History Of The Long Island Iced Tea
The Long Island Iced Tea was invented in 1976 by Robert “Rosebud” Butt while working at the Oak Beach Inn in Hampton Bays, N.Y. The earliest recipes for the Long Island Iced Tea I could find come from both a 1986 and 1989 issue of Motor Boating & Sailing magazine. Both columns were written by the magazine’s drink writer John Mariani, who contacted Robert Butt for the articles. In the 1986 issue, Robert tells how he came up with the cocktail, and in the 1989 issue, the original recipe is provided. Mariani States in the July 1986 article:
“Robert… was looking for a new drink for his boating customers. ‘I’m a tequila drinker,’ Rosebud told me, ‘ so I put together tequila, some light rum, vodka, gin, a dash of triple sec, a splash of sour mix, and topped it off with Coca-Cola and a slice of lemon, then served it on the rocks in a Collins glass. Well, the thing tasted just like iced tea, and I started serving them at the bar.’”
In the January 1989 Mariani gives Butt’s recipe and says the cocktail was invented in 1967 instead of 1976. This was most likely just a typo with his flipping the number, but it’s still worth noting.