The Long Island Ice Tea has a reputation for being one of the strongest mixed drinks there is. The cocktail was developed in the 1970s by a bartender named Robert Butt, who created this extra boozy drink and even won a contest with it. Today, we’ve taken a few liberties on the classic formula and came up with 17 variations that we think even Bob Butt would enjoy.
- Recipes for Long Island Iced Tea Variations
- 1. Classic Long Island Iced Tea
- 2. Peach Long Island – The Miami Iced Tea
- 3. Blue Hawaiian Iced Tea Variation
- 4. Raspberry Long Island Iced Tea Variation
- 5. Keto
- 6. Strawberry Long Island
- 7. Frozen Long Island Ice Tea
- 8. Watermelon Long Island Tea
- 9. Blackberry Long Island Iced Tea
- 10. Long Beach Iced Tea
- 11. Texas Tea
- 12. Tokyo Iced Tea
- 13. Boston Tea Party
- Virgin Long Island Iced Tea Recipe
- Copycat Long Island Tea Recipes
- Ready-to-Drink Long Island Iced Tea
- Bottom Line
Recipes for Long Island Iced Tea Variations
1. Classic Long Island Iced Tea
A classic Long Island is refreshing and delicious, not to mention strong. But some bartenders take a few too many liberties with the recipe, and the balance ends up being off just a bit. Don’t let this happen to you at your home bar! We love this classic version by Mashed because it has all the ingredients and all the ratios just right.
You want to gather all of the white liquors, including vodka, gin, light rum, and white tequila, along with triple sec, some freshly squeezed lemon juice, and of course – the cola! This recipe calls for all the spirits and extras to be combined in a cocktail shaker, but we’ve also seen people just pour everything into a tall glass and give it a good stir. The tall glass is important here because there’s so much alcohol that you need a little extra room for the ice and cola to make it taste perfect.
2. Peach Long Island – The Miami Iced Tea
We can just imagine sitting outside on a patio during the summer, enjoying the luscious flavor of juicy peach in this peachy long island variation by The Spruce Eats. The substitutions in this one are simple, peach schnapps replaces both the gin and triple sec, and a little sour mix is added to the picture.
Top this one off with cranberry juice and a splash of lemon-lime soda. You can garnish this with a lemon wedge, but we think it’s more fun to toss in a couple of peach-flavored gummy candies instead.
3. Blue Hawaiian Iced Tea Variation
There are several different variations for the Blue Hawaiian version of the Long Island Ice Tea, but we like this one by VinePair the best. Blue curaçao is behind the blue color of this mixed drink, and in addition to the bright color, it is also an orange liqueur. So, here, blue curaçao replaces the triple sec in the classic Long Island Ice Tea recipe.
Pineapple juice, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and sweetness to the vodka and light rum used in this recipe. Add all the spirits and other ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and give it a good shake or two. Add ice to a glass and pour. A pineapple wedge and a little umbrella are the perfect garnish.
4. Raspberry Long Island Iced Tea Variation
By Recipe Tips
If you think the classic Long Island Ice Tea is strong, wait until you taste, or rather feel the effects of, this raspberry version by Recipe Tips. This popular variation has all five liquors, including vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and triple sec. In addition to all of this, the raspberry liqueur is added, along with the sweet and sour mix.
You might also find a variation of the Raspberry Long Island called the Grateful Dead. Whickever way you choose to order it, a bartender should know what you’re talking about. Just remember to go slow and drink responsibly. This one packs a punch!
Most of the ingredients in Long Island Iced Teas are keto-friendly, to begin with. Spirits like vodka, gin, rum, and tequila offer little in terms of carbs. However, some of the other ingredients that get mixed in could be problematic to your keto lifestyle.
This version keeps all the basics but switches out the regular cola for a diet version and also uses keto-friendly simple syrup and fresh lemon juice in place of the sweet and sour mix. The only thing missing from this recipe is that hint of orange, but you can easily replace this with just the smallest splash of orange juice, but it’s not really necessary.
6. Strawberry Long Island
Do you have a random bottle of strawberry liqueur hanging around after you purchased it for that one drink you made months ago? This Strawberry Long Island Iced Tea will solve that problem for you.
The strawberry liqueur gets added to the classic Long Island Ice Tea mix, minus the cola. All of the ingredients, except the strawberry liqueur, are shaken together and poured into a highball glass over ice. Then, the strawberry liqueur is drizzled in, and you get the pleasure of watching it fall into the drink. This one skips adding any soda, but we think a splash of lemon-lime soda or even club soda is perfect for adding a little brightness to this drink.
7. Frozen Long Island Ice Tea
Are you looking for a way to make the classic Long Island Ice Tea even better and more refreshing? We nominate this frozen version, especially during the summer. The base recipe for this is a perfectly simple classic version. The difference with this mixed drink isn’t the ingredients but how it’s prepared.
Everything except the cola gets whirled together in a blender with lots of ice. Transfer the boozy slush to a highball glass and top with the soda. Add a straw or spoon, and enjoy.
