Tokyo Tea

A bright neon-green cocktail that will stand out in a crowded club, the Tokyo Tea is the futuristic looking treat you’ve been craving.

Tokyo Tea

Right off the bat, the Tokyo Tea cocktail doesn’t have any tea in it, nor is it from Tokyo. So if you’re expecting some matcha-flavored, Sake-infused libation, this isn’t it. Off the top of my head, I’m not even sure that a drink like that exists. Let me know if it does.

This cocktail is actually another popular variation of the infamous Long Island Iced Tea, the popular booze-bomb that is said to have its beginnings in either 1920s Prohibition-era Tennessee or early 1970s Long Island, New York. Wherever and whenever this drink was born, it has stood the test of time and given birth to a variety of different riffs on the recipe.

The Tokyo Tea is one of those riffs. Making one is really no different than mixing up a Long Island Iced Tea. This recipe calls for an addition of melon liqueur, which gives the cocktail its trademark vivid green hue. The verdant spirit in this mixture brings a bright, citrusy flavor right to the front of the drink, sitting atop the tangy lime with a subtle sweetness that offsets the number of different alcohols used.

Who invented this variation on the classic cocktail? Nobody knows. Simon Difford has theorized that the drink could have been created for the T.G.I. Fridays restaurant chain, but no record of that taking place exists. Others claim that the beverage was made up for the 1977 movie “Saturday Night Fever”, but that hasn’t been proven either.

Sometimes, a cocktail’s origin being a mystery is more interesting to me. We can fill in our own blanks as we sip the night away, relishing in the refreshing flavor and radiating green color the Tokyo Tea has. It might not hail from Japan, but it reminds me of the neon lights of its namesake’s city. And that’s enough to spark my imagination.

What is Midori?

While this cocktail itself might not hail from Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan, the sweet melon liqueur that is used in it does. Produced by Suntory, one of that country’s largest spirit manufacturers, Midori hit the American bar scene in 1978 and soon took the 80’s by storm with its neon-like green color fitting right in with the decade’s obsession with fluorescent pastels. When that style fell out of fashion, Midori soon began to wane in popularity too. But being a quality product, it soon began to find its way back into the good graces of bartenders the world over.

What is the Best Alcohol to Use in a Tokyo Tea?

For any variation on the Long Island Iced Tea, like the Tokyo Tea, I recommend the use of clear spirits when mixing. Gin and vodka are this way by their nature, but make sure you choose a Blanco tequila and a white, or silver, rum. Their color and consistency is similar to the gin and vodka’s, so these will all meld together nicely. When the Midori is added, the green color will be allowed to pop as it will have no other shades to compete with.

Tokyo Tea
Servings 1
5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce tequila
  • 1/2 ounce rum
  • 1/2 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce melon liqueur
  • 1 ounce sweet-and-sour mix
  • 1 splash club soda
  • 1 lemon wheel for garnish
  • 1 maraschino cherry for garnish

Instructions

  • In a highball glass filled with ice, combine the tequila, rum, gin, vodka, triple sec, melon liqueur, and sweet-and-sour mix.
    Tokyo Tea
  • Stir the mixture gently to ensure all the ingredients are well blended.
    Tokyo Tea
  • Top the drink off with a splash of club soda for a refreshing fizz.
    Tokyo Tea
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel and a maraschino cherry.

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
Tokyo Tea

FAQs & Tips

Tokyo Tea

Tokyo Tea Variations

The Tokyo Tea is a simple take on the Long Island Iced Tea, and there are more than a few cocktails out there that share a similar starting point. If you like your drinks strong and tall, I talk about a few of these here at Twist & Toast that you can try out:

  • Long Beach Iced Tea – A West Coast-inspired version of the classic cocktail that replaces the cola with cranberry.
  • AMF – AMF stands for…, well, just read this piece and I’ll tell you what those letters stand for in this blue beverage.
  • Long Island Iced Tea – The original “kitchen sink” cocktail that’s a little more nuanced than you might think.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating