Classic Cocktail Corner: The Long Island Iced Tea

Photo via. Reddit

In a modern world full of flair and fuss, sometimes the mood calls for a timeless classic.

Welcome to Barchive’s Classic Cocktail Corner!

This week’s recommendation? The Long Island Iced Tea!

Backstory: There’s not one, but TWO alleged origin stories! First, It’s said that the Long Island Iced Tea made it’s debut during Prohibition, credited to Tennessee native Old Man Bishop. Combining tequila, vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey with maple syrup, this drink proved well to trick onlookers due to its comparable appearance to a non-alcoholic iced tea. It was also boozy as hell, putting the pro in Prohibition when it came to drinking fast and strong drinks.

A popular drink from the start, Old Man Bishop’s son, Ransom, modified it to what we know it as today. And as for the adapted name, the “Long Island” tie-in comes from the fact that Old Man Bishop belonged to a community called Long Island in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Our second origin story hails from Long Island, New York, where bartender Robert Butt claims to have invented the popular cocktail in the 1970s. According to Butt, he created the drink while competing in a craft cocktail competition with triple sec, and from then on, it was a wild success. He continued making his “original” concoction tending bar at Oak Beach Inn, and to this day, refuses to believe the Old Man Bishop origin story.

While we would LOVE to believe anyone with the last name Butt, the hard evidence here is that a printed LIIT recipe first appeared in Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book in 1961. We’ve included their refined recipe below!

The Long Island Iced Tea

¾ oz Vodka
¾ oz Tequila
¾ oz Gin
¾ oz White Rum
¾ oz Orange-Flavored Liqueur (we recommend Triple Sec)
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Cola
1 Lemon Wedge // Wheel

Add all ingredients (minus the cola) into a shaker with ice and SHAKE. Pour all contents, including ice), into a highball glass. Top with a splash of cola and add a lemon wedge or wheel for a zesty garnish.

Have fun nursing tomorrow’s hangover!

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