Have you ever wondered why the signature drink of Long Island- the Long Island Iced Tea- got its name? It is a popular cocktail that can be found at many bars and clubs across the nation, and likely goes back to prohibition-era.
It is believed to have been created over 100 years ago and is now the fifth most ordered drink in the USA, with over 52 million servings annually. In this article, we’ll explore the history behind the beloved drink- so why is it called a Long Island Iced Tea?
What is a Long Island Iced Tea?A Long Island Iced Tea is an alcoholic beverage that is made with vodka, tequila, white rum, triple-sec, gin, and sweet-and-sour mix. The drink is typically served over a glass of ice and garnished with a lemon wedge.
While the drink has become popular around the world, it was first created in the early 1970s on Long Island, New York.
Why is it Called a Long Island Iced Tea?
The drink is called a Long Island Iced Tea because of its creation and history. The drink is believed to have been created by a Long Island barman named Robert “Rosebud” Butt in 197 Butt was working at The Oak Beach Inn in a town on Long Island, New York when a customer asked for something that was “long” and “strong,” with the barman deciding to combine the ingredients from several of the other popular drinks to create the Long Island Iced Tea.
The name, however, wasn’t popularized until 1976 when a journalist named Robert E. Plotkin wrote about it in his book “Bartender’s Guide to Great American Drink.
The Long Island Iced Tea VariationsSince its invention, the Long Island Iced Tea has seen numerous variations. Some of the most popular ones include:
- The Blue Hawaiian: This variation adds blue curacao and pineapple juice, giving it a sweeter and tropical flavor.
- The Caribbean Tea: This take adds a splash of orange juice, to lighten up the flavor of the drink.
- The Cosmopolitan Tea: This variation is similar to a Cosmopolitan, with the addition of triple-sec.
- The Gold Tea: This variation substitutes the vodka with gold tequila.
- The Green Tea: This variation adds a splash of Midori and green tea, which gives the drink its unique flavor.
- The Lemon Tea: This variation is similar to the Blue Hawaiian, but with the addition of lemon juice.