: Or substitute another orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
  3. Simple syrup: To make it yourself, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove from heat and cool before adding to your cocktail shaker with the other ingredients. Store leftover simple syrup covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes 1 cocktail.
  5. Glassware: Long Island Iced Tea is traditionally made in a highball glass, an 8-ounce to 12-ounce glass tumbler such as a Collins glass.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 316kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 24mgPotassium: 20mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
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I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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