Upgraded Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

JL studios

The old-school Long Island Iced Tea receives an upgrade with homemade cola syrup, adapted from Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda, but punched up with a little extra spice.

Note: Citric acid can be found at Kalustyans in NYC or online.

If you don't have a cocktail carbonator such as the Perlini, increase the gin, rum, and tequila by 1/4 ounce each. This will compensate for the dilution from the club soda, and adjust for the increased perception of the liquor on the palate caused by carbonation. Shake the spirits in an ice-filled cocktail shaker with cola syrup, citrus, and bitters, then strain into an ice filled Collins glass. Add 3/4 ounce club soda and stir gently, garnish and serve.

Recipe Facts



Active: 10 mins
Total: 35 mins
Serves: 1 serving

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  • For the Homemade Cola Syrup:
  • 4 tablespoons of zest from 2 oranges
  • 3/4 tablespoon zest from1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 sections of a star anise pod, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon citric acid (see note)
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) demerara sugar
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 1 ounce Old Tom Gin (such as Ransom)
  • 1/2 ounce white rum (such as Oronoco)
  • 1/2 ounce reposado tequila (such as Pueblo Viejo)
  • 1/4 ounce high quality triple sec (such as Luxardo Triplum)
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed juice from 1 lime
  • 3/4 ounce homemade cola syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 3/4 ounce club soda (if not using carbonator, see note)
  • Garnish: lemon and lime wheels


  1. For the Cola Syrup: Combine 2 cups water, orange zest, lime zest, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, lavender, ginger, and citric acid in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a light simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract, white sugar, and demerara sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth and let cool. Store syrup in refrigerator for up to 4 weeks until ready to use.

  3. To make the Cocktail: Pour Old Tom gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, lime juice, cola syrup, and bitters into a carbonating cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake, carbonate, and strain into an ice filled Collins glass. (See note if you don't have a cocktail carbonator.) Garnish with lemon and lime wheels.

Special equipment

Carbonator (see note), cheesecloth, fine mesh strainer

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