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Long Island Iced Tea History

The History of the Long Island Iced Tea Along With a Great Recipe

Long island iced tea is one of the popular summer cocktails and is available in many different variants. Continue reading this article for some information about the history of this cocktail.
Sonia Nair
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2018
It is a common fact that cocktails are made by mixing different types of drinks, with at least one type of spirit. The method of making cocktails or mixed drinks were prevalent for a very long time. But, it was only during the early years of the nineteenth century that these drinks got popular and get recorded. So, as per recorded evidences, cocktails originated in the nineteenth century America.
It is said that cocktails got popular during 1820s to 1830s, when liquor prohibition was enacted. Cocktails were perfect to cover up the use of liquor. Some of the cocktails invented during this period became so popular that they are still among the much sought-after types. Now there are different types of cocktails and long island iced tea is one among them.
History of Long Island Ice Tea
As stated above, most of the cocktails are said to have originated during the period, when liquor was banned in the United States. So, very less is known about their history. There are various stories about the invention of long island iced tea and the most accepted one is about Robert (Rosebud) Butts, who is said to invent this summer drink during the 1970s. This person was a bartender at the Oak Beach Inn, in Babylon town of Long Island, New York. However, there are many other versions about long island iced tea history.
Another story is that long island tea was invented during the 1920s, which was the prohibition period. As per one version, this cocktail was invented in the city of Kingsport in Tennessee. It is said the original recipe of long island iced tea is the brainchild of a person named Old man bishop. The recipe was perfected by his son Ransom, during the 1940s, after his father died. Though the story of Robert (Rosebud) Butts is the most accepted one, even this version may be true.
Long Island Iced Tea Recipe
This is one of the popular versions of long island iced tea recipes. As per this recipe, you need the following ingredients for making two drinks.
  • Vodka - 1 ounce
  • Gin - 1 ounce
  • White tequila - 1 ounce
  • White rum - 1 ounce
  • Cola - ½ cup
  • Triple sec - ½ ounce
  • Freshly squeezed lemon - 2 tablespoons
  • Ice cubes - 2 cups
  • Lemon wedges - 2 (for garnishing)
Take a cocktail shaker and add the ice cubes. Now, add all the ingredients except the lemon wedges and cola. Shake well and chill, before pouring into mugs. Now, top this drink with cola and garnish with the lemon wedges, before serving this long island iced tea.
Ransom's Recipe
This is said to be the long island iced tea recipe, followed by Ransom Bishop, during the 1940s. In order to prepare his version of long island iced tea, you require these ingredients.
  • Rum - ½ ounce
  • Whiskey - 1 ounce
  • Vodka - 1 ounce
  • Tequila - ½ ounce
  • Gin - ½ ounce
  • Maple syrup - ½ ounce
  • Soda - 4 ounces
  • Fresh lemon - 1
  • Fresh lime - 1
Squeeze both the lemon and the lime into a glass and add the other ingredients into it. Mix thoroughly and top with the soda (don't mix the drink after adding soda). Your long island iced tea is ready.
The above said is only a general overview about long island iced tea history. If you are interested in knowing more about the origin and history of this beverage, you may conduct an in-depth study about it. So, enjoy your long island iced tea that can be prepared in numerous types. Even the calories in long island iced tea may differ with these variants. You may either use the above said recipes or collect others for preparing your favorite long island iced tea.
Ransom's Recipe
Long Island Iced Tea