I think you are allowed to begin wearing white pants and shoes now. Also, and perhaps more significantly, it is now time to kick off our Summer Cocktail Season. We had a preview with The Diablo but that was just a warm-up born out of necessity and an early LA heat-wave. Now its time to get serious and today we are starting with a doozy that should really get your festivities started. I’ve had Long Island on the brain recently as just about all of my very best friends (we actually call each other a family) are either on Long Island or heading there and will be spending a great deal of their summer there. I’m missing them today and feeling a bit removed so I’m joining them via a good stiff drink.
This genius of this drink is it’s successful alchemy. What’s more, an appropriately stocked bar should have all the necessary ingredients so there is nothing special to buy. Have you ever wondered who it was who figured out that you could combine so many different types of alcohol and come up with such a sublimely refreshing, not to mention efficiently intoxicating summer beverage? Well guess what? It really was invented in Long Island in the early 1970’s by a bartender at the famous Oak Beach Inn. This establishment was in Babylon, NY which is really just a stone’s throw from Fire Island — where most of my friends are right now. (This drink is for you ladies!) I first encountered this drink in the late 70’s in a bar in Westwood, California that had a reputation for not checking IDs. That proves that a really good drink recipe will get around fast if it is worthy and this one surely is. My recipe is probably like most except that I refuse to use sour mix in my cocktails and I think a dash or two of Angostura Bitters adds even more magic to this now classic cocktail.
Long Island Iced Tea
To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Store in mason jar in refrigerator for several months. Commercial versions of this drink always use sour mix instead of the lemon juice and syrup but doing it this way makes a more refreshing drink and allows you the ability to adjust the sweetness level to your own taste.
This is what you will need:
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz rum (I prefer gold)
- 1 oz white tequila (“oaky” dark tequilas don’t cooperate as well as the ‘silver’ styles)
- 1/2 oz Cointreau (triple sec in a pinch)
- 1 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 T simple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Coca Cola
- Lemon slice to garnish
This is how you make it:
- Put gin, vodka, rum, tequila, cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters in a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir gently.
- Strain into highball filled with ice cubes until 3/4 full and top with Coca Cola.
- Garnish with lemon.