Caribbean Black Iced Tea – an attempt to improve the Long Island Iced Tea

The Caribbean Black Iced Tea is my attempt to improve the Long Island Iced Tea. One of many interesting pursuits in mixology is to take a well known classic cocktail and deconstruct it, to try and work out what makes it so popular, and then reconstruct in an attempt to make it even better. Sometimes it works, sometimes it just doesn’t.

The Long Island Iced Tea is interesting in that it is about the only well known cocktail to feature coca-cola. And don’t try to pass the Cuba Libre off as a cocktail. Rum & coke with some lime? Plueeze!

Caribbean Black Iced Tea - messing with the dark spirits
Caribbean Black Iced Tea – messing with the dark spirits

Also the Long Island Iced Tea is a fairly crude attempt at a cocktail. No-one is really trying to balance out any flavours here.Oh-no. Let’s just bung in every white spirit we have on the back bar, plus some Cointreau cos it’s the obvious white liqueur, and yes let’s top it with some sugary coke. No finesse, more like sticking a big 5.0 litre American V8 in a family car to make it go faster.

Generally I’ve preferred the dark versions of spirits for a while : for me dark rum is more interesting than light rum, reposado tequila to blanco etc. So it got me thinking. Why not make a LIIT using the dark spirits in place of the white. Grand Marnier is the obvious switch to replace Cointreau. Both are French, and more significantly both are orange flavoured.

So there you have it, my take on the Long Island Iced Tea, crossing over to the dark side. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the Caribbean Black Iced Tea. 

The mix is as follows;

  • 1 msr dark rum (I actually like Captain Morgan, but it’s your choice)
  • 1 msr brandy (use French obviously!)
  • 1 msr reposado tequila
  • 1 msr Southern Comfort
  • 1/2 msr Grand Marnier
  • 1 msr lime juice (halve this if you’re using concentrated juice from a bottle)

By all means shake it with ice, but because it is spirity I also suggest filling your glass with large cubes of ice too. Then top with coca-cola. This should equate to about the same volume as your spirits. However I find when serving this type of Iced Tea to customers that they say it’s too strong, so top-up with more cola to suit your taste. Serve in a Highball glass.


2 other versions of the Long Island Iced Tea I’ve been mucking about with are the Black Pearl and the Caribbean Ginger Iced Tea. I’ll add links to these recipes shortly.




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