how to make long island cocktail

How to Make a Long Island Cocktail? Recipe, Method and Variations

If you are wondering how to make Long Island Cocktail, you’re in for a treat. Today, we’ll help you master this amazing cocktail, promising a delightful experience with every sip.

The Long Island iced tea cocktail is a concoction that perfectly marries a variety of spirits with the refreshing zest of cola and lemon. Despite its name, this cocktail contains no tea but is renowned for its tea-like appearance. And it has a deceptively smooth taste that belies its potent mix.

History of the Long Island Cocktail

The Long Island iced tea cocktail’s origins are a tale of two stories, both claiming the birthright of this potent beverage. The most popular version traces back to the 1970s in Long Island, New York, credited to a bartender named Robert Rosebud. Robert created the cocktail as part of a contest to create a new mixed drink using triple sec.

The other story goes all the way back to the 1920s during Prohibition, attributing the creation to Old Man Bishop, a resident of Long Island in Kingsport, Tennessee. The recipe was later refined by his son as its legend grew.

Despite its murky origins, it’s clear that the Long Island cocktail is here to stay.

Ingredients Overview

Here are the ingredients you’ll require for your Long Island iced tea cocktail:

  1. Vodka : Provides a clean, neutral base.
  2. Tequila : Adds a hint of southwestern flair.
  3. Rum: Introduces a sweet, molasses-like quality.
  4. Gin: Contributes botanical notes.
  5. Triple Sec: Offers a sweet and orangey essence.
  6. Simple Syrup: Balances the acidity with sweetness.
  7. Lemon Juice: Adds a refreshing citrus kick.
  8. Cola: Provides the signature tea-like appearance and additional sweetness.
  9. Ice: Essential for chilling and diluting the cocktail to perfection.

How to Make Long Island Cocktail (Main Recipe)?

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Calorie Count: Approximately 220-280 calories per serving

Ingredients in parts and ml

  • Vodka: 15 ml (0.5 oz or 1 part)
  • Tequila: 15 ml (0.5 oz or 1 part)
  • Rum: 15 ml (0.5 oz or 1 part)
  • Gin: 15 ml (0.5 oz or 1 part)
  • Triple Sec: 15 ml (0.5 oz or 1 part)
  • Simple Syrup: 15 ml (0.5 oz or 1 part)
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: 15 ml (0.5 oz or 1 part)
  • Cola: To top off, approximately 30 ml (1 oz or 2 parts), depending on the size of the glass
  • Ice Cubes: As needed to fill the shaker and glass

Note: This recipe maintains a balance of flavours with a lighter alcohol content per serving. It is a more universally accepted option without compromising on the classic taste of the Long Island iced tea.

If you want a stronger recipe, double the amount of the spirits.


  1. Fill cocktail mixer set with ice cubes. Add vodka, tequila, rum, gin, triple sec, simple syrup, and lemon juice.
  2. Shake until well-chilled.
  3. Strain into a highball or Collins glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Top off with cola for the classic tea-like appearance.
  5. Stir gently to ensure the flavors are well mixed.

Is Long Island Alcohol Strong?

Yes, the Long Island iced tea cocktail is notably strong, containing a mix of five different spirits. The cocktail’s potency is often masked by its sweet and refreshing taste. So, make sure you don’t go overboard when drinking it. The buzz will creep up on you!

Despite its strong alcholic profile, the balanced mix creates a smooth and palatable drink that’s deceivingly easy to drink.


  1. Electric Iced Tea: Swap out cola for blue curaçao and lemon-lime soda to create a vibrant blue version of the classic.
  2. Georgia Iced Tea: Replace the triple sec with peach schnapps for a peachy twist on the original recipe.
  3. Long Beach Iced Tea: Use cranberry juice instead of cola for a tart and colorful alternative.

Garnishing Options

  • A lemon wheel or slice adds a citrusy charm and a pop of color.
  • A sprig of mint for a refreshing aroma.
  • Maraschino cherry provides a sweet finish and a touch of elegance.


Now that you know how to make Long Island cocktail, don’t be afraid to try it’s different variations. It is a classic for sure, and the key to a perfect drink for you lies in the balance you create with its diverse ingredients.

With the Interplay Cocktail Shaker set, crafting this iconic drink becomes an effortless endeavor.

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