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How to Prepare and Make a Long Island Ice Tea LIIT - with Gin, Vodka, Triple Sec, Tequila, Rum

Updated on June 19, 2013
4.4 stars from 5 ratings of Long Island Ice Tea Review


Okay, so today's drink hub is on the FAMOUS Long Island Ice Tea. This drink is very powerful, and very famous from many TV shows, movies, and the media. This drink has been rated in the top 5 most popular drinks of all time. At the same time this is one of the only drinks where most restaurants and bars will not serve you more than 2 or 3 of these in 1 night.

With that being said, before starting this drink you will need a few different alcohols and mixes. This is not a complex drink to make, but takes a few ingredients, and then you can enjoy your LIIT (Long Island Ice Tea). So first you will need Vodka. I buy Smirnoff Vodka because I like the flavor, and it is not very expensive. The Rum I use is Captain Morgan, because of the rums out there personally my favorite is Captain Morgan Rums. I just use the plain original classic spiced rum. For Triple Sec I use Hiram Walker. I think it is the cheapest brand and gives a good flavor. The Gin I used here is Beefeater. Personally I would normally buy Tanqueray Gin but I only needed a little Gin, and Beefeater was on sale, so for the recipe I bought Beefeater. Lastly for alcohol is Tequila. I bought 1800 Tequila for the recipe because I was out of Patron, and had the bottle laying around. In the end, as long as none of the alcohols are flavored and originals or classics then any brand will due. Keep in mind when people order these at the bar I work, unless specified we tend to use cheaper alcohol.

Another note about the name of the drink. The name comes from the fact that all these alcohols mixed together with the splash of Coke gives an Iced Tea flavor. It is actually worth making and trying to see for yourself that this concoction of liquids can make Alcohol Iced Tea.

Another point that I wanted to add was that I use food coloring on my drinks for this hub to dress the drinks. They have no effect taste wise and are completely for appearance. The drinks do look different when colored, but none the less I'll get to that in the instructions below, so lets get on with this recipe.

All Ingredients
All Ingredients | Source
Poured drinks
Poured drinks | Source
Finished in Red
Finished in Red | Source
Finished in Blue/Green
Finished in Blue/Green | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Ready in: 5 min
Yields: 1 Person


  • .5 ounce Vodka, I Used Smirnoff
  • .5 ounce Gin, I Used Beefeater
  • .5 ounce Triple Sec, I Used Hiram Walker
  • .5 ounce Rum, I Used Captain Morgan
  • .5 ounce Tequila, I used 1800
  • 1.5 ounce Sweet & Sour Mix, I used Master of Mixes
  • Splash Coca Cola
  • 1 Drop Food colowing, Optiona, but I use for appearance


  1. Okay, so first off, you should choose your glass. I used two different glasses as you can see below. One glass with red dye, the other with a blue/green dye. But either way, you can use any standard glass that will be big enough to hold a good amount of alcohol plus the ice.
  2. Now you should add the Ice. Add ice to the glass and make sure you fill the glass. You want to dilute the drink as well as keep the drink cold while you sip your LIIT.
  3. Now you should start adding your alcohols. Being a bartender I have lots of Shot glasses so I was able to put all the drinks into shot glasses in front before making the drinks for photographs. But anyways, you can use the same shot glass, but you want to fill each shot glass about half way, then dump the shots into the cup.
  4. Next you want to add the 1.5 ounces of sweet & sour to the cup.
  5. Now you want to stir the drink thoroughly to ensure that all of the alcohol is thoroughly mixed. Some say shake it a couple times, but we don't tend to shake before we serve, usually we just stir.
  6. Now add the Coca Cola to the drink. The drink does not call for more than a splash, and it is not necessary for more than a splash. After adding the Coke, stir very lightly just to blend the Coke in.
  7. Now add the food coloring if you would like. My photos both include the food coloring as these give a good touch to your drink. This is not a mandatory step, BUT will give the drink a new appearance and appeal more to you and your friends.
  8. Now your drink is complete. Add a straw, either a lemon or lime wedge, and serve cold. The drink itself is now complete.
  9. Always remember don't drink and drive, and be careful with this drink as it is very potent. Most importantly have fun, and feel free to comment.... the next day to let me know what you think of the drink. Thanks for reading.

One Last Note

I would like to add that The Captain Morgan Long Island Ice Tea pre-made alcohol is very good as well. The only difference is that drink is made with whiskey instead of Tequila. I have never seen other than on that recipe that a traditional LIIT is made with Whiskey instead of Tequila, but either way if you buy that it still taste great over ice, but my guide shows above how to make the real deal.


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    • Peter Daly profile image

      Peter 20 months ago from UK

      Am currently writing my own recipe on here. I need to get some better images first. I put tequila in mine too though if it makes you feel any better!

      I love the layout of this hub by the way. The way the pictures are to the side of the instructions.

      Check my profile out tonight or tomorrow and we can compare recipes. This is 100% my favourite drink.

    • Johnrr631992 profile image

      John Reid-Roberts 5 years ago from Boston, Massachusetts

      Some videos that include Tequila would be Also you can watch this one Another recipe with tequila And another tequila filled LIIT And 1 more from youtube with tequila ... So as everyone can tell. The way you make, and receive a LIIT is Gin, Vodka, Tequila, Rum, and Triple Sec...... unless you in Texas, then you will have no Tequila.

    • Johnrr631992 profile image

      John Reid-Roberts 5 years ago from Boston, Massachusetts

      Well, I don't know if things are different in Texas than other places, BUT that shows one way, also when I went to bartender school in Florida, this is how the recipe was taught to me. ALSO here is a video of the same drink being made in Las Vegas with my recipe , also would like to point out that I looked up numerous videos on youtube to see how it was made. Also checked with a bartender at a local bar in Massachusetts where I am now, and everyone and everything I have looked at suggests my recipe. Your the first to take away the Tequila, AND also keep in mind up here in Massachusetts, and Florida I Have never heard of Texas Ice Tea, or any Texas drinks since where I am now there are only Boston drinks, and Florida only has Tampa drinks where I am. So I think that it may depend on the region, but my drink is the traditional standard way of making a Long Island Ice Tea that I have learned in bartender school, and have seen on every site I checked on the Web.

    • Dog Advisor profile image

      Sarah Falkner 5 years ago from Dog Advice

      Long Island Iced tea does not include Tequila....Only the TEXAS ICED TEA also includes Tequila. Basic Long Island Iced Tea in only Vodka, Rum, Gin, Triple Sec, Sour Mix and Coke. I have been a bartender for 25 years....In Texas....LOL