Adult California Ice Tea Recipe - A Refreshing Cocktail from the USA

Adult California Ice Tea

Adult California Ice Tea Recipe - A Refreshing Cocktail from the USA
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 5 minutes | Cooking time: 0 minutes | Servings: 4


Adult California Ice Tea
Adult California Ice Tea

The Adult California Ice Tea is a potent and refreshing cocktail that packs a punch with its blend of five different spirits and citrus flavors. This drink is perfect for those looking to enjoy a sophisticated and strong beverage that is both invigorating and delicious. The combination of gin, vodka, triple sec, white rum, tequila, sweet and sour mix, and orange juice creates a unique taste that is both complex and enjoyable. Whether you're hosting a party or simply relaxing at home, this cocktail is sure to impress.


The Adult California Ice Tea is a variation of the classic Long Island Iced Tea, which originated in the 1970s in the United States. The original recipe was known for its ability to blend multiple spirits into a drink that tasted surprisingly similar to non-alcoholic iced tea. Over the years, bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts have experimented with different combinations, leading to the creation of the California Ice Tea. This version stands out for its inclusion of orange juice, giving it a distinctive West Coast twist that celebrates the sunny, citrus-filled vibes of California.


How to prepare

  1. In a blender, combine gin, vodka, triple sec, rum, tequila, mixer, and orange juice.
  2. Blend until well combined, then pour into 4 highball glasses filled with ice.
  3. Garnish with a lemon wedge.


  • For a less potent version, reduce the amount of each spirit by half and increase the orange juice and sweet and sour mix. For a tropical twist, add a splash of pineapple juice or replace the sweet and sour mix with coconut water.
  • For a lighter version, substitute soda water for some of the spirits to reduce the alcohol content. You can also experiment with different juices like grapefruit or cranberry for a twist on the classic flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and presentation for your Adult California Ice Tea, consider the following tips:

- Use high-quality spirits to avoid a harsh taste.

- Chill your spirits before mixing to keep the drink cool without diluting it too quickly with ice.

- Blend the ingredients briefly to mix well without over-diluting the drink.

- Taste the mixture before serving and adjust the sweet and sour mix or orange juice according to your preference.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Adult California Ice Tea in highball glasses over ice for a classic presentation. Garnish with a lemon wedge or an orange slice to enhance the visual appeal and add a fresh citrus aroma.

Cooking Techniques

Blending is the key technique for this recipe, ensuring that the ingredients are thoroughly mixed to create a smooth and uniform drink. Be careful not to over-blend, as this can dilute the cocktail too much.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're missing one of the spirits, you can increase the amount of the others to compensate. For a non-alcoholic version, substitute the spirits with similar flavored non-alcoholic alternatives or additional citrus juices and soda water.

Make Ahead Tips

You can mix the spirits and store them in the refrigerator ahead of time. Add the sweet and sour mix and orange juice just before serving to maintain the fresh taste.

Presentation Ideas

Consider serving the cocktail with a colorful straw or an umbrella pick for a fun and festive look. A rim of sugar or salt on the glasses can also add an extra touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

The Adult California Ice Tea pairs well with light appetizers and seafood dishes. The citrus notes complement the flavors of grilled fish, shrimp cocktails, and fresh salads.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

This cocktail is best enjoyed fresh and does not store well. It is not recommended to make it ahead of time beyond a few hours or to attempt reheating.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Adult California Ice Tea contains approximately 300 calories. The calories mainly come from the alcohol content and the sugars in the sweet and sour mix and orange juice.


An Adult California Ice Tea contains approximately 22 grams of carbohydrates per serving. The majority of these carbs come from the sweet and sour mix and the orange juice, which provide both the sweetness and the tangy flavor characteristic of this cocktail.


This cocktail is virtually fat-free, with only trace amounts of fats that might come from the natural oils present in the lemon garnish.


The Adult California Ice Tea contains negligible amounts of protein, as it is primarily a mix of spirits and fruit juices.

Vitamins and minerals

The orange juice in the recipe provides a modest amount of Vitamin C, which is beneficial for the immune system. However, the drink is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals overall.


This cocktail is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, gluten, and soy. However, individuals with allergies to citrus should be cautious due to the orange juice and lemon garnish.


The Adult California Ice Tea is a high-calorie, indulgent cocktail with a moderate amount of carbohydrates and negligible amounts of fats, proteins, and essential nutrients. It is best enjoyed occasionally as part of a balanced diet.


The Adult California Ice Tea is a vibrant and strong cocktail that combines the flavors of multiple spirits with the freshness of orange juice. Perfect for special occasions or a relaxing evening, this drink offers a taste of California sunshine in every sip. With its rich history and versatile nature, it's a delightful choice for anyone looking to enjoy a sophisticated and flavorful cocktail.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was filled with a sense of excitement. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my cousin in California. We were sitting out on her patio, sipping on iced tea and enjoying the sunshine when she pulled out a bottle of alcohol and started mixing it into our drinks.

I was intrigued and asked her what she was doing. She explained that it was a recipe she had learned from a friend in college - Adult California Ice Tea. It was a fun twist on the classic Long Island Iced Tea, with a West Coast flair.

I watched as she poured a combination of vodka, rum, tequila, gin, and triple sec into our glasses, along with some fresh lemon juice and a splash of cola. She shook it all up in a shaker with ice and poured it over fresh mint leaves in a tall glass.

The first sip was like nothing I had ever tasted before. It was strong, yet refreshing, with a hint of sweetness from the cola and a kick from the alcohol. I knew right then and there that I had to learn how to make this drink for myself.

When I returned home, I immediately set to work trying to recreate the Adult California Ice Tea recipe. I reached out to my cousin for guidance and she shared the exact measurements and steps with me. I was thrilled to have the recipe in my hands and couldn't wait to share it with my friends and family.

I started experimenting with different brands of alcohol and playing around with the ratios of each ingredient. I found that I preferred a slightly heavier hand with the tequila and gin, and a touch less rum and vodka. The key, I discovered, was to make sure everything was well-balanced so that no one spirit overpowered the others.

After a few trial runs, I finally nailed the perfect Adult California Ice Tea recipe. It became a staple at all of my gatherings and parties, much to the delight of my guests. They were always impressed by the complex flavors and smooth finish of the drink.

Over the years, I continued to tweak and refine the recipe, adding in new twists and variations. I experimented with different types of citrus, like lime and orange, and even tried infusing the alcohol with fresh herbs and spices for a unique flavor profile.

I also learned that the key to a great Adult California Ice Tea was using high-quality ingredients. I always made sure to have top-shelf spirits on hand, along with fresh mint and lemons from my garden. It made all the difference in the final product.

As I shared the recipe with more and more people, it became a hit in my community. Friends would come over specifically asking for the Adult California Ice Tea, and I happily obliged, mixing up batches for everyone to enjoy.

One day, I was approached by a local bar owner who had heard about my signature drink. He asked if I would be willing to come in and teach his bartenders how to make it, as he wanted to add it to the menu. I was thrilled at the opportunity and gladly accepted.

I spent an afternoon behind the bar, showing the staff the ins and outs of the Adult California Ice Tea recipe. They were quick learners and soon were churning out perfect cocktails for their patrons.

The drink quickly gained popularity at the bar, with people coming from near and far to try my creation. I was so proud to see my recipe being enjoyed by so many and it was a true testament to the power of sharing good food and drink with others.

To this day, the Adult California Ice Tea remains a favorite in my repertoire. It's a drink that brings people together, sparks conversation, and creates lasting memories. I'm grateful for the day I first saw that recipe and for all the joy it has brought into my life. Cheers to good times and great drinks!


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