Long Island Iced Tea

Paul Taylor, Columbia Room | Washington, D.C.

“The original Long Island Iced Tea, from my memory, was this very homogeneous thing that tasted of ethyl alcohol and bad decisions,” recalls bartender Paul Taylor, who recently set about rescuing the oft-maligned gut-punch of a cocktail for his current menu at Washington D.C.’s Columbia Room.

His refined version calls on a house-made cola alongside house-made sour mix, pepper-infused rum, California gin, sherry-based vermouth and amaro.


Serving: 1

  • 1 ounce Cola Syrup (see Editor's Note)
  • 1/2 ounce Fresh Sour Mix (see Editor's Note)
  • 1/2 ounce Vermouth La Copa González Byass
  • 1/2 ounce Green Pepper Rum (see Editor's Note)
  • 1/2 ounce vodka, preferably Absolut Elyx
  • 1/4 ounce St. George Terroir gin
  • 1 barspoon Meletti Amaro
  • 4 ounces soda water, preferably Perrier

Garnish: lemon wedge

  1. Combine all ingredients, except soda water, in a Reidel Coca Cola Glass over ice and stir until chilled.
  2. Top with soda water.
  3. Stir to incorporate.
  4. Garnish with a comically large lemon wedge.
Editor's Note

Cola Syrup:
1 cup white granulated sugar
3 1/2 ounces water
1/8 teaspoon caramel coloring
1/2 teaspoon acid phosphate
1/2 teaspoon cola oil (see below)
5 drops vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon citric acid
1/2 ounce lime juice

Combine all ingredients except lime juice and acid phosphate in a saucepan or pot over medium heat and process until sugar is dissolved. Chill in an ice bath. Add lime juice and acid phosphate and blend with an immersion blender. Store in refrigerator.

Cola Oil:
10 ounces Everclear or grain alcohol
1/4 teaspoon orange essential oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon essential oil
1/8 teaspoon neroli essential oil
20 drops cinnamon essential oil
20 drops nutmeg essential oil
20 drops coriander essential oil

Carefully scale oils and Everclear into a container and reserve.

Fresh Sour Mix:
7 ounces lemon juice
7 ounces lime juice
7 ounces white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and blend with an immersion blender until sugar is incorporated.

Green Pepper Rum
1/4 of a green bell pepper, julienned, sliced and seeds removed
15 ounces Spanish-style rum, preferably Flor de Caña
1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid

Blend green bell pepper with rum, strain through cheesecloth into a container with ascorbic acid, and refrigerate.