Today I would like to talk to you about a cocktail that has a bad reputation. Often found on the sticky menu of a cheap chain pub, it is usually ordered by people who think it contains more alcohol than the other options (they might be right). Made with cheap spirits and gun cola, it has little to offer. The drink, of course, is the Long Island Iced Tea.
However, this is a drink that does not deserve this reputation. Made properly, with nice ingredients, it can be a well-balanced and delicious (if strong) drink. It has also spawned a whole subset of other Iced Tea variations.
Although many people think this drink was created during the Prohibition era, disguised as iced tea, this does not have any historical backing. Instead, it is widely accepted that Robert “Rosebud” Butt invented the Long Island Iced Tea as an entry in a contest to create a new mixed drink including Triple Sec, in 1972 while he worked at the Oak Beach Inn on Long Island, New York (thanks Wikipedia).
Long Island Iced Tea (makes 2)
- 25ml Vodka
- 25ml Gin
- 25ml Tequila
- 25ml Rum
- 25ml Triple Sec
- 20ml Lemon Juice
- 20ml Lime Juice
- Top up with Coca Cola
Add all ingredients except cola to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until it frosts, pour into tall Collins glasses filled with cubed ice. Top with cola, allowing this to slowly drift into the drink, settling into an iced tea colour.
There are lots of other drinks based on this theme, including the Japanese Iced Tea (a striking green, made with melon liqueur Midori), the Beverley Hills Iced Tea (finished with Champagne), and the Long Beach Iced Tea (which replaces the cola with cranberry juice).
As with all cocktails, good quality spirits, fresh citrus, and plenty of ice can make a real difference between a syrupy mess that will leave you with a hangover, and a delicious, refreshing drink, which will leave you with happy memories (and still possibly a hangover…).
So, don’t be put off by a bad chain pub experience, try this drink at home and discover a real treat!
Enjoy (responsibly) x