You Can Thank A Guy Named Bob Butt For The Long Island Iced Tea

Whether you love the drink or hate it, this is a great conversation starter.
NikiLitov via Getty Images

Thank you, Bob Butt, for creating the cocktail that’s been responsible for so many hangovers across the states.

We’re talking about the Long Island iced tea, the drink that is guaranteed to make even the most prudent imbiber lose a little control thanks to the bold mix of booze. This one drink mixes gin, rum, tequila, vodka and triple sec. Add sour mix and Coke to make it all taste a little smoother, and you’ve got yourself a cocktail. That’s right, there is absolutely no tea in the classic Long Island iced tea.

Listen to Butt, the creator of the drink, talk about how the drink came to be.

Of course, like all cocktail origin stories, the tale of the Long Island iced tea is a little murky. Thrillist reports that the first time a recipe for the Long Island iced tea is mentioned in literature is in Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book in 1961. That’s 11 years before Bob Butt claims to have invented the cocktail at Oak Beach Inn East in the Hamptons.

We’re willing to give Butt credit for making the drink famous. He’s so committed to it he even has a “LI ICE T” vanity license plate.

In honor of Butt, give this drink another try with his famous recipe:

Long Island Iced Tea

  • 1/2 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce tequila
  • 1/2 ounce light rum
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce sour mix
  • Splash of Coke
  • Wedge of lemon
1. Shake the first six ingredients with ice, pour into a highball glass.
2. Top with a splash of Coke, for color, and serve with a wedge of lemon.
Note: Butt makes his Long Island Iced Tea with sour mix, but feel free to substitute for lemon juice and sugar or just lemonade.


Before You Go