The super-boozy drink invented at Babylon’s Oak Beach Inn and immortalized in television, film and song has entered a new life cycle: Long Island Iced Teas are being poured for $1 a pop at participating Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bars through the month of December.
Applebee’s version of the high-proof drink, called Dollar L.I.T., combines rum, vodka, gin, tequila, triple sec and sour mix over ice in a 10-ounce mug.
Former OBI bartender Robert “Rosebud” Butt invented Long Island Iced Tea one night in the summer of 1972. He and his fellow bartenders were asked to come up with a way to use an oversupply of triple sec during a contest. “After mixing and throwing out a few things, I put together what we always had: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, ready-made sour mix and the triple sec,” Butt told Newsday in 2012. “A squirt of Coca-Cola and I told my partner, ‘This tastes pretty good. I’m done.’ ”
Butt won the contest, and went on to make thousands of Long Island Iced Teas before he retired.