Frankly: I like Long Island Iced Tea. My earliest (very vague) memory of this drink is that I drank 5 glasses of wine in a lesbian bar in Brooklyn in 2006, but after a few years I started to drink at the tall new bar PDT before I really loved it. Serve this drink. At first I thought this drink was forbidden, and almost no one wanted me to drink it. But one night, when I was reading the literal meaning of the bar’s drink recipe, I stumbled upon a recipe. What surprised and disturbed me was that the drink I got was actually very good.
Since then I have done some improvisations, including a smoothie version made with Dr. Pepper syrup, but this summer improvisation made with Japanese melon liqueur and Mountain Dew is my favorite. The key to combining "premium" Long Island Iced Tea is to realize that even if you use almost all the existing major liquors, you only use a small amount of each type, so add up, you don’t want to compare the standard gin alcohol or Manhattan drink so much alcohol.
It is these beverages that prove the importance of raw material integrity. Tell someone that you have a great variant of Long Island Iced Tea for them to try. Most people will run up to the mountain, probably because the last time they drank such a drink might be made with the cheapest spirits, and the price is cheap. Quilan is particularly cruel, and omits fresh lime juice and uses a sour mixture. Working harder to obtain high-quality spirits and using fresh citrus can open up a world of endless possibilities. --John De Barry