Our version of homemade Long Island Iced Tea is cola free and made with actual brewed black tea instead of cola. It's full of refreshing citrus flavor, and it's strong. With four types of liquor, this is definitely not a standard weeknight drink, but it's perfect for summer parties with friends and family.
Why We Love This Recipe
- No cola: We leave out the cola and replace it with unsweetened black tea. For those who don't drink soda, this provides a healthier and less sugary twist on a classic.
- Strong, but refreshing: For me, one of these is enough to sip on throughout dinner. However, the citrus in the drink keeps it refreshing, so you never get tired of coming back to the same drink.
- Perfect for summer: This is the ultimate summer drink to enjoy at a bbq or a party. If you're having a Long Island iced tea, chances are you have a relaxing day or night ahead of you.
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe:
- Tea and sugar: Since we left out the cola, we need to add some sweetness back in. We used agave nectar, but regular sugar will work well. As another option, you could simply use sweet tea in place of the unsweetened tea and agave nectar.
- Freshly-squeezed citrus: We highly recommend using freshly squeezed orange, lemon, and lime juice. We promise that it's worth the effort! Of course, the stuff from the carton or from those plastic lemons and limes will suffice, but they definitely won't taste quite as fresh.
- Orange liqueur: Triple Sec also works here in place of the orange liqueur.
- White rum: We used white rum here, not dark/spiced rum. In a pinch, dark rum will work, but the resulting flavor and color of the drink will be a bit different.
- Tea: Any black tea will do here (we typically use a strong English breakfast or Earl Grey black tea).
(1) If you're squeezing your own citrus, get that step out of the way first. If not, go right ahead and get out your cocktail shaker, a jigger, and your favorite highball glasses.
Load up your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice, then add all of the liquids (2 oz orange juice, 1 oz lemon juice, ½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 oz agave nectar, ¾ oz gin, ¾ oz white rum, ¾ oz vodka, ¾ oz silver tequila, ½ oz Cointreau or Triple Sec, ½ cup unsweetened black iced tea) and give your shaker a vigorous shake.
As a general rule of thumb, we typically shake for about 15 seconds, or until the entire cocktail shaker is cold to the touch.
(2) Pour over ice into a glass, garnish with fresh citrus (optional) and start sipping!
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Take your time: This drink is strong, so please sip slowly and make sure you've had some food beforehand.
- Quality in, quality out: The better quality alcohol you use, the better the drink will taste. The same goes for the citrus. Freshly squeezed will make a huge difference.
- Liquor types: Since there are so many different types of alcohol in this drink, chances are you might not have one of the spirits listed in the recipe. Feel free to leave it out, or substitute with something else. It will still taste good, as the citrus and tea provide enough flavor to carry the drink.
- Add the bubbles back: Since we've left out the cola, there will be no carbonation in our Long Island iced tea. If you'd like to add the carbonation back in, just top off your drink with some soda or sparkling water.
There are about 2 total shots in each drink.
This recipe makes two drinks. You can also multiply the recipe and serve in a pitcher for a larger crowd.
Tequila, vodka, gin, rum, and orange liqueur or triple sec are the spirits typically found in a Long Island iced tea.
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Our version of homemade Long Island Iced Tea is cola free and made with actual brewed black tea instead of cola. It's full of citrus and flavor, and it's strong. With four types of liquor, this is definitely not a standard weeknight drink, but it's perfect for summer parties with friends and family.
- 2 oz orange juice, freshly squeezed or store bought
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 oz agave nectar
- ¾ oz gin
- ¾ oz white rum
- ¾ oz vodka
- ¾ oz silver tequila
- ½ oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
- ½ cup unsweetened black iced tea
- If you're squeezing your own citrus, then get that step out of the way first.
- Load up your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice, then add all of the liquids (2 oz orange juice, 1 oz lemon juice, ½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 oz agave nectar, ¾ oz gin, ¾ oz white rum, ¾ oz vodka, ¾ oz silver tequila, ½ oz Cointreau or Triple Sec, ½ cup unsweetened black iced tea) and give your shaker a vigorous shake. As a general rule of thumb, we typically shake for about 15 seconds, or until the entire cocktail shaker is cold to the touch.
- Pour over ice into a glass, garnish with fresh citrus (optional) and start sipping!
Feel free to use freshly brewed or store-bought black tea. You can also use sweetened black tea, but in this case, you may want to omit the agave.
Don't have every liquor listed here? Feel free to leave it out or substitute it with something else.
We highly recommend freshly squeezing your citrus – it makes a big difference in the freshness and flavor.
Top with sparkling water or soda to add carbonation in place of cola.
To make a pitcher version, multiply each ingredient serving size by 4-6.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Cocktails
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 Drink
- Calories: 174
- Sugar: 12.5 g
- Sodium: 4 mg
- Fat: 0.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 15.3 g
- Fiber: 0.2 g
- Protein: 0.3 g
Keywords: long island iced tea