The Story Behind The Long Island Iced Tea

According to legend, the Long Island Iced Tea was originally named the “Old Man Bishop” after a gentleman who created the drink during Prohibition — its sweetness making it difficult for teetotalers to identify it as alcoholic. But history always has multiple perspectives; bartender Robert Butt claims that it was he who invented the drink in 1972 while participating in a cocktail contest at the Oak Beach Inn in Long Island, N.Y.

Known as one of the booziest and most iconic cocktails — coming in at a whopping 22 percent ABV — the Long Island Iced Tea combines five different spirits in a symphony of flavors. Equal amounts of vodka, rum, tequila, gin, and triple sec are joined by simple syrup, lemon juice, and a splash of cola to create a unique beverage that belies its strength.


  • ¾ ounce vodka
  • ¾ ounce rum
  • ¾ ounce tequila
  • ¾ ounce gin
  • ¾ ounce triple sec
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • Cola
  • Garnish: lemon wedge.


  1. Combine all ingredients in a tall glass with ice.
  2. Briefly stir to combine.
  3. Top with a splash of cola.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Recipe Rating

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Yield: 1
Updated: 2021-05-25

The Long Island Iced Tea Recipe