Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Jun 14, 2013 03:16 PM

Long Island Iced Tea

Last time I made one of these I was in college, got the most cost effective (cheapest) gin, rum, vodka, triple sec, and bottled sweet and sour, along with some Coke, to make one of the most vile drinks I have even had in my life. My brother will still rant about it to this day if I even bring up the topic

Is it possible to make a high quality version of this drink? Is it just a college drink to get wasted with

I never see it on a craft cocktail menu, but I would think with some deft hands this could be a delicious cocktail

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. IMHO, it is more about getting the ratios right than using top shelf booze.

      I would add, never use really good tequilia. The flavor is overpowering.

      It varies a little with what is in the speed rack (what your well booze is.)

      I was taught by Tony who learned it at one of the beach clubs in the 70's from one of the many people who claim to have invented it.

      Long Island Ice Tea
      2p Vodka
      2p Gin
      3p Rum
      1p Tequilia
      2p Triple Sec (or less -- depending on your booze)
      healthy splash sour

      Pour over ice, top with coke.

      5 Replies
      1. re: hambone

        Going back through the haze of time, this is how I recall it: It was invented at the Oak Beach Inn at Jones Beach, Long Island. There is a specific bartender who invented it, in a contest run by the owner, his prize was a flight to Florida using the owner's excess credit card points. One of the many legends surrounding Bobby the owner. He was a character of the highest degree, they don't make them like him anymore.

        The point of the contest was to use up the excess cases of triple sec that had accumulated in their storge room. I do not recall sour mix being involved at all, it was equal amounts of all the white liquors, triple sec, a splash of Coke and a slice of lemon squeezed on top. If made right, it tastes close enough to normal ice tea, but part of its charm to me is a reminder of those wild and crazy days partying at the OBI. Tastes like fun!

        1. re: coll

          I worked one summer at OBI East during the early-mid 80's. Those were pretty crazy days.

          1. re: JMF

            It personified the 1980s for sure. My husband put in the sound system so we were there a lot back then. Hard to describe unless you experienced it! I think the drink was invented in the early 70s? I know it was one of my first favorites, as soon as I turned 18.

            1. re: coll

              Had some great times at the OBI, I just don't remember them...driving with my cousin John in Uncle Pete's '71 Eldorado cruising at a comfortable 99 mph on Ocean Parkway....


              1. re: byrd

                Thanks for sharing, I know what you mean.

      2. You can certainly make a top shelf version of it. I would go with some fresh lime juice and simple syrup in place of the sour mix though. A friend of mine would use orange juice and a packet of sugar in place of it.

        I would definitely recommend Mount Gay Eclipse for the rum (smokey and aromatic, really really smooth), and probably Sobieski for the vodka (very good vodka for it's price).

        Probably go with Cointreau for the triple sec. Grand Marnier would probably be overkill because it's pretty syrupy, Cointreau is clear and much lighter.

        1. I gave making a Long Island Iced Tea at home a shot a while back for a lark, but with lemon juice and sugar instead of the sour mix. I'll be honest, it wasn't bad, but there was nothing great about it. It's the sort of thing I'd drink if there was nothing else available, but that I can't picture myself making again.

          I don't really think it has much going for it as a craft cocktail. Yes, there are a lot of good cocktails that are, at their base, [spirit] + [orange liqueur] + [citrus]. And yes if you look at how their flavors function, white rum and gin are very similar, and vodka and gin get swapped around a lot. But when you mix them together, you don't get layers of complexity, since, especially once you throw in tequila, the flavors just get muddied and lose their individual character.

          1 Reply
          1. re: A_Gonzalez

            I would leave the tequila out of it, just stick with the silver liquors - I always learned to make it without tequila

            Atomic76 I like all those ideas, maybe even 5 banks for the silver rum

            I always thought it was lemon and coke, not sour mix - always would make my own sour regardless

          2. Disclaimer: I don't recommend the effort.

            I had a guest who asked, in a succession, for an Alabama Slammer and LI Iced Tea.

            My made the LI Iced tea using Ramazzotti for the Coke flavor. I made the Alabama Slammer with Bourbon + Cherry Heering for the Southern Comfort (plus Luxardo Amaretto and Plymouth Sloe Gin. I made them both with fresh citrus.

            Both were hits with the guest. I sampled them with a sample straw and thought that they were drinkable, but not something I would choose for myself.

   | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community