The Long Island Iced Tea For People Who Don't Like Tequila

The Long Island Iced Tea is a drink that people love to hate. The reason for the resentment is undoubtedly the cocktail's reputation which is strongly associated with inebriated, loud college kids who order them because they are loaded with alcohol that they can't taste because of the ample amount of sour mix in them. A basic Long Island Iced Tea is made with gin, vodka, and light rum, sweetened with sour mix, and colored to look like real iced tea with a splash of cola. 

Served highball-style, they are potent, sweet, and, truthfully, pretty easy to drink. That is, of course, unless you have an aversion to tequila. Ask anyone who doesn't like tequila the reason for their hatred, and at least half will tell you they had an unfortunate experience with the spirit in the past and swore it off forever. Tequila is hard to forget when it isn't kind to you. Fortunately, college kids at heart and people in a super celebratory mood who fit into this category can still get their spiked tea fixes without their liquor enemy added to it. 

There are, in fact, a lot of spins on the classic Long Island Iced Tea, like the Long Beach Iced Tea which replaces the cola for cranberry juice. For the tequila-free version, though, the inspiration comes from a sun-drenched city about 1,300 miles south of Long Island, New York.

Welcome to Miami

Miami, Florida is a place renowned for its warm weather, gorgeous beaches, vibrant nightlife, and Cuban influence. And it's the place to think about when you want your Long Island Iced Tea sans tequila. The Miami Iced Tea swaps tequila for peach schnapps and cola for lemon-lime soda. It will no longer look like a cool glass of iced tea, but it will be exceptionally refreshing, with a subtle tropical note due to the sweet peach flavor. 

Have no doubt, it is still a strong drink, and drinking too much of it will probably give you a reaction similar to your tequila nightmare, so imbibe with caution and make sure to get an Uber. However, you might be thinking "couldn't you just leave the tequila out of a regular Long Island Iced Tea?" Sure, you could, but one of the draws of the drink is that it is intentionally strong and utilizes a lot of liquors. Plus, taking out any ingredient of a cocktail will undoubtedly change the flavor altogether. 

So, even if you're not a tequila fan, it probably wouldn't taste quite "right." The Long Island Iced Tea is actually experiencing a revival of sorts, with some bartenders giving the classic drink a makeover, using top-shelf liquors, real tea, and house-made syrups. But, yes, they use tequila, so if it means that much to you, just ask for yours "Miami-style."