8. Watermelon Long Island Tea
This watermelon version of the Long Island Iced Tea is sweet, fruity, luscious, and perfect for summer. This recipe takes advantage of the freshest flavors of summer by using watermelon juice, tangerine juice, and lime juice, in addition to blue curacao and the list of usual suspects you find in the standard long island.
You want to mix this together and stir gently before indulging in the fresh sweetness of the watermelon. If you don’t have watermelon juice on hand, we can think of a few different ways to spin this recipe. Watermelon vodka or watermelon pucker would both be great additions to this drink, or maybe blend the ingredients with ice and fresh watermelon for more of a slushy Long Island Iced Tea slush variation.
9. Blackberry Long Island Iced Tea
Of all the cocktails on our list, this one strays the furthest from the Long Island Iced Tea roots. What makes this one so different? It’s the blackberry whiskey that takes the place of gin. Normally, dark liquors have no place in Long Island Iced Tea, but we can’t argue with this recipe, especially considering how great it tastes.
In addition to the blackberry whiskey, you’ll also need vodka, rum, tequila, and triple sec, along with lemon juice and a splash of cola. If you don’t have blackberry whiskey, substituting blackberry brandy will work in a pinch. Serve this one with a few fresh blackberries, and it will look just like a professional bartender created it.
10. Long Beach Iced Tea
By Vine Pair
The Long Beach Iced Tea is probably one of the most popular variations on the Long Island beverage. This is the pink Long Island that you might see someone sipping on, and the secret ingredient that gives it such a wonderful hue is nothing other than sweet and tart cranberry juice.
The Long Beach also includes vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and triple sec. The Cranberry juice replaces the cola, so there’s no reason to pop open a can of soda. Don’t forget the simple syrup to add a little more sweetness to the mix. Garnish and serve this cocktail with a nice thick lemon wedge. For a festive holiday touch, swap out the simple syrup for maple syrup instead.
11. Texas Tea
They do everything big in Texas, and this Long Island cocktail variation is no exception. This version uses six liquors instead of five, with whiskey added to the mix. Instead of a sour mix, this variation uses a homemade sugar syrup with lemon, which is crucial for supplying the balance of sweetness needed to counter such a strong alcohol taste. Once it’s all mixed, garnish with a lemon and enjoy.
12. Tokyo Iced Tea
We love how this Tokyo Tea version mixes things up a little on the classic with the addition of melon liqueur, such as Midori. The melon, triple sec, and sweet and sour add wonderful, juicy flavors to the strong, boozy base. This recipe calls for a splash of club soda, but we’ve seen other cocktail recipes suggest using Mountain Dew or citrus soda instead.
13. Boston Tea Party
If you love collecting recipes for delicious and clever cocktails, the Boston Tea Party needs to be added to your list. Of all the variations, this one looks so much like the classic Long Island Iced Tea. You wouldn’t even know there was a difference until you went in for a sip.
Once you start drinking this cocktail, it becomes obvious that the flavors are a bit different. This is thanks to the Cointreau, scotch whiskey, and orange juice added to the standard Long Island tea mix.
Virgin Long Island Iced Tea Recipe
14. Non-Alcoholic Long Island Iced Tea Recipe
You’ll get all the flavors but won’t miss the hangover when you choose this mocktail version of the typically boozy iced tea. You want to start by making actual tea for this cocktail, preferably English Breakfast, which offers a robust but smooth flavor profile.
To the tea, you’ll add apple cider vinegar (Trust us. It works), ginger beer, lemon juice, and orange juice. The ginger beer adds a wonderful zing, and then you’ll top off the mocktail with a splash or two of cola. Serve with a lemon slice, and enjoy.
Copycat Long Island Tea Recipes
15. Applebees Long Island Ice Tea Recipe
What’s the secret to Applebee’s version of this classic cocktail? Apparently, they keep it mellow by using just four liquors instead of five. White rum, vodka, gin, triple sec, and sour mix make it onto the list, but the bite of tequila is left out. Don’t forget the splash of cola, and you’ll be able to enjoy one of Applebee’s most popular drinks in the comfort of your own home.
16. TGIFridays Long Island Iced Tea
This probably won’t come as much of a surprise to you, but TGIFriday’s version is practically identical to that of Applebees, at least if we’re talking about a copycat version. This is another one that you want to skip the tequila with and go with just the four liquors instead. It’s still good enough that you won’t even miss its absence.
17. ChiChis Long Island Iced Tea
Our final variation isn’t really a recipe at all but rather a mix to make one of the chain restaurant’s favorite drinks. ChiChis sells its long island mix in a jug, already premade, so you don’t have to worry about gathering a long list of ingredients to stock your bar with. Plus, this mixture, in particular, gets really good reviews.
Ready-to-Drink Long Island Iced Tea
With so many variations of the Long Island Ice Tea, there are plenty of opportunities to play around and find your new favorite. Do you like yours with a sweet fruity flavor, or maybe the seductive undertones of a nice whiskey added in? However you like it, we’re here to help you enjoy it even more.