To those unfamiliar with the boozy beverage, this is far from a refreshing glass of tea. The deceptive name is actually one of the strongest classic cocktails with a 22% ABV! But where did it come from, and what makes it a hangover cause?

A Very Tipsy Tipple

Combining 4 different spirits: vodka, tequila, rum and gin with a dash of coke and triple sec, this is not for first time drinkers. While the Coca-Cola gives it the look of tea, the triple sec adds the sweetness we know from the cocktail’s namesake. Both sweet and sour hits the taste buds with every sip from the Long Island.

The Beverage is Born

A local of Long Island (hence the name, of course), Robert ‘Rosebud’ Butt claims to be the inventor of the sour cocktail. He supposedly entered a contest in 1972 asking competitors to make a mixed drink with triple sec. A drink similar to the classic was created in Long Island, Tennessee, in the 1920s consisting of whiskey, four other types of liquor and maple syrup. This was named the ‘Old Man Bishop’ after a man of the same name mixed the ingredients together. The idea of a large amount of liquor and little sweetness was said to originate from here. Whether Rosebud took Bishop’s idea and ran with it remains, to this day, a mystery.


Still incredibly popular and a staple on bar menus, the Long Island Iced Tea is a headache-causing, legendary drink. While some have given a twist on the concoction by swapping coke for spirits such as limoncello, the classic remains the favourite. A simple idea with a simple execution, its ‘three cheers!’ for the invention of one of the booziest bevs out there.

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