This weekend is unofficially the start of summer 2021. You know what the last 15 months have been like. So let’s skip rehashing that and get to the drinks. This summer calls for a serious drink to, well, party your face off with. And there’s really no better highball on earth to truly let loose with than the Long Island Iced Tea.
Much like “Hawaiian” Pizza hailing from Canada. The Long Island Iced Tea is from Tennessee. Moonshiner and barman Charlie “Old Man” Bishop devised the drink back during Prohibition to pack a punch and goddamn did he succeed. Though Bishop’s original recipe is slightly different from the bar standard of today, it’s undeniably a classic through and through.
We’ll make Charlie’s classic Long Island Iced Tea another time. Today, we’re making the standard, make-it-in-the-glass Long Island Iced Tea you can get at every bar from the Pacific to the Atlantic. It’s a powerful concoction of white rum, blanco tequila, dry gin, vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, lemon juice, and Coca-Cola. It’s… a lot and it’ll get you ready for dancing under the full moon all night, hell, all summer long.
Let’s get mixing!
Uproxx’s 2021 “Drink Of Summer” — Long Island Iced Tea
- 0.75-oz. white rum
- 0.75-oz. blanco tequila
- 0.75-oz. dry gin
- 0.75-oz. vodka
- 0.75-oz. triple sec
- 0.75-oz. simple syrup
- 0.75-oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1-oz. Coca-Cola
- Lemon wedge
Use the bottles you have on hand. I just pulled what was at the front on my shelf and that ended up being Absolut Vodka, Havana Club 3 Anos Cubano Rum, Artingsall’s London Dry Gin, and Sierra Blanco Tequila. It really doesn’t matter beyond using spirits you actually like drinking. This is a mish-mash of flavors that somehow work a special sort of alchemy in the glass to really pop.
Other than that, I’m using classic Coke. You can use Coke Zero if you want. It’s perfectly fine. I actually used to love these with Cherry Coke Zero. But that was another time. You can also use Jarritos Mexican Cola or any bespoke cola you have in your area.
The last note I’d like to point out: Measure this out. Don’t be overly generous. This is already a powerful highball with a lot of booze. There are over three ounces of alcohol in this drink, making it a strong double. Add in the sugar high you get, and you have a drink that can put you on your ass pretty quick.
What You’ll Need:
- Highball glass (pre-chilled)
- Paring Knife
- Hand juicer
- Cut a thin lemon wedge and cut the lemon in half.
- Grab your glass from the freezer.
- Fill with ice.
- Add the rum, tequila, gin, vodka, triple sec, syrup, and lemon juice.
- Drop in a straw and gently stir two or three times.
- Top with Coca-Cola and give it another gentle stir.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge.
There’s that summer “let’s get f*cking crazy…” vibe I was looking for. This used to be my go-to drink when I got off work in the summers after busting my ass during double shifts at a Neapolitan pizzeria in D.C. Those were the sort of summers where the temperature was 90 degrees and the humidity was 100 percent and I was working next to an insanely hot, wood-fired pizza oven. But I knew I could head out after tip out and drink $4 Long Island Iced Teas in Adam’s Morgan ’til the sun came up. Good times.
This drink pulls off a crazy balancing act of marrying all the alcohols into a slightly citrus-forward base that’s countered by the sweetness of the cola and syrup with a touch of that Coke fizz keeping it light. It’s bold-yet-bright and yet you still know you’re drinking a strong drink.
Does this go down too easily? Of course. That’s the rep it has and it deserves that claim. Should you make a batch every weekend this summer? I think you know the answer to that.
Summer 2021 is officially ON!