September 8, 2010

Up and Down Long Island

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For the most part, you can count on drinks being consistent from bar to bar and party to party. The only exception in this case is the quality of ingredients. Yet there is one drink that is never the same twice: The Long Island Iced Tea. So how do you find the ideal LIT? Well, most people have been on a wine tour around Cayuga Lake, but I personally recommend the Long Island Iced Tea Tour of Collegetown. This involves visiting as many of the bars as possible (within reason) and comparing the Long Islands to see which bar has the best. The results are usually inconclusive.

The Long Island Iced Tea shows up everywhere from relaxed picnics to wild nights out. What makes the Long Island so universal? The Long Island is a deadly brew of liquors that somehow manage to mask each other’s taste, at least with the help of some sour mix and cola. Well, that’s what usually happens when mixed correctly. So why do LIT’s vary so much from bar to bar?      1. Different Ingredients: Not only will the quality of alcohol used vary greatly, but also the sour mix used. Most bars use a specific sour mix that changes the taste of many drinks. Quality of ingredients is usually a good starting place to decide where to start your next Long Island Tour. If your tour group isn’t hardcore enough for the bottom-shelf LIT or if you have too many student loans for the top-shelf, those are good ones to skip.      2. Recipe Used: There are several recipes used for the Long Island, and bartenders around the world are unable to agree on what the proper recipe should be. The biggest point of controversy in the LIT recipe is the inclusion of Tequila. Many bartenders exclude it believing it makes the drink taste better, and most of my friends would agree that tasting less like tequila is usually a good thing (editoral note: Tequilla rules).      3. Ratio of Ingredients: Not only do different recipes have different ratios, but this can change from one drink to the next. Bartending is not an exact science and even two LIT’s made side by side can taste completely different. This can result in some very strange tasting things. If you wind up with something that just tastes weird, you can always ask the bartender to top it off with some more Cola to make it more bearable. This move has come in handy more than once on the Long Island Tours.      For those of you who want to make your own Long Island Iced Teas, and perhaps even host your own Long Island Iced Tea Tour (rooms party?) here is a standard recipe:

Long Island Iced Tea      •1/2 oz Triple Sec      •1/2 oz Light Rum      •1/2 oz Gin      •1/2 oz Vodka      •1/2 oz Tequila      •1 oz Sour Mix      •Cola      •Lemon Wedge      To prepare, mix all of the ingredients,except the Cola, into a glass and shake vigorously. Then top it off with a splash of Cola and Garnish. As you read above, the Tequila is somewhat of a rotational ingredient, and if you opt not to use it, you should decrease the ratio of Sour Mix and Cola slightly. Likewise, the Lemon Wedge is an optional garnish that most stops on your LIT Tour won’t have anyway. For those of you that don’t have Sour Mix, you can use Lemon Juice and a pinch of Sugar. And for those of you that don’t have that could use lemonade, and those of you that have none of these have no business hosting an LIT Tour. Lastly, if you are looking to mix up the flavor, I recommend adding 1/2 oz of your choice of Schnapps, raspberry or peach for example.

Hopefully this article has given you everything you will need for your next Long Island Iced Tea Tour. Just like no two Long Islands are the same, every Long Island Tour is completely unpredictable.

Original Author: Ben Bissantz