Long Island iced tea is a classic alcoholic drink that is known for its insanely high alcohol content. A traditional Long Island iced tea mixed drink has vodka, rum, gin, tequila and triple sec all mixed together. Maybe some people think it is delicious but all that alcohol mixed together makes us cringe.
We decided to create a much better version of Long Island iced tea. We wanted to make a mixed tea drink that tasted good and one that you could enjoy without worry. Our virgin long island iced tea recipe is exactly what we wanted it to be! You are going to love it.
The First Long Island Iced Tea
The Long Island iced tea cocktail goes back to 1972 in the town of Hampton Bays. A bartender named Rosebud Butt mixed the drink for a cocktail contest. He blended the four biggest selling liquors in a glass then added orange flavored tripel sec to help mellow the strong drink. The cocktail took off and is still one of the most requested drinks, especially among younger adults who are looking for a stronger drink.
When you take away all the alcohol from a Long Island iced tea, there isn’t too much left. We try to make our mocktail drink recipes as close to the flavor of the original cocktail as possible. Crafting a Long Island iced tea without liquor was a tricky one!
The main flavor of a Long Island iced tea is citrus and orange thanks to the triple sec. We used fresh lemon juice and orange juice to give our mocktail that signature citrus taste.
While Long Island iced tea cocktails do not technically have any real tea, we wanted to make our mocktail with actual tea. English breakfast tea has a great neutral taste that we love. The subtle earthy flavor goes well with the citrus in the drink. It also makes this tea a real tea!
Ginger beer gives our Long Island iced tea mocktail a nice spicy kick. This zesty flavor is similar to the one that a massive blend of liquor would give the drink. Of course, ginger beer gives that spice without any alcohol. Apple cider vinegar also gives a tasty spice to the mocktail. We like the vinegar taste because it makes the mocktail taste very close to the original, powerful cocktail. Still way more delicious, though!
Making our long island iced tea mocktail is very simple. Here is what you need to do:
- Brew the tea in hot water then discard the used tea bags.
- Let the tea chill.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, orange juice and lemon juice and stir.
- Gently stir in the ginger beer so as not to lose the fizz.
- Pour into glasses then top with a splash of cola and a pretty mint sprig and enjoy!
This is as easy as mocktails get! It is also delicious and completely alcohol free. That is a total win for us!
We often have questions when trying new recipes. We tried to answer a few of your frequently asked questions about Long Island iced teas here. Hopefully the answers will help you make the perfect virgin drink!
How many shots are in a Long Island iced tea?
Long Island iced teas contain about 3-4 shots, depending on the person pouring the drink and the recipe being used. That is way too many! Our recipe is completely alcohol free and has zero shots. It is much tastier this way.
How much alcohol is in a Long Island iced tea?
Long Island iced teas have about 22 percent alcohol by volume. They are definitely one of the strongest drinks out there! Of course, our recipe has 0% ABV which is something we strongly prefer.
Is Long Island iced tea a girly drink?
Not at all. The classic LIIT cocktail has so much alcohol in it that it is simply a drink for the strongest drinkers. Even our virgin version is perfect for everyone. You only need to be a citrus, tea lover to enjoy this recipe.
Why is it called a Long Island iced tea?
LIIT was first created in a bar in Long Island, New York. The cocktail was a light brown color which made it look like tea. The drink got its name solely due to where it was created and how it looked.
Are Long Island iced teas bad for you?
Drinking a lot of alcohol is always a bad idea. You can damage your liver, your brain function and harm your physical self. Classic LIIT cocktails are extremely high in alcohol which means they can be detrimental quite quickly. Opt for our non alcoholic version and you will be quite happy you did!