Long Island Iced Tea Sorbet

Ahhhhh. Don't you love a lovely glass of iced tea?

But here's something better, and there's not a speck of tea in this iced tea either, honey.
So what's up with that? 
In 1976, a bartender named Robert “Rosebud” Butt at the Oak Beach Inn of Hampton Bays, Long Island, N.Y., threw together equal parts vodka, gin, rum, tequila and triple sec, plus a little cola to give it a tea-like color and invented Long Island Iced Tea. By the mid-1980s, the popularity of Butt’s invention far outweighed that of his last name (poor man), and had become hugely popular, especially among college-age drinkers.....traditionally around the time of spring break. Supposedly, the beverage allows covert drinkers to imbibe with a concoction that still looks as though it were non-alcoholic, just in case family were to arrive and catch you sipping the thing. A warning from the experience of age: it may look innocuous, but trust me, Long Island Teas aren’t for the faint of heart or amateur drinkers. They're deadly. There are lots of versions but here's the recipe we used to use:

3 parts Triple Sec
1 part Light Rum
1 part Dark Myers Rum
1 part Vodka
1 part Gin
1 part Vermouth
3 parts Sweet & Sour Mixer 
6 parts Coca Cola (like Classic; do not use Pepsi!)
1/2 part Tequila 

Oh the memories.  I'd probably drop on the spot if I had one now. :)
So I was thumbing through Marcel Desaulniers' lovely book
Desserts To Die For and was intrigued to find those memories in sorbet form. And here it is, in all its glory....Long Island Iced Tea....frozen. Definitely an apt sorbet in a book with that title. My oh my.

Long Island Iced Tea Sorbet

From Desserts To Die For by Marcel Desaulniers


1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup Myers dark rum
1 cup good quality tequila
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Rose's lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
12 ounces Coca Cola Classic
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/4 cup Kahlua


Heat the sugar, rum, tequila, lemon and lime juice and zests in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat a bit and allow to boil for 13 minutes. You should have about 2 1/4 cups syrupy spiked tea. (At this point, your entire house will smell as though you've had a very big party.)
Cool the mixture over an ice bath until it is 40 to 45 degrees. (About 15 minutes) When chilled add cola, water and Kahlua.
Freeze in your ice cream freezer. Place the semifrozen sorbet into a container and freeze for several hours before serving. It will never freeze completely hard. Serve with a mint sprig and a slice of lime. Serve within 24 hours.


  1. This must be incredible. It looks beautiful!

  2. That sorbet must be delightful! Perfect.



  3. I must admit I do like a good Long Island Iced Tea. It's hard to find a good one anymore, best if I make it myself and stay at home to drink it :D This sorbet sounds good and I like how you served it up as a cocktail! Brilliant! I always wanted to make mint julep sorbet.

  4. This is totally new to me! Thanks for the introduction.

  5. What a great twist!

  6. Was never a fan of Long Island Iced tea, but all my friends were, boy that drink could knock you for a loop! I loved the OBI though!

  7. Oh, Barbara! Can't wait to try this - how fun:) I always thought it was interesting they call it "tea" when there is no actual tea in it - just a whole lotta alcohol! Thanks for sharing this - Cheers:)

  8. One of my favourite drinks, and now I have to try this sorbet - THANKS :-)

  9. Oooh, This is simply beautiful Barbara! Lovely pic :)



  10. I've heard these things pack a punch!

  11. Long Island Iced Tea mix in a bottle used to be a favourite around here, still is.

  12. Oh yes, I do remember my first Long Island Iced Tea! Not sure I could drink one now ;P Is it as potent when frozen? Does look mighty tempting though Barbara.

  13. OMG this is so being sent to a friend of mine. She LOVES Long Island iced teas and she would adore this. Thank you Barbara on her behalf! :D

  14. I think I had a hot flash just reading the recipe, but oh it sounds so good...

  15. As luck would have it, it's really hot here. :) This looks like the ideal afternoon refresher!

  16. Long Island Iced Teas remind me of college. That's all we ever ordered when we weren't supposed to be drinking at all, lol! I don't think I've had one since!! But I do love the idea of turning it into sorbet. Fun for summer!

