How to make Long Island Iced Tea at home

I spent my early 20s drinking delicious Long Island Iced Teas in The Exchange, in Hanley, during happy hour – which was conveniently just before the first band headed on stage on a Friday evening. After lockdown .three, I realised it was around 18 months since I’d enjoyed my favourite cocktail – so I invested in the ingredients to make my own.

You’ll notice I said invested. That’s because all of the ingredients for a good Long Island Iced Tea will set you back around £50 – but hear me out. Let’s say the average Long Island Iced Tea costs £7 in a bar – you could buy seven drinks – but with your own ingredients, you could make four times as many, and make 28 (35cl of Triple Sec divided into 12.5ml measures).

Long Island, New York and Long Island, Tennessee both lay claim to this popular cocktail, which gets its name from the amber colour, which looks very similar to American iced tea. It contains five different spirits and a relatively small amount of mixer, but tastes absolutely amazing and is surprisingly smooth for the unusual blend of ingredients.

For this cocktail, I used:

  • J.J Whitley Vanilla Vodka 70cl – £13 (on offer from £15)
  • Sierra Silver Tequila 50cl – £15
  • Havana Club 3 Year Old White Rum 70cl – £15 (usually £18)
  • Curacao Triple Sec Orange Liqueur 35cl – £8
  • Tanqueray London Dry Gin 70cl – £16 (on sale from £18)
  • One fresh lemon
  • Sugar cane syrup
  • Coca-Cola

To make a Long Island Iced Tea:

  1. Add 12.5ml of each white spirit to a shaker full of ice, followed by 25ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 25ml of sugar cane syrup.
  2. Shake, and strain into a highball glass filled with ice before topping with a dash of Coca-Cola.
  3. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a lemon peel twist, and add a straw.
  4. Best enjoyed sitting on a sun lounger with a good book!

Honestly, I think they taste even better at home than they do at the bar!


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Staffordshire, UK

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