Okay, no matter how we tell this story, someone’s going to get upset. Much like the margarita or The Joker, the Long Island Iced Tea has multiple origin stories, but as the Long Island drink is a fairly recent invention (let’s just say spontaneously generating somewhere in America, sometime between the 1920s and the 1970s), several folks lay some serious claims on this extremely high-proof cocktail.
Robert Butt asserts that he invented the dangerously boozy drink in 1972 while bartending at the Oak Beach Inn, a Long Island nightclub on Jones Beach Island. Others claim Chris Bendickson deserves the credit, while still others think the true origin lies in prohibition-era Tennessee. Maybe the drink’s mystery is part of what makes it so dangerously delicious?
However the Long Island cocktail came about, it became famous by the 1980s, and holds the record for being the best means of dispensing with the bottom of every bottle in your liquor cabinet.
There have been many variations on Long Island recipes over the years, but our favorite is still the classic, complete with triple sec. Check out the recipe below.