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Long island tea is a classic drink that you can get in almost any bar, a type of cocktail so old that nobody’s completely sure who even first created it. Despite its name, it’s not actually made using tea: in fact, it’s not even made in a similar way to tea. You might have had it hundreds of time without even knowing what’s in it or how to make it: this short guide should tell you everything you need to know about creating your own Long Island Ice Tea, as well as a few tips on how to make it as refreshing and smooth as possible.

The Ingredients

To make a ‘normal’ Long Island Ice Tea, you’ll need:

  • Half an ounce of Gin.
  • Half an ounce of White (preferably) Rum.
  • Half an ounce of Vodka.
  • Half an ounce of Tequila.
  • One ounce of lemon juice.
  • Half an ounce of Triple Sec.
  • Half an ounce of basic Syrup.

Combining the Ingredients

It’s really not hard to mix the Long Island Tea together, but the Ice Tea recipe allows for a bit of experimentation in how it’s done. You need to mix the ingredients together in a Boston tin (also known as a cocktail shaker) and shake them together for around 30 seconds, allowing them to mix into one another. When you think it’s ready, you simply have to strain it out over ice, filling up your glass or container.

Once it’s all poured out, most people will top it with cola or a similar soft drink, although you’re able to use whatever you prefer. The amount of cola can also vary depending on your tastes, so be sure to experiment and find out your ideal ratio.

Are the ingredients optional?

You can add and remove whatever you like to your Long Island Ice Tea, but most people recommend that you keep most of the ingredients the same to get the right kind of taste. One of the most common modifications to the recipe is the removal of the Triple Sec, but other people might change the kind of rum they use or adjust the ratio of certain ingredients. One other change is more about the “ice” part of the Ice Tea name: altering how cold it is when it’s served.

Like all drinks, you can experiment and come up with your own favourite combinations. You might not be able to get them in bars easily, but it can be nice to know a recipe you can make at home if you’re ever in the mood for a drink you know you’ll like.

Other Versions

There are plenty of alternatives to the regular Long Island Ice Tea recipe, and some of them even have well-known names, like Tokyo Tea or Adios MF (also known as AMF). Feel free to try these as well, but be aware that they use different ingredients entirely. AMF includes a sweet and sour mix as well as Blue Curaçao, and isn’t usually topped with Cola. Tokyo Tea, by contrast, uses Midori (a Melon-based liqueur) instead of White Rum.

Any Other Tips?

There are dozens of different ways you can adjust the Long Island Ice Tea recipe, as well as plenty of tips on how you can make it better (or at least different) without much effort. For example:

  • You can add lemon or lime slices to add a bit more flavour and sourness to the drink, just like any other small drink.
  • The glass you use, as well as the shape of the cocktail shaker, can change the taste of the drink once it’s done. It might adjust how the ingredients mix together or the way that they taste overall.
  • You can use flavoured cola to add a particular extra taste to the mixture. Choosing zero-sugar or low-fat options over full-fat ones can also produce a dramatically different taste even if you don’t change anything else about the recipe.
  • The amount of alcohol used in the mixture increases the strength of the drink, so changing the ratio of alcohol to other ingredients will make the drink stronger or weaker. The cola is the most effective way to do this, but you can also water it down by adding regular water to the mixture.

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Comment by Tanya Acevedo on May 5, 2020 at 8:32pm

 I had one and I had my eyes shut tiny the next day i had an hangover really bad I had to buy ginger ale to feel better. Never again it's too strong for me. lol

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