Get LIIT: All About The Long Island Iced Tea

Oh, the infamous Long Island Iced Tea. The stuff of graceless nights and blurry memories. Despite its name, it’s traditional recipe actually lacks tea. Its contents are nothing short of a formidable concoction featuring 5 different alcohols; vodka, tequila, light rum, triple sec, gin, and a splash of cola for good measure. Compared to other cocktails, the Long Island Iced Tea’s alcohol content is quite high at 22 percent, which makes sense considering the drink is almost entirely liquor. The deceptive cocktail tastes like a refreshing, bittersweet, light drink, so handle with caution.

Although some credit its origins to an older, prohibition-era version of the drink to Ransom Bishop of the community of Long Island in Kingsport, Tennessee, it’s quite different than the drink we know today, featuring maple syrup and whiskey in lieu of cola.  The Long Island Iced Tea of today is credited to Robert “Rosebud” Butt in, you guessed it, Long Island, New York. In the 70’s, Robert Butt was a bartender at the locally famous Oak Beach Inn located on Jones Beach Island when he concocted the beverage we know today during a cocktail competition. The restaurant became so well known, it was able to open up three other clubs in Smithtown, The Hamptons, and Island Park. People from New York City, Connecticut, New Jersey, and other parts of New York would flock to their locations. The locations would meet a series of legal battles and issues that would lead to them all being torn down or left in ruins.

If you ever find yourself on Long Island, Mercato Kitchen & Cocktails currently holds the title for best Long Island Iced tea on the island, selected by locals, due in part to their moderately priced cocktails and authentic Italian cuisine. If you can’t make it there, however, here’s how you can make the drink at home.

Long Island Iced Tea



½ oz of vodka

½ oz of rum

½ oz of gin

½ oz of tequila

½ oz of triple sec

1/2 oz of sweet/sour mix

1 oz cola, or to taste

1 slice lemon (optional)



Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour all liquors into shaker and shake well. It’s suggested you serve drink into a Collins or hurricane glass. Add 1 oz cola, or to taste, depending on your strength preference. Top with a slice of lemon for garnish. Bottoms up!

Liquid Investment

There has been a lot of media coverage recently about the amazing discoveries of previously lost shipwrecks and explorers encampments, and whilst these discoveries and relatively common in the grand scheme it is the nature of the precious treasures recovered by the salvagers excavating these sites which makes them so interesting. No we’re not talking about jewel encrusted precious metals, ancient weapons or even art work; instead we are referring to the precious water of life that is whisky.

Two such special bottles of whisky have recently made an appearance at Christie’s in Edinburgh selling for £4000. They were recovered from the wreck of the SS Politician which ran aground off the coast of the isle of Eriskay off the coast of Scotland in 1941, the story of which has been immortalized in the book and film version of ‘Whisky Galore! (1949)’. So if you feel inspired to invest in some liquid gold here are some tips short of excavating the titanic that will help steer you in the right direction.

  1. As a rule of thumb you should bear in mind that the rarer the whisky then the more valuable it is likely to be, so be picky. If something is being sold in vast volumes from supermarkets now then the chances are that they will still be selling them for years to come meaning a bottle bought today won’t be worth much more in 20 years or so. This being the case look to buy more mature malts bottled at least at 15-18 years of age.
  2. Grab limited bottlings early. Even younger whiskies such as Auchentoshan’s cask strength 11 year old single malt has a limited supply so the longer you wait the rarer it becomes, meaning even more mature malts will be rarer still.
  3. Go with brands that have a reputation for high quality. Brands that have this reputation tend to be popular and so more bottles of it are likely to be drunk, the more bottle that are drunk mean there will be less left and so the remaining bottles will be rarer and more valuable.
  4. Plan ahead, a long way ahead. Whisky has to age in the cask for at least 3 years before it can even be called whisky so if you’re planning on investing in a cask as opposed to a bottle you could be waiting up to 15 years before it is even bottled never mind waiting for that particular bottle to increase in rarity.
  5. For god sake resist temptation to pour a dram. If you’re planning to sell you’re bottle on, no one wants to buy one that has been opened and potentially contaminated. So if you have very little will power, try buying two bottles; one to sample and one to keep.

Like any investment there is always the element of uncertainty, ideally we would be able to gaze into a crystal ball for the answers but alas that remains the stuff of fantasy. However at the very least if you stick to these general guidelines you should avoid financial disaster.

Featured images:
  • License: Image author owned
  • License: Image author owned

I am an enthusiastic blogger and lover of all things whisky. For more whisky related news and blogs follow me on twitter.

5 Tips For Drinking Whiskey

One of the best alcoholic drinks in the world is whiskey. It is such a lovely drink that comes in many flavours from more smoky taste to a light fruity taste. There really is something for everyone to enjoy.

There is an art to drinking whiskey and here are five tips that can help you impress your friends next time.

1. Open Your Senses

Whiskeys have very full flavour and it is a good idea to have your taste sensors opened up before you get to drink it. There are many different ways of preparing your senses for whiskey but eating certain foods is usually the easiest way.

Things like almonds, vanilla or cinnamon pods can be very good at preparing your senses for the experience.

Dried foods like apricots could also be a good idea. If you are serving whiskey then having these available is a good idea as well.

2. Have Water With It

Above all it is a good idea to have water nearby when enjoying a glass of whiskey. Although you don’t need to add it to the drink but having an occasional sip of water can really enhance the flavour.

You can also just add a splash of water to your whiskey to enhance the flavour. Some even like drinking it with ice cubes. If you do use ice you might want to add enough of it to prevent it from melting too quickly as this might distil the drink in a negative way.

3. It Is Versatile

Although many would argue that the best way to drink whiskey is on its own there are many uses for this great drink. It is really all about your personal preference and if you are more of a cocktail fan then go ahead and use whiskey like that.

There are many good cocktails that use whiskey. You can find a nice list of whiskey cocktails at the Esquire website. Try them out and make all of your friends fall in love with this versatile drink.

4. Age Is A Bonus

There are many good whiskeys that are relatively young and thus age isn’t always the main factor that decides if a whiskey is good or not. But generally old whiskeys tend to be more mature with their taste and thus often are more enjoyable.

You can find a good selection of vintage whiskey on the internet and learn more about the aging process as well. Websites like provide great information for whiskey enthusiasts.

5. There Is No Right Way

All in all, don’t let people bully you into thinking that there is only one way of drinking whiskey. There is a variety of ways to enjoy this drink and it all depends on your personal preference.

The best way to find your own favourite whiskey is to taste different options and whiskeys from different regions. This will help you find just the right one for your taste buds.

The above tips can help you enjoy whiskey to the full. They are good things to know and impress your friends with next time you are enjoying a glass of whiskey.

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Marty loves to have an occasional drink of whiskey and he is passionate about learning more about this great drink His favourite way of enjoying it is after a day outside playing with the dogs and sipping it in front of the fireplace with a good book.