Long Island Iced Tea Recipe: How to Make the Best Long Island Iced Tea

The Long Island Iced Tea is an absolutely classic cocktail that packs a serious alcoholic punch. Anyone over the drinking age will have a story to tell about the time they had one too many Long Island Iced Teas - sometimes, all it takes is one Long Island Iced Tea…!

This is a potent cocktail, and despite the name, it’s all booze and zero iced tea. Long Island Iced tea ingredients include gin, vodka, rum, tequila, and triple sec. That’s a potent mix for anyone, and it’s only finished off with a dash of cola and a wedge of lemon that hardly dilutes any of the strong spirits. 

But sometimes, the Long Island Iced Tea is just what we need. It’s strong, but it’s super easy to drink, and you can prepare this staple cocktail at home without any prior bartending experience or knowledge. 

Let’s get mixing then. Here’s how to make a Long Island Iced Tea cocktail at home. 

What’s in a Long Island Iced Tea?

This is an easy beverage to mix up, despite the fact, there are no less than four different spirits and one liqueur in this dangerously easy-to-drink cocktail. 

So what alcohol is in Long Island Iced Tea? A classic recipe always has the following combination of alcoholic drinks:

  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • White rum
  • Tequila
  • Triple sec

The thing about the Long Island Iced Tea, though, is there’s not really much else to it other than the booze. That’s why it has such a fearsome reputation. In addition to the spirits and liqueur, a Long Island Iced Tea is topped off with cola and a wedge of lime. You’ll also need some fresh ice straight from the ice ball maker to pour the cocktail over, and traditionally, the drink is served in a long glass, such as a highball. 

That’s it. The cola, lemon, and ice do little to mask the potency of the alcohol in terms of its strength and its flavor, but this is one cocktail that just seems to blend seamlessly together somehow. It sure as hell shouldn’t work as well as it does, but it does work well!

Let’s get to our classic Long Island Iced Tea mix; we know you’re thirsty for this cocktail. 

Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

The following measures are for 1 Long Island drink. Scale up to prepare a pitcher worth of Long Island Iced Tea for you and your friends (it’s not wise to try drinking an entire pitcher of this stuff on your own).


  • ¾ ounces of gin
  • ¾ ounces of vodka
  • ¾ ounces of white rum
  • ¾ ounces of tequila
  • ¾ ounces of triple sec
  • Lemon wedge


  1. Measure out equal measures of gin, vodka, white rum, tequila, and triple sec into a cocktail shaker. Give the ingredients a good shake, so they are well combined.
  2. Add ice to a highball glass, then pour your mixed spirits over the ice.
  3. Top the glass up with cola, then garnish with a wedge of lemon.
  4. Voila, you’ve just poured a strong Long Island Iced Tea - serve immediately, then repeat!

Long Island Iced Tea recipe FAQ

How strong is a Long Island Iced Tea? 

Okay, so the Long Island Iced Tea is one strong drink - don’t forget that when you’re mixing this cocktail at home. Using the recipe above, you’re going to be pouring out a minimum of 2.5 shots of alcohol - and all of the spirits are strong, too (around the 40 percent alcohol mark!). 

With that in mind, try to be concise with your measures. Even a little extra of each pour is going to leave with a lot more Long Island Iced Tea, considering their different types of alcohol to mix. 

If you’re worried about the strength of the cocktail, then use less alcohol and top it up with more cola. You can also add lemon juice (freshly squeezed, of course) to the recipe to dilute the booze!

Is one Long Island Iced Tea enough to get me drunk? 

Everyone has their own drink threshold, which depends on so many different factors that it’s impossible to tell if one Long Island Iced Tea will be enough to get you drunk. 

All we’ll say to this is that it’s a strong cocktail, and one drink certainly has the potential to get you very drunk. This is especially so if you’re not used to drinking much alcohol. 

To put the cocktail into perspective, one full-strength Long Island Iced Tea is the equivalent of drinking around four or five mid-strength beers!

Be careful out there with this one, guys!

What are the best spirits to use? 

The Long Island Iced Tea is perfect for mixing up with unbranded or ‘cheap’ spirits because the flavors are all well mixed together. 

What we’re saying is, you won’t tell the difference between high-end vodka and bottom shelf vodka in this recipe; it’s all going to taste the same, so don’t waste the expensive stuff here. 

Is this a sweet drink? 

Our Long Island Iced Tea recipe above isn’t overly sweet in any way, except for the cola, but you can add sweetness if that’s what you enjoy.

If you have a sweet tooth, then add a dash of sugar syrup to the cocktail mixer when you’re shaking. If you prefer less sweetness, top it off with a sugar-free cola instead of standard cola. Add extra bitterness, too, with added lemons and limes for garnish. 

Long Island Iced Tea recipe: the last drink

Don’t underestimate the strength and potency of the Long Island Iced Tea, as this really could be your last (and only) drink of the night if you make it too strong.

This is a classic, timeless recipe, but it’s undeniably strong in terms of alcoholic content. It’s super easy to mix, and to drink, which just adds to the danger element!

Drink in moderation, though, and this is one fantastic cocktail. If you’re looking to serve up strong cocktails next weekend, then why not save our Long Island Iced Tea recipe for later?