Caribbean Iced Tea – Original Recipe & History

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Caribbean Iced Tea

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American




Total time



Learn how to make a Caribbean Iced Tea.


  • 1/2 oz 15 ml Sweet and Sour Mix

  • 1/2 oz 15 ml Blue Orange Liqueur

  • 1 oz 30 ml Vodka

  • 1 oz 30 ml White Rum

  • 1 oz 30 ml Dry Gin

  • 1 oz 30 ml Silver Tequila

  • 1.5 oz 45 ml Lemon Lime Soda


  • Technique: Tiki Dirty Pour
  • Combine all ingredients, except for the soda, into a shaker with crushed ice.
  • Vigorously shake the shaker for 10 seconds.
  • Dirty pour the whole shaker into a glass. Crushed ice and all.
  • Top the drink off with soda.
  • Garnish:
  • Lemon wheel

Featured Video

What Does The Caribbean Iced Tea Taste Like?

Like the other Long Island Iced Tea variations, the Caribbean Iced Tea tastes similar but is a bit brighter and more citrusy. It lacks the earthy flavors cola gives to the typical Long Island. The cola flavor in a long island is mild, but removing it means the orange liqueur and sweet and sour are the primary flavors in a Caribbean Iced Tea. If you like booze but want something a bit brighter and citrusy, then the Caribbean Iced Tea is a pretty one to try.

The History Of The Caribbean Iced Tea

The Caribbean Iced Tea was invented by T.G.I. Fridays in 1980 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its parent company Carlson. T.G.I. Fridays is often mistaken for inventing the Long Island Iced Tea, and while they didn’t, It is still one of the most popular drinks they sell. Although T.G.I. Fridays did create several popular variations. They made four variations: the Sparkling Iced Tea, the Long Beach Iced Tea, the Caribbean Iced Tea, and the Texas Iced Tea. The Sparkling Iced Tea replaced the Coca-Cola with champagne. The Long Beach Iced Tea replaced Coca-Cola with cranberry juice. The Caribbean Iced Tea used blue-orange liqueur instead of clear to give the drink a light green color and left out the Coke. And the Texas Ice Tea added an additional ounce of whiskey. Not that I can prove this, but I have a feeling the Caribbean Iced Tea eventually evolves into the Adios Motherfucker. The Caribbean iced tea can firmly be dated to 1980, but the adios started to appear in the late 90s and early 2000s. The two share the same ingredients, and while some of the volumes are different, the two drinks are almost mirrored images of each other.

I understand this is supposed to be a vintage cocktail resource, and while T.G.I. Fridays is not seen as a high-end bar today, it once was. The first T.G.I. Fridays was opened in 1965 by Alan Stillman. Stillman lived on 63rd Street between First and York in New York and, while surrounded by single attractive working women, had a hard time meeting any. Alan liked to go out after work, and believe it or not, many bars in the 1960s still had policies that no women could enter unless they were with a man. Hell, women couldn’t have bank accounts until the 1960s, and it wasn’t the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 that women could get an account without a father or husband to manage it. But back to cocktails. Obviously, not every bar was like this, and some areas were more progressive than others, but there was still a culture of bars being too rough for single vulnerable women. Some high-end bars excluded single women, fearing their presence would distract business-minded men from making deals. Even though prohibition had helped lessen the stigma of women publicly drinking, it still took activists like Betty Friedan and others to fully break down these barriers. Alan Stillman also helped break down these barriers when he opened T.G.I. Fridays, one of the United States’ first singles bar. The original intent of T.G.I Fridays was to offer a welcoming environment that felt like home where single women and men could meet. Women didn’t need to come with a man to enter. They served high-end drinks and well-made American food. Stillman may have been looking to meet women, but he inadvertently helped bring down some of the social barriers American women faced.

Recipe Resources

Caribbean Iced Tea Article

Original Long Island Iced Tea Recipe

Download the free Vintage American Cocktail app.

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