Saturday, April 17, 2010
Long Island Iced Tea
I’ve been making these since I was 17. I’ve been behind a bar since I was a kid. My first boss told me that their name wasn’t really Long Island Iced Tea. That it was called the “Leg Spreader.” He was the coolest boss.
Vodka, gin, rum, tequila, sour mix, and Coke, all mixed together. Why on Earth did someone ever think that would taste good? I did when I was twenty-nothing-years-old. I drank the shit out of em. I actually thirsted for them, because they got me drunk. They also hosted the name of where I was from. To actually stand somewhere and order a drink in its namesake…that’s something special. You don’t hear a St. Paul Iced Tea, or a Houston Iced Tea do you? Boston Tea works, but whatever.
Long Island is the land of the forever twenty-some things, with willingness for nice cars, good music, and horrendous vocabulary. With a tanning bed within 2 kilometers of the bed you actually sleep in. With a million guys named Joey, literally. This is the place that is shit for most of the year and Heaven for four months. It’s within close proximity to the best beaches on the East Coast as well as the greatest city in existence.
I hate it. I hate it because I grew up there, and being American means just that. I love it for the same reason and I can’t wait to get back there to use my accent again. I wait anxiously to surround myself with my kind. Like a major league player that has to play in the minors for one season till his tendon heals. I miss the streets that mean something to me. I miss the people with hugs I can feel as well as the arguments that are warranted.
Granted, there are a million jerkoffs there. There are thousands of jerkoffs everywhere, but the term jerkoff was born in a mall somewhere not far from where I grew up, East Islip, NY. I am one of them. I yell when yelled at. I drink when spoken to. I will talk about the Atlantic Ocean like it’s my job. That’s what we do.
We get fat on purpose in the Winter and enter the gym in Spring like a team reconvening after a huge win the season before. We wash our own cars; because you lazy fucks everywhere else need to shut up. We like big boobs and highlights, tan lines and Bud Light, the Yankees and the Mets, and countless sexual encounters with people from our zip code.
Sure I left over a decade ago and moved to Brooklyn which became more of a home to me than any roof could provide. Sure I dance like the world is going to end. It’s all because those streets I grew up on taught me something I can’t fully describe. They taught me to wait for Summer like it’s the law. It taught me to shut the fuck up. It told me to drink this drink that made me forget my middle name.
The long Island Iced Tea.
Now, years later I’m in Southern California and these young fucktards order a million of them around me every night. They have no idea what Long Island means or is, or why they made a drink from there that makes you forget where you’re from. And that’s just it.
Only a place like Long Island would invent a cocktail named after itself that would get you so drunk that you forgot where you’re from.