the classic long island iced tea cocktail recipe

The Long Island Iced Tea is a highball alcoholic mixed drink made typically with several different base spirits. The usual base spirits used are Gin, Vodka, Rum and Tequila all in equal proportions.

The exact origin of the drink recipe is unknown and often debated. The name of the drink “Long Island Iced Tea” seems to have originated from its resemblance to its namesake drink: the iced tea … both the look as well as the taste, and probably from the place of origin. The drink has some variations where the Triple Sec is substituted by other orange liqueurs such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Some recipes also calls for Brandy as another base spirit.

Due to the high concentration of base spirits in the drink recipe, the drink itself have a very high alcohol content by volume. The drink can have as high as 25% alcohol content, which is pretty high compared to other highball drinks.


  • 1 part Anejo Tequila
  • 1 part Gin
  • 1 part Vodka
  • 1 part White Rum
  • 1 part Triple Sec
  • 1 part Lemon Juice
  • 2 parts of Gomme Syrup
  • A dash of cola


  1. Add ice cubes into a martini shaker
  2. Add 1shot of Tequila into the shaker
  3. Add a shot of Gin into the shaker
  4. Add a shot of Vodka into the shaker
  5. Add a shot of White Rum (or Light Rum) into the shaker
  6. Add a shot of the Triple Sec into the shaker
  7. Add a shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice into the shaker
  8. Add 2 shots of the Gomme syrup into shaker
  9. Shake well to mix the ingredients
  10. Add ice cubes into a highball glass
  11. Strain the contents of the shaker into the highball over ice
  12. Top it off with cola
  13. Garnish the drink with a lemon peel or lemon spiral

long island iced tea cocktail

Variations or Similar Drinks

There are several different variations of the drink. As there are several different base spirits in the recipe, it is pretty easy to create variations by changing or substituting just one or two ingredients. Brandy is a common spirit that is used. Also, it is common to substitute the lemon juice with other juices, such as pineapple juice, cranberry juice or sour mix.

Other common variations of Long Island Iced Tea include substituting the Triple Sec with other orange liqueurs such as Cointreau or Blue Curacao.

Notes and Tips

  • The long island iced tea recipe has many ingredients and adding a “standard” shot of each will make a large drink. You will have to pare down the ingredients to make a single drink.
  • I have used the word part instead of shot. They both mean the same, ie. if the shot glass is small (or big) enough.