The Tully Tea Cocktail: Upgrade Your Long Island in Style

Leo DeGroff's Tully Tea Cocktail - Long Island Iced Tea Variation
Lauri Patterson / E+ / Getty Images
  • 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Ratings

Whiskey does not typically find its way into the popular Long Island Iced Tea, and in the rare occasion when it does, Irish whiskey is almost never used. However, the Tully Tea recipe will have you rethinking this famous drink, because it transforms it into a high-class beverage that any drinker can appreciate.

The Tully Tea was created by Leo DeGroff, son of the legendary "King of the Cocktail" Dale DeGroff. He has made a name for himself in the bartending world and, as we see here, is creating equally impressive drinks.

The one thing you will notice with this recipe is that it calls out specific brands for each of the liquors. This is an essential step to upgrading one of the most popular recipes in the bar.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the liquors, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Strain into a highball glass.
  4. Add ice to fill and top it off with cola.

A Slight Variation: Add 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters to the shaker and replace the cola with ginger ale. The result is a slightly lighter drink with a great balance of flavor

(Recipe from Leo DeGroff)

Reviving the Legendary Long Island Ice Tea

Many cocktail enthusiasts have decried the merits of the Long Island Iced Tea (or LIIT, for short) in recent years.

It's true that this famous drink has been little more than a quick way to get drunk without drinking a bunch of shots. And yet, there are still many LIIT fans out there, and if you are one of them, then this is a recipe you will want to taste.

Where the Long Island often goes wrong is that bartenders will use the full line up of liquor in the bar's "well" to create it. This recipe does just the opposite, by-passing the cheap stuff and opting instead for some of the best brands in their respective categories. The fact that the "tasteless" vodka has been replaced by a flavorful Irish whiskey makes it all the better.

How Strong Is the Tully Tea?

Highballs are always difficult to calculate when it comes to measuring the final alcohol content, because there are many factors involved. Each bartender has their own pouring style, highball glasses vary by a couple of ounces, and the amount of ice used can vary greatly.

Let's assume that 1 ounce of soda is used to fill the glass. We know the proof of all of the liquors: the rum, tequila and whiskey are each 80 proof, and Oxley Gin weighs in at 94 proof. Knowing that, we can estimate that the Tully Tea is about 18 percent alcohol by volume (36 proof).

Does that surprise you? It should, because the Long Island family of drinks has a reputation of being very potent when, in reality, they are not. Any of these "tea" drinks look strong because of the longer list of liquors. However, the four spirits add up to only a 2-ounce pour and it is almost half as strong as most classic martinis.