The Easy Step To Turn Long Island Iced Tea Into Long Beach Tea

The term "Long Island iced tea" might inspire thoughts (or memories) of rowdy dorm room parties, late nights, and painful mornings. Safe to say, the cocktail has earned quite a reputation since it was purportedly conceived in the 1970s in its namesake of Long Island, New York. After all, it's infamously boozy and dangerously delicious, featuring a potent mix of tequila, vodka, gin, and rum, plus a bit of triple sec and a splash of cola for that stealthy sweetness that masks all the alcohol (and upholds the drink's reputation).

But while bartenders may occasionally cringe at the request, there's certainly no shame in enjoying the drink. Don't be fooled — it's not just to inebriate college kids. Even the most cultured cocktail enthusiasts can appreciate the inventive Long Island iced tea. But if you want to give the classic sip a bit of a refined, more grown-up twist, consider its sibling, the Long Beach iced tea. Don't worry; you don't need any fancy ingredients or mixologist knowledge. All you need to make the swap is some cranberry juice.

Cranberry juice adds a tart and refreshing taste

As should be clear from its name, the drink is the Long Island ice tea's California-inspired counterpart. It's fruitier, but it packs the same spiritous punch. Like the original version, the Long Beach requires a generous pour of just about every clear thing in your liquor cabinet — tequila, vodka, gin, white rum, the works. It also calls for triple sec, a dash of lemon juice, and simple syrup (the latter of which can also be substituted for some good old-fashioned sour mix).

The only difference? You'll swap the familiar college cola for a splash (or more) of cranberry juice. Not only does it deliver a fruity and refreshing flavor ideal for warm-weather enjoyment, but it also creates a perfectly tart tipple that's not as sugary as the cola version. Whether you're whipping one up for yourself or making a large batch of the Long Beach iced tea for a party, you'll typically want to add two parts cranberry per measurement of liquor. So if you're using an ounce of each spirit, top it all off with two ounces of cranberry juice, and so on. Then, garnish it with a lemon wedge and voilà.

It may be just as deceptively strong as the carbonated Long Island, but the Long Beach's kick of tartness might remind you (and any guests you're serving) to take it slow and savor the dynamic concoction. That's good news for you ... and your morning after.