Just as the Hawaiian Sea Breeze brings pineapple juice into a Sea Breeze, the Hawaiian Iced Tea brings it into the Long Island Iced Tea. Names like this make it easy for the bartender to remember multiple drinks: simply use the logic that Hawaii equals pineapple.
Among all of the variations on the Long Island, the Hawaiian Iced Tea is one of the most refreshing. It is fruity, lightly flavored, and with a proper pour of the liquor, you're barely able to taste the booze. It is one of the better options and a nice change of pace if you find yourself in an LIIT rut.
More Tips for Making a Great Hawaiian Iced Tea
The Liquor. You can certainly make the Hawaiian Iced Tea as top-shelf as you like by choosing some very good spirits to pour into it. Yet, most bartenders will opt for the liquor bottles in the bar's well and this is perfectly fine.
It's not as if you're going to notice the subtle nuances of that high-end tequila or gin in this mixed drink anyway, so feel free to save a bit of money.
There are some very nice brands within each of these spirit categories that are affordable for the majority of drinkers.
Remember that if you're going to go cheap on your booze, choose wisely.
The Sour Mix. Yes, you can buy sour mix (aka bar mix or sweet and sour) at the liquor store, but there's really no reason to waste your money.
Besides, any true frugal drinker will want to save cash wherever they can, right? Learning how to make these simple drink sweeteners will cut your bar budget significantly.
I've costed out my own simple syrup adventures and the average cup of syrup is less than 20 cents with flavoring ingredients. This lasts at least two weeks of regular usage and I never waste a drop. How's that for frugal?
How Strong is the Hawaiian Iced Tea?
Like the other variations on the Long Island, the Hawaiian Iced Tea is actually quite mild as long as you do not pour too much liquor. The 1/2-ounce each of the spirits is perfect for achieving a drinkable, enjoyable beverage and it keeps the total pour of liquor at just 2 1/2 ounces.
If we were to pour 80-proof base spirits and a 60-proof triple sec into this drink, it has an alcohol content of around 16% ABV (32 proof). While it's a bit stronger than the average single-spirit tall drink, it's not out of line with the 'tea' cocktail family it belongs to.
It's a bit like pouring a strong Rum & Coke.