Modern Tea-Infused Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

Modern Tea-Infused Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

Ever since its debated inception in the 1970s, the Long Island Iced Tea has held its own as a classic cocktail that’s both loved and misunderstood.

Contrary to what its name suggests, this iconic drink historically didn’t have a drop of actual tea in it. Rather it was a tantalizing mix of spirits and cola that when poured right resembled our favorite summer brew.

But what if we got back to the basics and in a nod to its namesake, incorporated genuine tea into this timeless concoction?

As a lover of both cocktails and tea, I embarked on a journey to blend the past with the present, infusing the Long Island Iced Tea with a robust black tea to add depth, body, and a dash of authenticity.

Modern Day Long Island Iced Tea

Modern Day Long Island Iced Tea
Preparation time: 10 min
Serving size: 1
Calories per serve: 250


  • 0.5 oz (15 ml) vodka
  • 0.5 oz (15 ml) tequila (white/silver)
  • 0.5 oz (15 ml) rum (white)
  • 0.5 oz (15 ml) gin
  • 0.5 oz (15 ml) triple sec (or another orange liqueur like Cointreau)
  • 1 oz (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz (15 ml) simple syrup (adjust based on sweetness preference)
  • 1 oz (30 ml) freshly brewed black tea (cooled) Note: Choose a strong black tea, such as Assam, Darjeeling, or Earl Grey for a pronounced tea flavor.
  • Splash of cola (around 1 oz or 30 ml, to taste)
  • Lemon wheel or wedge, for garnish
  • Ice cubes


  1. Brew the Tea: Start by brewing your selected black tea. Let it steep for about 4-5 minutes to ensure a robust flavor. Allow the tea to cool down before using it in the cocktail.
  2. Mix the Spirits: In a shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, tequila, rum, gin, triple sec, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  3. Shake: Shake well until the outside of the shaker becomes cold and frosty.
  4. Prepare the Glass: Fill a tall glass (usually a Collins glass or similar) with ice.
  5. Pour & Top Up: Strain the mixture from the shaker into the glass. Add the brewed tea, and top up with a splash of cola to add color and a slight effervescence.
  6. Garnish: Garnish with a lemon wheel or wedge.
  7. Serve & Enjoy: Stir gently and serve immediately.

Equipment List

  1. Teapot or Kettle: For brewing the black tea.
  2. Tea Infuser or Teabag: Depending on whether you’re using loose leaf or bagged tea.
  3. Cocktail Shaker: To mix the spirits and other ingredients.
  4. Jigger or Measuring Tools: To measure the spirits and other liquids accurately.
  5. Tall Glass (Collins Glass or similar): To serve the drink.
  6. Ice Cube Tray: To make and store ice cubes.
  7. Strainer: To strain the mixture from the shaker into the glass.
  8. Citrus Juicer or Squeezer: To extract fresh lemon juice.
  9. Stirring Spoon: To stir the final drink gently before serving.
  10. Knife: To slice the lemon for garnish.

With the right equipment on hand, making this cocktail will be a breeze.

Enjoying the Tea-Infused Long Island Ice Tea

As I sipped on my reinvented Long Island Iced Tea on a warm Sunday afternoon, I was transported to places more exotic than my balcony. The rich undertones of the black tea melded harmoniously with the myriad of spirits, offering a dance of flavors on my palate – a tango of citrusy brightness, smooth liquor notes, and the earthy depth of tea.

The splash of cola gave it that familiar effervescence, but the real tea? That was the game changer. It added an unexpected body and warmth, reminiscent of cozy tea times yet invigorated by the cocktail’s spirited legacy. With every sip, I was reminded of the beauty of experimentation and the delightful surprises it can bring. Whether you’re a cocktail enthusiast or a tea lover, this modern twist on the classic Long Island Iced Tea is a flavor journey you wouldn’t want to miss. I will be making this again.

Photo of author
A self-proclaimed tea explorer, Jess began her journey with tea as a hobby and it quickly blossomed into an enchanting love affair. From the rich, historical tapestries of traditional Chinese blends, to the modern twists of herbal infusions, there’s no leaf unturned.

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