Wet Bar Wednesday – Belatedly

I apologize for forgetting my new theme yesterday already.  What day is it?  Where am I?  Perhaps I’m *not* the best person to be posting alcohol-related articles?  Oh well.  Certainly not the first time I’ve listened to sound advice.  

One of the first drinks I grew to love was the Long Island Iced Tea.  Being always on a very tight budget, I figured that I ought to get the most bang for my buck if I’m paying for a drink at a bar, and this seemed to deliver the appropriate bang.  
As an important side note – drinks and their recipes are malleable.  Creativity is the key.  Mixing drinks is being recognized more and more as having all the artistic possibilities of cooking.  Feel free to mix things up a bit to personalize your drink.  For instance, my margaritas are usually blue or slightly green, due to the fact that the first recipe I really liked for them involved blue curacao as an ingredient.  So if this recipe doesn’t match the one you know, don’t stress.  Viva la difference!  I’d be interested in hearing about your variation so I can try it out myself.
As with many drinks, the precise origin of the Long Island Iced Tea is murky, emerging perhaps in the 1920’s in Tennessee or the 1970’s in New York.  Frankly, the history of the drink is far less interesting to me than the taste, and this one tastes great.  It also happens to be very easy to make.  It utilizes the five white liquors that any basic bar should have on hand – gin, vodka, tequila, rum, and triple sec.  Triple sec is a liqueur, and is used to even out a drink, taste-wise.  It has a sweet, orange-y taste to it.
  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part white rum
  • 1 part tequila (plata, anejo or reposado – whichever you prefer)
  • 1 part triple sec
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • Sweetener (simple syrup works well, and I use agave juice when I don’t have simple syrup on hand)
  • Cola (I insist on Coca Cola, but you’re free to destroy your drink with Pepsi or some other ingredient if you so desire)
As I think I mentioned last time, I recommend quality mid-range liquors.  Your drink will be smoother and tastier, and the likelihood of having unpleasant after-effects is minimized.  
If you have a shaker, pour everything EXCEPT the cola into the shaker.  Trust me on this.  I tried putting the cola in too and shaking – it was explosive, to say the least.  Add a few pieces of ice before shaking.  If you don’t have a shaker, it works fine to pour all the ingredients EXCEPT the cola into a glass without ice.  Then mix well with a spoon.
Taste.  At this point, pre-cola, the drink should be a little sour, but not unreasonably so.  The sourness will be evened out with the cola.  Pour into glasses over ice and then top with cola to your taste preference.  
The drink should basically have the color of iced tea at this point (or after you stir in the cola), but FAR tastier!  And, you shouldn’t operate farm equipment or anything more mechanical than a TV remote during and after drinking a Long Island Iced Tea.  Not only isn’t it safe, it will distract you from enjoying this potent but tasty drink.
Oh, and as an aside.  You know those awesome blogs and web sites devoted to recipes, where the author steps you through each part of the process with accompanying photos of a stunning and mouth-watering level of quality?  Yeah.  This isn’t one of those sites.  I like to write.  I enjoy a good drink.  I sometimes mistakenly combine the two.  I don’t even mind snapping a few pictures.  But I’m not a photographer, I’m not an artist, and so you’re just going to have to use your imagination if you want pictures of what this looks like on your kitchen counter.

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