The Long Island Iced Tea Variation You Should Be Sipping More Often

As we dethaw from a cold winter in preparation for a warmer, sunnier season, our social batteries also come back to life. This means more time with friends, family, and more time for fun. What better way to cut loose with friends during spring and summer than with a few boozy drinks?

One popular and highly-intoxicating summer cocktail is the famous Long Island iced tea. The abundant cocktail is typically made with vodka, tequila, rum, gin, triple sec, lemon or lime juice, and a splash of Coke. Although this behemoth of a cocktail is stronger than an iron fist, one southern cocktail gives the Long Island Iced tea a run for its money — Texas tea. Texas tea is a Long Island iced tea that boasts the usual ingredients, only this Lone Star State-inspired cocktail takes it one step further by including bourbon in the original recipe.

A quick way to catch a buzz without downing multiple drinks, Texas tea also brings a smooth, spicy flavor with a soft caramel finish that brings together the original recipe without contradicting its many flavors.

Bourbon brings together the flavors of a Long Island iced tea

Because Texas tea calls for most of the primary liquors you'd find in a bar, it's important to make one that doesn't taste entirely like a cooler punch from a frat party. Although some good old-fashioned college punch has its own merit, a boozy drink like Texas tea can still be sophisticated. Using high-quality bourbon whiskey will provide the cocktail with an oaky, rounded-out taste that can cut through some of the sharp flavors associated with tequila and vodka.

Bourbon has a more complex flavor profile than meets the eye — it can bring hints of chocolate, caramel, wood, smoke, and spices to a bland cocktail without coming off too strong. If you typically make your Long Island iced tea with sweet and sour mix, including it in your Texas tea can add a tart, candied flair to the liquor-heavy cocktail that can further distract from its heavy-handed booze content. If you want to experiment with different variations for your Texas tea, you can try using vanilla, green apple, or cinnamon-infused bourbon for a funkier flavor that still brings all of the ingredients together.

Although it might sound contradictory to balance out the flavor of a Long Island iced tea by adding more liquor, bourbon's uniquely bold flavor can soften the sting of its accompanying spirits while still giving them space to activate with each sip.

As always, drink responsibly!