Do you prefer tequila or vodka

Long Island Iced Tea: the cocktail made from cola, tequila, triple sec, gin, vodka and rum

Long Island Iced Tea recipe
  • 2 cl white rum
  • 2 cl vodka
  • 2 cl gin
  • 2 cl white tequila
  • 2 cl triple sec
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Cola to pour on

Pour all ingredients except the soda into a tall glass full of ice and stir. Top up with cola and garnish with a wedge of lime. Drink.

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It's easy to beat up on the Long Island Iced Tea. He is the sugary, tangy front man of the drinking effect, the dark baron of intoxication. In the 80s and 90s, when bar culture was in hibernation, it was still on every bar, pub and disco menu, alongside Caipi and Cuba Libre. High percentage but upright, sweetish-sour, with the invisible inscription “Headache guarantee” on every glass. With this undefined taste after everything and nothing with cola.

Like all drinks of this dark cocktail age, it is not finely nuanced, does not need exotic vinegar tinctures and no bitters that can only be bought in specialist shops. It's simple, even if, with its seven ingredients, it almost looks like a complex tiki drink. Mind you: works. Because to taste individual aspects of the mixture of cola, tequila, triple sec, gin, vodka and rum, in contrast to Long Island itself, is art. But this cocktail recipe was never about art either.

Long Island Iced Tea has always been about survival. He held up the flag when the ingredients for an aviation had to be flown in from overseas and when a martini was a vodka shot with two paprika-filled olives out of a glass. He made sure that bar trainees, who otherwise mixed “Vodka O” all evening, also had to ask “What's in there?”. For many of us, legendary evenings began and ended with this drink, which we still laughingly tell stories about over a few Gin Basil Smashes. Of course we somehow don't fit together anymore, the brutal Long Island and us sensitive connoisseurs. But we owe him. And if it's just an article:

Surprise: the Long Island Iced Tea comes from Long Island

Long Island Iced Tea was invented by New York bartender Robert Butt in 1972 - as part of a competition for a Triple Sec manufacturer. The only requirement: Triple Sec had to be included. Because the bar Butt worked in, the Oak Beach Inn, was on Long Island and looked like iced tea, the drink was called as it is today. Of course, as with almost every drink, there are also a few other stories here, but the key points “New York” and “1970s” are considered certain.

From there, the drink spread comparatively quickly - because cola always goes and went, high-proof mixed drinks are a profitable niche and you don't have to mix the drink we are talking about today with the most expensive spirits on the shelf. In terms of taste, it doesn't matter whether I pour a Gray Goose for over 30 euros or a Vodka Gorbatschow for 8 euros into the glass. That makes things pretty attractive to bargain hunters. We still recommend good stuff - if only to avoid headaches. The question remains: How do you actually do it now?

Long Island Iced Tea

The cocktail made from almost everything that the home bar has to offer.
Preparation time: 1 minute
Preparation time: 2 minutes
Cocktail category: Highball


  • 2 cl white rum
  • 2 cl vodka
  • 2 cl gin
  • 2 cl tequila
  • 2 cl triple sec
  • 1.5 limes
  • 1 cola to pour on


  • Pour all ingredients except the soda into a highball glass full of ice and stir.
  • Top up with cola and garnish with a wedge of lime.


Why this recipe and no other?

There are several variants for Long Island Iced Tea, besides the one mentioned above, the version by bartender celebrity Jeffrey Morgenthaler is probably the most widespread. It works with just 1.5 cl of all spirits, sugar syrup, lemon instead of lime juice and only 2.25 cl of black sugar broth. What comes out sounds more like calling it a cocktail, but in truth it is actually a much more massive skull destroyer than the variant above. We reach for the lime because it simply stands up to the cola better. And we pour lemonade in as large a glass as possible because we want to give it up dirty (I think at least, why else should we mix it up?), But don't want to get drunk right away.

The perfect spirits for a Long Island Iced Tea

In the test, we mix a Long Island with our most aromatic favorite spirits: with Revolte Rum, Cointreau, Juniper Jack Gin, Stolichnaya Vodka and a Villa Lobos Blanco. With a Fritz Cola. The result tastes like the Long Island Iced Tea you know. Sure, the strong rum aroma of Revolte comes through a little, agave is there and we think we can still guess the juniper from the Juniper Jack, but in the glass there is sugar soup with schnapps.

A direct counter-test with the significantly cheaper and easier-to-get spirits Bricks Gin, Topanito Tequila, Havana Club 3 years, Bols Triple Sec, again Stolichnaya Vodka and a Coke shows that it already tastes different. But still after Coke with liquor. It is difficult to say which version is better, but we tend to prefer the cheaper version - it tastes a bit simpler, clearer. Because of course the spirits are also a little less concise.

Conclusion: Take reasonably good spirits for the Long Island, those that cost a few euros more than the discounter liquor. Because: a tangy drink that definitely tastes like alcohol with black soda, nobody needs it these days. But the highly aromatic power machines are just standing on each other's feet.

The many varieties of Long Island Iced Tea

At some point someone came up with the idea of ​​simply replacing the cola with something else. Obvious - after all, it is the primary aroma provider. If you change that, you change the entire drink. If you want to get to the bottom of this topic and Long Island itself to excess, we recommend the cocktail podcast, which is unfortunately no longer available, in special issue 12. In terms of cocktail culture, he also dives a bit deeper into the topic of Long Island - and gives us, among other things, the recipe for the Electric Iced Tea (with Blue Curaçao instead of Triple Sec and Sprite). Funny - it hardly tastes any different than the original, just a bit more lemony. But of course he looks better:

Other versions:

  • Long Island Spiced Tea (with Spiced Rum, such as Kraken Rum): We hardly taste any difference.
  • Long Beach (with cranberry nectar): test winner - fruity, halfway tasty and beautifully pink.
  • Texas Tea (additionally with 2 cl bourbon): It doesn't make any difference either.
  • Beverly Hills (with champagne): We test with sparkling wine - even works. Better than Hugo, after all.
  • Long Island Energy (with energy drinks): Dangerous combination.
  • Hawaiian (with pineapple juice): Drinkable with fresh juice, just disgusting with Tetrapack pineapple.
  • Miami (with peach liqueur instead of tequila, cranberry nectar instead of cola and a dash of Sprite): Too sweet. Headache Alert!
  • Virgin Long Island Iced Tea (one part each of 1 cola, black tea, naturally cloudy apple juice and ginger ale): We did not test it. But there is also.

The shopping list for Long Island Iced Tea

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