The Fruity Liqueur That's Missing From Your Long Island Iced Tea

Summer's wild, carefree essence can hardly be captured, but you can certainly have a taste of it in the wonder that is a Long Island Iced Tea. Frivolous and boozy, this classic cocktail holds promises of endless fun. Although not necessarily a stand-out, its permanent spot on the menu at bars everywhere is a testament to its timeless allure. With a fruity twist mixed in, it only gets better. A splash of orange liqueur is all it takes to give this drink the elegant, vibrant edge it's been missing.

The first thing you will notice right away with this addition is the citrus punch that intermingles with the drink's bittersweet, tea-like base. The bright, zesty notes bring about a refreshing tang, offsetting its normally deep and smooth taste. Depending on the specific type of orange liqueur, there could also be sweet, tart, and earthy nuances sparkling amongst the mix. Lingering behind is an aromatic, zesty spice that makes for an intriguing sensory experience. This elevates the straightforward concoction to one with layers and, along with that, a much more well-rounded, sophisticated taste.

Types of orange liqueur you can use

While there are several varieties, triple sec is the most commonly used for Long Island Iced Tea. This dry orange liqueur is intense yet fresh and mildly sweet, with a strong emphasis on the citrus notes. There are many brands to choose from, and you can even make it yourself using naval oranges, but Cointreau is a popular choice to go with.

If it's the sweeter tones you want, try curaçao. This variety hinges on sweetness, so you'll detect floral or vanilla notes peeking through. Underneath is a trace of bitterness that lingers delicately behind, along with a subtle citrus fragrance. Then there's also Grand Marnier, which bears cognac's spicy-sweet and slightly burnt flavor sensation. Even so, the orange essence still shines through, infusing the drink with a bright complexity. Choose whichever sounds most appealing, or switch it up to make your own perfect version of a Long Island Iced Tea.

The specific amount varies from one recipe to another, as well as how accentuated you want the orange notes to be. Generally speaking, you can use an equal amount with the remaining alcohol like rum, gin, vodka, and tequila. For one glass, around half an ounce of each will do. Once you've mixed everything, finish it off with an orange garnish to seal the deal. Instead of a lemon slice like always, try an orange spiral, an orange twist, a dried orange slice, or even a sprinkle of zest.