  17. As a native Long Islander, I must try this!

  18. I've never had Long Island Iced Tea before. Silly me...I thought it had tea in it. :) From the looks of the recipe, you'd probably have to scrape me off the floor if I indulged in one. :) Wow...you ain't kidding...they're not for the faint of heart! :)

    The sorbet sounds fabulous too! I love boozy desserts and this sounds amazing! :)

  19. I totally know what you mean by "Long Island Teas aren’t for the faint of heart or amateur drinkers", I remember when I tried, it was brutal :-) Your sorbet version seem a little mild as compared to the tea version ;-) Now that I got an ice cream maker I must try the Long Island ice tea sorbet...
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead Barbara!

  20. This definitely does look like iced tea! I love how you made this into a sorbet, Barbara...how refreshing and perfect to cool down with.

  21. What a perfectly splendid idea to turn this into a sorbet!! Delicious and so wonderful for hot summer days. :-)

  22. I'm not a fan of mixed drinks, but I'd make an exception for this sorbet. It sounds heavenly!

  23. I love that you turned this fab cocktail into a sorbet!

  24. Barbara, I definitely will have to go straight to bed after taking after of that drinks! haha... The sorbet sounds as fabulous. Waht a tempting flavour. Thanks for sharing and hope you're having a great day.

  25. I can hardly drink a whole glass of Long Island Ice Tea, but I would go for the sorbet anyway--sounds nice and fresh!

  26. Hi Barbara,

    I like the idea of having the Long Island tea, as a sorbet and this would be so great for a summers day. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a happy week

  27. Long Island iced tea is my weakness. Give me a couple glasses of that and I'm on the roof. The sorbet looks fab. I must be careful.

  28. I refuse to get anywhere near Long Island Ice Tea's when I go out..and for good reason! But this sorbet? Pass me a bowl.

  29. WOOOWOOWWWOOOOOO! That will keep you cool all day long! It looks amazingly refreshing! HI BARBARA! Thank you for coming by my little cottage kitchen; we just love our new fridge that we HAD to buy. Our old one died on us, and the space we have where the fridge goes is very narrow. Finding one that would fit requires finding JUST THE RIGHT ONE. WE ended up with a stainless LIEBHERR that is just fabulous! So that upgraded our modest by sweet French style cottage kitchen. I am aiming to make some WATERMELON SORBET SOON....oh, the bliss of summer!


  30. I like the idea of the granita so much better than the cocktail! I was amazing to read how many different types of alcohol are used in a Long Island Ice Tea.

    The granita sounds delicious and refreshing!

  31. Look delicious and Barbara, gloria

  32. I had only once the long island iced tea...and it tasted so good that I drank so quick and almost got drunk...Must try the sorbet...very unique and delicious!

  33. Oh my goodness, my! That is quite an extensive list of spirits/booze...I'm really quite in love with this!

  34. wow fun drink and great history always enjoy your blog

  35. Oh boy do I remember those from my college days! I think I'll stick to your more adult and less potent sorbet version now.

  36. barbara! i had no idea this could be done! all i know about long island iced teas is that they're quite potent, but this is a refreshing (and a little less toxic) alternative.

  37. I've had Long Island Iced Tea before. The inventor had the right name, as they really do kick you in the Butt. But in a good way if you stop at only one (or part of one).

    The sorbet looks great, too, though you couldn't possibly have the drink and the dessert together, could you? I'd be under the table for sure!

  38. Looks lovely. I do like a long island iced tea and like the idea of making a sorbet.

    Technical question. Wouldn't bringing spirits to the boil (in step 2) then keeping them at a boil for 13 mins (in step 3) remove all trace of alcohol?

    Resulting in a Virgin Long Island Iced Tea perhaps?



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