The Long Island Iced Tea cocktail is a fancy long drink with various recipes, most of which use equal amounts of alcohol. Among the most common ingredients generally used there are vodka, rum, tequila, gin, triple sec, sour mix, cola, iced tea, lemon juice, creme de menthe, tea, or brandy. This mixed drink is one of the most potent of highballs, having large quantities of alcohol compared to the amount of mixer used. On top of that, one can also ask for an “extra long” version of the cocktail, which has an even bigger quantity of alcohol.
Generally, the recipes for the Long Island Iced Tea cocktail differ between the United States and Europe, because in the latter they prefer to replace sour mix with simple cola, or with lemon, lime or orange juice. In the United States however, the sour mix is more popular, so it is used almost everywhere they prepare the drink. The origins of the cocktail are quite ambiguous, but the most reliable sources are divided between two stories, one which claims the cocktail was invented in the 1920s and another which says it was invented much later, in the 1970s.
In the second account, a man named Robert “Rosebud” Butt supposedly created the drink in 1972 for a mixed drinks contest, where he wanted to invent something with Triple Sec. At the time, Robert worked at the Oak Beach Inn in Long Island, New York. There are several local new yorker stories which support this claim. The other story claims the Long Island Iced Tea cocktail was invented by an “Old Man Bishop” during the Prohibition, in the 1920s. This is supposed to have taken place in a small community by the name of Kingsport, from Tennessee. Later on, the story goes, the drink was perfected by Bishop’s son, Ransom Bishop. However, this recipe was quite different from the one we know today, as it contained maple syrup, whiskey and five other drinks in different quantities.
The present recipe only contains four types of alcohol which come in four equal amounts. Thus, the official IBA recipe for the Long Island Iced Tea cocktail is as follows:
You take a highball glass and fill it with ice, and then you pour all the ingredients over it; everything is well mixed and then garnish is added, usually lemon or lime slices or wedges. You can drink it directly out of the glass or with a straw.