Tuesday, July 28, 2020

How to Make a Long Island Iced Tea + Video

Learn how to make a long island iced tea - it's one of the best easy cocktails for a party! With 5 types of liquor, this lit drink packs a punch! 

how to make a long island iced tea in a glass

One of our favorite classic cocktails is our creamy and dreamy White Russian Cocktail.

If you are looking for a sweet drink that tastes more like a fruit punch than a cocktail, Sex on the Beach is for you.

And a personal favorite is what we like to call a sippin' drink. Our Tennessee Orange Sweet Tea is perfect for sittin' on the porch in summer.

ice in tumbler

Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea is one of the top 5 requested cocktails in the world! Long Island Drink is an easy recipe, this drink is made with 5 spirits and actually tastes like sweet iced tea.

If you're wondering what a Long Island Iced Tea actually is, I'll explain.

A Long Island Drink is a mixed drink that is usually made with light rum, vodka, gin, triple sec, and a splash of cola.

That final splash of cola gives this mixed drink the same color as a traditional non-alcoholic iced tea. Some versions use a mix of sour mix with a splash of cola.

lit drink one shot

How much alcohol is in a Long Island Iced Tea?

A traditional Long Island Iced Tea that's made using a small amount of soda has about a 22% alcohol content.

This drink has more alcohol than most highball mixed drinks for this reason.

One of the reasons that this drink has gotten a reputation for being strong is that it is a combination of five different types of alcohol.

When you follow the measurements in this recipe, the alcohol content is not nearly as high. But, it can be if you're adding an ounce of each type.

what is simple syrup

Why is it called a Long Island Iced Tea?

A Long Island iced Tea was given its name because it looks like a traditional iced tea when you add the splash of cola.

There is no actual tea in this drink at all.

According to one version found on the internet, the Long Island Drink was given its name after a bartender who worked in an inn in Long Island created it.

Another version credits the name to a man who lived in Long Island in Kingsport, Tenessee who created it during Prohibition. No one seems to be sure.

Lemon juice poured into tumbler

What's in a Long Island?

  • 1/2 ounce gin 
  • 1/2 ounce tequila 
  • 1/2 ounce vodka 
  • 1/2 ounce white rum 
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec 
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup 
  • 1 ounce lemon juice 
  • 2 ounces cola ice 

How do you make a Long Island Iced Tea recipe?

You simply add all of the ingredients except the cola and the ice to a cocktail shaker and shake.

Then, pour the mixture over the ice and add in a splash of cola. Garnish this drink with a lemon wedge.

If you want to get a bit fancier, you can garnish this drink with a lemon spiral instead of the lemon wedge.

splash of colas

Helpful Tips to make Best Ever Long Island Iced Tea

Use good quality alcohol to limit the startling flavor. Using top-shelf brands this literally tastes like iced tea.

What you will need to make Best Ever Long Island Iced Tea

What type of glass should I use?

This mixed drink is typically made in a collins glass. But, any tall glass will work if you don't have that.

It's often served with a straw so you will need a glass that's tall enough to accommodate a straw without it tipping over.

garnish with a lemon slice

Long Island Iced Tea Variations

There are a few popular variations you can make to this recipe. Changing the cola for another type of soda or fruit juice is an easy way to change up the flavor of this drink.
  • To make a Texas Tea, you will add 1/2 cup of Bourbon Whiskey.

  • To make Long Beach Tea, you can use cranberry juice instead of cola. This gives the drink a slightly fruity taste that is a bit more tart.

  • For a Miami Tea, you will want to add peach schnapps and eliminate the tequila. You can add a lemon-lime soda like Sprite or 7-Up instead of cola.

  • If you want to make a Hawaiian Iced Tea, just leave out the cola and add pineapple juice.

  • For a Blue Long Island Iced Tea, you will want to leave out the cola and add a dash of blue Curacao instead. Some also leave out the triple sec in this variation. It's up to you.
There are lots of different ways to change up this Long Island Iced Tea Recipe. Just experiment until you find the one that you like the best.

easy cocktails - toast

Other easy cocktails to make: 

Snickers Martini
White Russian recipe
B52 Shot


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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2 drinks on wood table 

Learn How to Make a Long Island Iced Tea

For a step-by-step look at how we make this easy Long Island, check out our video.

Yield: 1
Author: Donna Elick
alcoholic tea in a glass

How to Make a Long Island Iced Tea

Learning how to make a long island iced tea isn’t difficult, but drinking just one might be! Make this alcoholic tea for a refreshing drink.

Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 0 MinutesTotal time: 5 Minutes


  • 1/2 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce tequila
  • 1/2 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce white rum
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces cola
  • ice


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in all ingredients (except cola). Shake well. Strain into an ice cube filled tall cocktail glass. Add cola, garnish with a lemon wedge.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

One glass of LIT drink

Originally published July 2013, updated and republished July 2020


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  1. If you use lime juice instead of lemon you get a better color and a nicer bite also i prefer dark rum to white to give it a bit more sweet and then you don't need the simple syrup ; )

  2. If you use Lime juice instead of lemon you get a better bite and nicer color Also i prefer Dark Rum to white for a bit of sweet and then you don't need the simple syrup

  3. Love a good Long Island! This looks like a fantastic recipe; I'll have to try it the next time I'm craving a cocktail.

  4. If there is no tea in the drink, why does it taste like iced tea?

  5. I've had Long Island Iced tea, and it really does taste like iced tea! How can it, when it doesn't even contain tea?

  6. Wow, I haven't had one of these since my 20's. Sounds fabulous!

  7. With the inclusion of tequila, this is technically a Texas Tea. No less delicious, mind you.

  8. Too much Coke, you only need a splash for color.

  9. Years ago, my Mom heard me order this drink, and thinking it was really ice tea, ordered it too. It had been a long, hot, tiring day, she was thirsty, ordered another, and wasn't much of a drinker.....'nuf said. The only time I saw my Mom drunk and she was so funny! Going to make one for the memory!

  10. I only use 1/3 of an ounce of the Liquors, The dark rum and only a splash of coke, no syrup and serve in an Iced Collins glass.

  11. By the "World" I take it you mean the USA?

  12. Never too much of anything..I would add some fruit on a small skewer... I Love Long Island Iced Tea and it does almost, taste like Sweet Tea but just a bit...mmmmmmmmm

  13. i dont think that i can make it like this anyway in my lifetime :( it is saddening but i will do try all my best. thank you for teaching.


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