The History Behind “Long Island Iced Tea”
An Intoxicating Tale from 1924
Long Island Iced Tea is so delicious, it’s obviously a modern concoction made of all the trendy ingredients, right? Wrong! The cocktail has been around for over 90 years. But how did it get its name?
Origin of the Name
The mysterious origin of this famous beverage is steeped in folklore. According to some accounts, it was invented in the 1920s at a Long Island speakeasy owned by a character by the name of “Old Man Bishop”. He originally called it an “Old Man Bishop’s Weed”, believing it could be used to help aid his eczema.
Other Stories Around the Name
Other stories suggest a different origin. They say that a young bartender named Charlie (or Robert) Bishop was challenged to create a drink that looked like iced tea. Since people usually ordered tea at a bar, he combined the four spirits available (vodka, rum, gin, and tequila), added some Coke and a spritz of lemon, and voila – the Long Island Iced Tea was born.
Ingredients of a Long Island Iced Tea
No matter where the name originated, the ingredients are now well-known:
- Vodka: Citrus flavored vodka.
- Gin: London Dry Gin.
- Tequila: Silver tequila.
- White Rum: Light or white rum.
- Triple Sec: An orange flavored liqueur.
- Coke: Cola.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed.
- Simple Syrup: For sweetening.
While the origin of the name itself remains a mystery, one thing we know for sure is that the Long Island Iced Tea is a delectable combination of five spirits, cola, lemon juice, and simple syrup.