Long Island Iced Tea + Video

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Our Long Island drink is one of the best tea cocktails for any party. With 5 types of liquor, the Long Island iced tea packs a punch! 

long island iced tea in a glass


Drinks like Long Island Iced Tea

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 for long island recipe

Long Island Drink

Long Island Iced Tea is one of the top 5 requested cocktails in the world, and it’s simply because it is everything good tea cocktails should be – delicious, /refreshing, and easy to make!

So, what exactly is a Long Island Iced tea and what’s in it?

The classic cocktail is an alcoholic drink looks and tastes like iced tea. It is usually made with the following ingredients:

  • light rum
  • vodka
  • gin
  • triple sec
  • a splash of cola

The final splash of cola is what gives the Long Island drink the same color as a traditional non-alcoholic iced tea. Some versions also use sour mix.

We take our Long Island recipe up a notch, adding tequila to our ingredient list. With 5 spirits in one cocktail glass, the Long Island iced tea does require responsible drinking. 😉

Watch our video in this post to see exactly how to make a Long Island iced tea!

lit drink one shot

Alcohol by Volume

A traditional Long Island recipe that includes just a small amount of cola has about a 22% alcohol content by volume.

The ABV (alcohol by volume) is higher than most highball mixed drinks, so the drink has a reputation for being strong. The real reason for the strength is that is includes a combination of several types of alcohol. When you combine many different spirits together, it travels through the body pretty quickly.

However, by following the measurements in our Long Island recipe, the alcohol content is not nearly as high as it would be at a bar. 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?

Long Island iced Tea was given its name because it looks like a traditional iced tea when you add the splash of cola. Strangely enough, there is no actual tea in this drink at all.

According to one version found on the Internet, the Long Island recipe was given its name after the New York town it was first created in. The story says that it was created by a bartender at an inn there.

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

Lemon juice poured into tumbler

Recipe Ingredients

  • 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

How to make the Long Island drink

This is a very easy cocktail recipe. The only bar equipment you’ll need is a cocktail shaker, plus tall glasses for serving.

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the cola and the ice to a cocktail shaker, then shake shake shake to combine!
  2. Pour the cocktail over ice and add in a splash of cola.
  3. Garnish and serve the LIT drink with a lemon wedge.

If you want to get a bit fancier, you can garnish your Long Island drink with a lemon spiral instead of a lemon wedge.

splash of colas

Recipe Notes

  • Use high quality, top-shelf brands for the best flavor

What type of glass should I use?

This mixed drink is typically made in a Collins glass, but any tall glass will work

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 recipe. Just experiment until you find the one that you like the best.

easy cocktails - toast



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2 drinks on wood table


long island iced tea closeup

Long Island Iced Tea Recipe + Video

Donna Elick
Make this Long Island Iced Tea Recipe for summer sipping or a backyard cookout. With 5 types of liquor, this tea cocktail packs a punch!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drink
Cuisine American
Method Mixed
Servings 1 or 2 Small Drinks


  • 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


  • Fill 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 lemon wedge.
  • Serve and enjoy!



Serving: 1 | Calories: 219cal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Sugar: 21g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
long island iced tea

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. 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?

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 5 stars
    I order these at the bar but never knew how to make them, now I can stay home and make them myself! They taste so good!

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