Texas Tea

Adding bourbon to your Iced Tea cocktail will have you bustin’ broncs at the rodeo in no time.

Texas Tea

When I was a kid, my family spent a handful of years living in the Lone Star State, aka Texas. Everything was big down there. Big sky, horizons that went on forever, spiders the size of basketballs… don’t even get me started on the barbeque joints, because I can go on forever. And speaking of going on forever, whenever we visited my cousins in Houston, it took us two whole days to drive there. Saying Texas is big might be an understatement.

It’s no wonder that the drink we’re looking at today, the Texas Tea, is also a big libation. A simple riff on the traditional Long Island Iced Tea, this cocktail boasts a big kick with the addition of bourbon. This was a drink I had never actually heard of until one fateful night, a few years ago, when I found myself back in Texas…

I was visiting an old friend in San Antonio, a city I was unfamiliar with. My memories of living in Killeen were a little hazy with the passage of time, although getting to throw peanut shells onto the floor of my family’s favorite barbeque restaurant is still very vivid. Wherever I go to eat, no matter how fancy, I always ask the waiter if I can throw peanut shells on the floor. “Our maĆ®tre d’ has an allergy” they’d respond. I never believed that.

Sitting at the bar and waiting for my friend, a giant bear of a man saddled himself down on the stool next to me. His ten-gallon cowboy hat was as tall as he was, and his moustache looked as though he had smuggled a push broom up his nose. “Howdy there, tenderfoot.” This dapper cowboy spoke with a smooth drawl and seemed friendly enough. “Where y’all from?” At the time I was living in Manhattan, and when I told him he exclaimed “New York City?!”

Before we devolved into an impromptu recreation of a salsa commercial, I asked my new pal what he was drinking. “Texas Tea,” he answered, ordering one for himself… and for me. The tall glass was sweating as it slid down the bar, resting in front of me. “This ain’t like y’all’s Long Island city folk tea, this one here’s got a kick like a bronco. Now, you gonna drink up with me? Or are y’all a rodeo clown?”

I’m no clown, at least not by trade. The cowboy explained that a good, smooth bourbon makes the Texas Tea bigger than the others. And he was right. I assumed that it would disappear amongst the other liquors used, but it sat right there, slightly atop the others, mixing and blending in a subtle way as I kept sipping.

I turned to thank my new friend, pleasantly surprised and grateful for this new drink I had been introduced to. But he was gone… disappeared. Confused and slightly alarmed, I ask the bartender if he had seen the cowboy sitting next to me, or if I had imagined the whole exchange.

“Yeah”, the barkeep said. “He went to the bathroom.”

What is the Best Bourbon to Use in a Texas Tea?

Iced Tea cocktails, despite their name, don’t have any tea in them. Instead it’s a robust mixture of (preferably clear) spirits such as gin, tequila, vodka, rum… adding a good mid-to-top shelf bourbon to the mix will bring some smooth vanilla/caramel notes to the party. Since we’re combining a bunch of spirits together, an aged bourbon will bring an extra intensity to your cocktail.

Texas Tea
Servings 1
5 minutes


  • 1/2 ounce tequila
  • 1/2 ounce bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce rum
  • 1/2 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce sweet and sour mix
  • Garnish: lemon wedge
  • Garnish: cola


  • In a Collins glass filled with ice, pour in the tequila, bourbon, gin, rum, vodka, and triple sec.
    Texas Tea
  • Add the sweet and sour mix to the glass.
    Texas Tea
  • Stir well and top the glass off with a splash of cola for that signature Texas Tea fizz.
    Texas Tea
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge on the rim of the glass.


Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 0.01g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 23mg | Sugar: 25g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Texas Tea

FAQs & Tips

Texas Tea

Texas Tea Variations

Alright, cowpokes, you’ve had a few Texas Teas and you’re ready for more massive-tasting and powerhouse beverages that are close to it, right? Of course! Twist & Toast has some fantastic and easy to make recipes on hand for you to try out. Just don’t go roping any steers after you’ve had a few.

  • Tokyo Tea – Midori gives this variation on the Iced Tea cocktail a brilliant neon green hue. It tastes as good as it looks.
  • AMF – You might know this blue cocktail by its even bluer name. Be careful when ordering this one in a crowded bar.
  • Long Beach Iced Tea – The West Coast version of the East Coast Classic. Cranberry juice replaces cola as the topper for a tangy bite.
  • Long Island Iced Tea – The original cocktail has stood the test of time and continues to be a popular drink to this day.

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