Long Island Iced Tea: A History Lesson

Long Island iced tea has a history that remains a mystery. Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes!  Legend has it that the creation of this drink occurred during the Prohibition Era when alcohol was illegal, only to resurface decades later in the 1970s.  There are even stories that it's not from Long Island but is from Tennessee.  It has a unique blend of various liquors, such as vodka, light rum, and tequila, while ironically tasting alcohol-free.

A Healthy Twist...

This article doesn't encourage drinking Long Island iced tea or any beverages with alcohol irresponsibly, especially while under 21 and pursuing academic and vocational goals in college.  While binge drinking is prevalent around college campuses, it has dire consequences.

Furthermore, my Bachelor of Science is in adult health and physical education/fitness.  As a current Peer Educator, I love sharing wisdom and knowledge about health topics in written words and presentations with my fellow students.  "Substance Use and Abuse" was an undergraduate course that I completed to ensure authentic health education journalism in this area.

As an Adelphi University nutrition graduate student who loves the New York Giants, I'm also intrigued by the creation and history of Gatorade at the University of Florida.  I love playing flag football and can throw a football with a spiral!

I encourage you to pursue your personal interests and to do what makes you happy both in college and in life overall.  Don't succumb to social pressures or listen to other people's opinions about how you should live your life.   College is where you can truly pursue your passions, whether you're in an orchestra, you enjoy experimenting in a lab, or you like playing soccer!

My best sports nutrition memory involves cooking chili as a post-game dinner for my older brother and his St. John's University football teammates, friends, and roommates as a preteen.  Around that same time, specifically as a middle school student, I interned for JUMP, a health-conscious teen magazine; it resembles a cross between Shape and Seventeen.  This series of fortunate events inspired me to create a nutritious and alcohol-free substitute for Long Island iced tea, coined "Long Island Nice Tea," in my home kitchen.

Nutrition Facts About Long Island Nice Tea

Long Island nice tea is a guiltless and alcohol-free substitute drink for Long Island iced tea.  It's designed to enjoy anytime, even after a workout or sports game, and is especially great for celebrating academic, athletic, and/or artistic accomplishments!

The main ingredient is coconut water, and adding citrus fruits, such as lemons and limes, is a fun and inexpensive way to fulfill fruit servings for the day!  Additionally, vanilla is an excellent ingredient to add the wow factor for iced tea vibes without unnatural food dyes.

Coconut water, lemons, and limes are excellent sources of Vitamin C and potassium.  Vitamin C protects and defends our bodies.  One of my favorite musicians is fellow New Jerseyan Vitamin C.  I recommend that you listen to her music while sipping your cup of tea, even while doing homework!  "Smile" is my favorite song by her, and for this song, she collaborated with Jamaican reggae legend Lady Saw!

Potassium also plays a role in protecting and defending our bodies, just like Vitamin C does.  However, it does so precisely against fluid imbalances, also known as dehydration.  Potassium also helps our hearts and muscles contract during physical activity.

Any college student can unwind with this safe yet tasty beverage year-round, regardless of age!

Recipe: Long Island Nice Tea

Rachel Morrison

Ingredients:

Ice Cubes

11 oz Coconut Water

1 Whole Lemon, sliced

1 Whole Lime, sliced

Agave

Vanilla

Steps:

1. Fill the entire cup with ice.

2. Place sliced lemon and lime into the cup.  Cover with another cup, and shake.

3. Mix coconut water into the cup.

4. Drizzle agave, and stir.

5. Add vanilla, and stir.

6. Enjoy!