The Long Beach Iced Tea

Long Beach iced tea cocktail with two straws and lemon garnish

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
226 Calories
0g Fat
20g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 226
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 26mg 130%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 71mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Long Beach tea is one of the many variations of the iconic Long Island iced tea. Cranberry juice is the key ingredient and distinguishes this drink from all of the other “iced teas."

The recipe for a Long Beach tea is incredibly simple, even if the ingredient list is a little longer than normal. It requires five partial shots of liquor, a healthy dose of sour mix, and is topped off with cranberry juice. From there, it's just a matter of stirring and sitting back to enjoy your creation.

This may be one of the tastiest options in the "tea" family of drinks. The juice gives it a nice sweetness that plays off all those spirits to create a rather refreshing beverage. It's also a perfect candidate to be mixed up ahead of time. Mix up a pitcher for a barbecue or pour it into a thermos for an ice-cold cocktail to enjoy while tailgating or on a day at the beach. ​

No matter where you enjoy it, it's a fun drink, and it really is not as strong as you may think.


Click Play to See This Refreshing Long Beach Iced Tea Come Together

"This recipe is a definitive build and showcases how not all cocktails are the sum of their parts. Something tropical happens between the gin, rum, tequila, and cranberry that touches fruit punch on the palette. With this Long Beach iced tea, drink responsibly because it goes down like a blue-collar weekend…a little too fast." —Sean Johnson

The Long Beach iced tea cocktail with a lemon slice
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Long Beach iced tea cocktail recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Build the ingredients in order in a Collins glass filled with ice.

    Long Beach cocktail ingredients added to a Collins glass

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  3. Stir well.

    Long Beach iced tea stirred with a cocktail spoon

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  4. Garnish with a lemon slice, if desired. Serve and enjoy.

    Long Beach iced tea garnished with a lemon slice

    The Spruce Eats


  • All of the Long Island drinks are easy to remember. Just keep in mind that each requires five white spirits. Then, you add a sour, and that one ingredient that defines the location indicated in the name. For the Long Beach version, it's helpful to associate the place and the juice with "healthy." It's a simple memory trick that can help you keep it straight with the others.
  • Let's be honest: Save your good booze for another drink. There's so much going on in the Long Beach tea that there's really no need to pour your best spirits into it unless you want to. Bartenders typically make these "teas" with liquor from the well, and it's a perfect way for you to save money in your home bar as well.
  • The sour mix is one of those mixers that you can either buy or DIY. Making it yourself will save money and takes maybe 20 minutes of your time. A single batch of the citrus-flavored syrup can handle more than a few rounds of Long Beach teas and leave you with more to store for other drinks.
  • With most of these "tea" recipes, the last ingredient poured fills the glass. You might find yourself adding more cranberry juice, and that will just sweeten the drink and dilute the alcohol a bit more. Yet, if you're using a really big glass, there's no need to fill it.
  • Many tall glasses used in kitchens hold far more than the standard highball or Collins glasses in bars. Just because you can fill it to the rim doesn't mean you have to. Think of the drink's flavor balance over its volume, and you'll enjoy your homemade cocktails just a little more.
  • The Long Beach tea does not have to be a really strong drink. The key to keeping it light so you don't fall down drunk after the first round is to measure the liquor. Over-pouring is the biggest problem with these cocktails. It not only ramps up the amount of alcohol you're drinking, but it can also "burn" the drink's flavor. ​They really do taste better if you try to keep the liquor in check. ​

Recipe Variation

  • Replace the lemon slice garnish with a slice of orange or some berries, such as a blackberry and raspberry mixture.

Long Beach Iced Tea vs. Long Island Iced Tea

  • Very simply, the Long Beach uses cranberry as the mix, while the Long Island uses cola.

How Strong Is the Long Beach Tea?

A lot of liquor goes into this drink, but you will notice that it only adds up to 2 1/2 ounces in a 5 1/2-ounce drink. Sure that's the majority of the drink. Yet, when we do the math, we find that the Long Beach tea is not the strongest drink in the bar.

When made with 80-proof brands of the first four liquors and a 60-proof triple sec, the Long Beach tea is a surprisingly mild 17 percent ABV (36 proof). To put this into perspective, the strongest wines are about 14 percent ABV and the martini is a hefty 31 percent ABV. This drink is just a little stronger than popular highballs like the Moscow mule.