This Blue Long Island Iced Tea is beautifully bright with a tangy sweet flavor! It’s easy to make and deliciously refreshing.

Blue Long Island

Here’s a bright blue drink that’s fresh and sweet tart: the Blue Long Island, aka Blue Long Island Iced Tea! The traditional Long Island Iced Tea has a bit of a reputation for being a low-brow, high alcohol drink. But make it the right way, and this classic has fresh, nuanced flavor and less alcohol than most cocktails. This blue spin on the classic uses blue curacao for its ocean-hued color, and it adds a lovely citrusy flavor. It’s one of our favorite blue drinks yet.

Blue Long Island Iced Tea ingredients

The Long Island Iced Tea is a highball cocktail that mixes cola with five different liquors: vodka, tequila, rum, gin and orange liqueur. The name comes from its color: the drink is brown when mixed together and looks like iced tea. Like most cocktails its origin story is hazy, but it was likely invented in 1972 by a bartender in Long Island, New York. It went on to become very popular and makes the list of the International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning it has an official definition.

A Blue Long Island Iced Tea, aka Blue Long Island for short, swaps out the orange liqueur for blue curacao. Blue curacao is a type of orange liqueur with a bright blue color, made on the island of Curacao. This recipe also swaps cola for ginger ale, which is lighter in color. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Vodka
  • Tequila
  • White rum
  • Gin
  • Blue curacao
  • Lemon juice
  • Ginger ale

The most important, of course, is the blue curacao. If you don’t have all the others, that’s ok! Here’s what to know about the signature alcohol and what you can substitute for the others.

Blue curacao

More about blue curacao

The most important part of any blue drink, including the Blue Long Island? Blue curacao! This is what gives the drink its bright blue color. You’ll need to make sure to pick up a bottle of it: and don’t worry! It’s not hard to find. Here’s what to know:

  • Blue curacao is an artificially-colored orange liqueur invented by Dutch settlers on the island of Curaçao. There are several colors of Curaçao: the most popular today are clear and blue. Blue curacao has been sold since 1912. It’s flavored with the Laraha orange peel, a type of orange that grows on the island.
  • How to pronounce Curaçao? Say it Cure-ah-souw.
  • What does blue curacao taste like? It has a sweet orange peel flavor, with subtle bitter finish.
  • How much does it cost? Blue curacao is inexpensive; a 750 ml bottle costs about $10. Try to buy a mid-range bottle; we like Drillaud brand (avoid DeKuyper).
  • What else can you use it for? Lots of blue drinks! Mix up a Blue Margarita, Blue Hawaii, Aqua Velva, or Blue Lagoon.

Can you use substitutes if you don’t have all the liquors?

The Blue Long Island Iced Tea is a bit of a kitchen sink style drink. It uses just about everything in the liquor cabinet! Luckily, you don’t have to have all of the ingredients to make a tasty BLIIT. Here are a few tips on substitutions:

  • Vodka, tequila, or gin: Leave one of these out and double one of the other liquors. For example, if you don’t have gin double the tequila. Try to have at least three of the four main liquors if you can. Two of the four may also work.
  • White rum: Use aged rum if you don’t have white. You could use dark rum: just note that the color of the drink will be darker!
Blue long island iced tea

The ginger ale to use

The ginger ale makes for a deliciously fresh Blue Long Island Iced Tea. In fact, we like it better than the standard version of the drink! (Especially because we don’t often buy cola.) You can use any brand you like, but here are some favorites:

  • Q Ginger Ale: This is our top choice! It comes in small cans so you only have to use a little at a time.
  • Fever Tree Ginger Ale: Fever Tree is made with real ginger and has no artificial sweeteners.
  • More Ginger Ale Brands: Here’s a list of more top brands.

Want more drinks with ginger ale? Go to 8 Classic Ginger Ale Cocktails.

How to make a Blue Long Island Iced Tea

Once you’ve assembled all of the ingredients, the Blue Long Island comes together in a flash! The flavors come out incredibly fresh and delicious. This drink has only 2.5 ounces alcohol, so it’s not as boozy as you think! It’s similar to many of our 300+ cocktails, especially the other highball cocktails. Here’s what to do:

  • Stir: Pour all ingredients into a highball glass. Add ice and stir.
  • Garnish: Add a lemon wedge if desired.
Blue long island

More variations on the Long Island Iced Tea

There are a few other ways to make this classic cocktail! Here are a couple other variations to add on to the Blue Long Island:

When to serve a Blue Long Island Iced Tea

A Blue Long Island is great for sipping in summer or warm weather, but it works anytime. Try it as a:

  • Summer cocktail
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Blue Long Island

Blue Long Island Iced Tea


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Blue Long Island Iced Tea is beautifully bright with a tangy sweet flavor! It’s easy to make and deliciously refreshing.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ ounce vodka
  • ½ ounce tequila
  • ½ ounce white rum
  • ½ ounce gin
  • ½ ounce blue curacao
  • 1 ounce lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 3 to 5 ounces ginger ale
  • Ice (try clear ice) and lemon wedge, for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in highball glass. Fill it with ice and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve. 
  2. Pitcher variation (8 servings): Combine ½ cup each vodka, tequila, white rum, gin, and blue curacao, and 1 cup lemon juice. Add 2 ½ cups ginger ale. Pour into ice filled highball glasses. 
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktail

Keywords: Blue long island, blue long island iced tea

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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