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Everyone likes cocktails - they taste good and are very refreshing, not to mention the buzz one gets from them. Today, there are as many different cocktails as there are bartenders, but some of them are classics and all-time favorites, and Long Island Ice Tea is certainly one of them.

About Long Island Ice Tea

The cocktail called Long Island Ice Tea has been around for more than 30 years. It is believed that its inventor is one Robert Butts, bartender at the Oak Beach Inn, a waterfront nightclub in Long Island, New York. It is clear where one part of the name comes from, and as for the Ice Tea part, although today this cocktail is made with different ingredients, depending on the person or the establishment making it, ice tea was at first the basic ingredient.

This is a great summer highball, although some enjoy it all year round. There are many variations of the original recipe, including Jersey Ice Tea, Long Beach Ice Tea, Pittsburgh Ice Tea, Peach Long Island and Tokyo Ice Tea.

One important characteristic of Long Island Ice Tea and its varieties is their high alcohol content, usually higher than 28%. This is mainly because of the proportionally minor amount of mixers in the cocktail.

The recipe

Main ingredients of Long Island Ice Tea are vodka, tequila, rum and gin, combined with other, alcoholic or non-alcoholic ingredients.

The most popular recipe combines those four ingredients with triple sec, sweet n sour mix and a splash of cola. Cola is basically added for the color, and in many bars the sour mix is omitted, since many people do not like it.

Aside from these, lemon juice or proper ice tea can be added in small amounts. A slice of lemon goes well with it too, making it seem less of an alcoholic drink and more of a healthy summer beverage. The ingredients, combined together, do mimic the smooth taste of the tea itself.

International Bartenders Association recommends making Long Island Ice Tea from 1.5cl or three parts each of gin, vodka, rum, tequila and triple sec, 2.5cl or five parts lemon juice, 3.0cl or six parts sugar syrup and a splash of Coke.

This is one of the easiest cocktails to make, all the ingredients are basically poured in a highball glass full of ice, slightly mixed and a slice of lemon is added for decorative purposes.

Lime slices, lime juice or even lime liqueur can be used instead of the lemon, and sour mix can be omitted, just like in the recipe provided by the IBA. Manu bartenders will agree that mixer ingredients can be slightly altered as long as the alcoholic ingredients and their proportions remain the same.

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