“To our friends who know the worst about us but refuse to believe it.”— drinking toast
You don’t have to visit Long Island to enjoy the iced tea named after it.
You only have to be a certain age though.
After all, the Long Island Iced Tea is not for kids nor is it for adults with weak constitutions, stomachs, and gullets.
The Long Island Iced Tea is one of the most potent beverages known to man, next to isoprophyl alcohol, gasoline, and Clorox.
This, among others, was inadvertently discovered by two friends who paid a visit to the apartment after they goaded me–the world’s most inexperienced bartender–into fixing drinks for both of them.
Since all three of us were professional drinkers, I ignored the basics–Cuba Libre, Gin and Tonic, Rhum Coke (which incidentally is the Twitter ID of one of my two guests)–because these were widely available.
So I tried something different: the Long Island Iced Tea.
However, my formula for the LIIT would not be approved by the International Bartender Association (IBA), whose initials are exactly the same as the International Bar Association for reasons I’d rather not mention for fear of litigation.
Anyway, instead of tequila, I tried a cheap, light brandy. I also dispensed with two other ingredients–gum syrup, which I couldn’t find at any grocery at all, and Coke, which I no longer used. [See: Long Island Iced Tea]
Both gum syrup and Coke, I feel, were included in the IBA-approved recipe to make the drink sweeter. In my opinion, the triple sec did all that.
As a result, my LIIT recipe was equal parts gin, lime juice, brandy, vodka, rum, triple sec, and lots of ice.
The drink still looked like iced tea.
It also may have tasted like iced tea, thanks to the power of suggestion working its wonder on the palate.
I made two batches and they loved it.
The other guest, whose Twitter ID is @Addicted2Sports, liked it so much that he wanted to change his Twitter ID to @Addicted2LongIslandIcedTea.
But when he was told it was too long for Twitter, he had already finished his drink and had grabbed a bottle of beer for the traditional “hugas” to wash whatever we drank with beer.
After just one bottle–despite having several ice-cold ones in the freezer–we called it a night.
I walked them down the street to catch a cab that took them to EDSA.
A few days later, @Rhum_Coke told me that he blogged about the experience of going home loaded on Long Island’s special brew. While on a passenger jeepney home, @Rhum_Coke screamed in technicolor, to the consternation of his fellow passengers who never imagined that the human voice could contain the hues of the rainbow in liquid and semi-liquid form.
Meanwhile, @Addicted2Sports in a Gchat the next day, confessed that he missed his stop on the way home and got off the bus three towns away.
I am glad to report that I have no such incidents to disclose. Call it the homecourt advantage but I slept the whole thing off although I woke up later than usual.
And it reminded me that whenever I’m drinking with these two again–and that’s sooner than later–we remain better off sticking to beer. Just beer, thanks, Tata. [See: Tata]
That was a phrase I first read from William Safire in a piece in which he enumerated novel ways to describe what we all go through when we continue after having enough. Hehe.