With a name as exotic as its taste, the Tokyo Tea drink is one that will entertain or delight at any bar or party. With a citrus-y punch, this drink gives you all the sweetness of Japan with all the alcohol of a Long Island Iced Tea.
It’s sweet and it’s different, something that honestly looks just as cool as it tastes. And while the recipe seems like a lot, it’s actually a super easy drink to make.
It’s great for parties, nights out with friends, and it’s simple enough to be found at any bar. It’s great for so many different purposes, as any great alcoholic drink should be. The Tokyo Tea is one of my go-to drinks whenever I want to introduce my friends to something just a little bit different, especially those who aren’t too open to trying new things!
What Is Tokyo Tea?
Tokyo Tea is simply another version of the Long Island Iced Tea, but green! It takes all the same ingredients from its parent drink but adds a bit of a citrus-y twist to allow for a sweeter, more interesting flavor. The name of the green long island drink is reminiscent of the green tea enjoyed in Japan and is also just as bright as all of the sugary-sweet, ultra-cute things Japanese culture is known for.
The actual Tokyo tea cocktail is basically a mix of five different liquors, plus a melon liqueur and lemon-lime soda. It sounds super complicated, but it’s a pretty straightforward drink, and the ingredients are standard enough that you’ll find them in most bars. In short, this cocktail is an ultra-bright, super sweet Long Island that’s just different enough from your normal cocktails that it may just become your new fave!
What Do You Need to Make a Tokyo Tea?
Tokyo tea is made with 5 different liquors, generally vodka, rum, gin, tequila, and triple sec. These are the same basic ingredients to make a Long Island. But what makes the Tokyo tea drink unique is its addition of Midori, or melon liqueur, and Sprite, 7-Up, or whatever lemon-lime soda you happen to have on hand.
Long Island drinks are generally made in a taller, highball glass, and all the ingredients are added in equal parts and stirred in smoothly. No special techniques, no cocktail mixers — this is a super easy drink anyone can make at home.
Tokyo Tea Recipe
Equal parts of:
- Rum (some people prefer light rum, but I don’t really mind!)
- Triple sec
- Lemon-lime soda
You can also top off your Tokyo Tea with a garnish of lemon, lime, or cherry, or hey, maybe even all three! It’s up to you to decide how sweet you want your Tokyo liquor. I know I like mine sweet.
Variations on The Tokyo Tea
Most of the time, when making your Tokyo Iced Tea, you’ll end up with a fairly large-sized Tokyo tea cocktail. However, you don’t always have to stick to your Highball glass and full-sized cocktail.
There are other ways to enjoy your Tokyo Tea.
Probably the most popular way to enjoy your Tokyo tea outside of its traditional form is as a shot! The making of the Tokyo Tea shots are a bit more complicated than the drink itself, but that’s only because you’re going to need a strainer.
To make your shot, simply mix the ingredients in a tall glass, just like you were making the normal Tokyo tea cocktail. Then, strain the drink into a shot glass and you’re set! Garnish with a melon or whatever fruit you think would go best with your shot and you’ve concocted a very easy way to get very drunk on a mix of several different types of alcohol.
While there isn’t officially a virgin cocktail version of the Tokyo tea, I like to make a version of it from a non-alcoholic Long Island recipe I found a few years ago! Take some Sprite, Lemonade, and Iced Tea and mix it together. You won’t get the lovely green color unless you add food coloring, which I suppose you could, but it’s not something I’ve ever tried.
This, of course, is unfortunate, and it won’t have the same taste as your alcoholic Tokyo tea drink. But I like to make this mocktail version of the Tokyo tea cocktail for friends that are trying to quit alcohol.
While it’s not going to taste exactly the same, I actually really like the taste! It’s a great thirst-quencher when you just need something sweet and just a little bit different to try. I really like soda and lemonade when I’m really thirsty, and even though I used to think combining it wouldn’t have the same effect, I was definitely wrong. I’m a fan of the mocktail Tokyo tea!
You can also use whatever lemon-lime soda you choose; some people prefer a particular flavor over another. You may also want to add a splash of grenadine, orange juice, or another citrus-y flavor to make your Tokyo tea your own. It’s already a classic with a twist — why not put an extra twist on it?
Where to Find a Tokyo Tea
Luckily, when it comes to ordering your Tokyo iced tea while you’re out on the town, it’s fairly easy to find. Most bars will carry the majority of Tokyo tea ingredients; the only ingredient that might be difficult to find is Midori. However, I’ve worked in a few bars and nearly all of them had Midori on their shelves, so it’s a fairly easy drink to find.
Not every bartender will know your drink by name, unfortunately, but if you tell whoever is serving you that it’s a green long island drink, basically replacing the Coke with Sprite and adding Midori, most bars will be able to make it for you fairly easily. This makes it a great fun drink that allows you to let out your wild side just a little bit, and you can find it basically anywhere. No special places required for this sweet drink!
Why Have a Tokyo Tea?
The Tokyo tea is an interesting green drink that looks bright and tastes sweet. What’s there more to like? The sweetness of the citrus balances the bitter of the alcohol to make a mixture that doesn’t overwhelm the senses the way some heavily-mixed or very sweet drinks do. But if you do need some convincing, a Tokyo tea doesn’t just taste great, it even looks electric.
The sweet taste and bright look of the drink will give you energy, and it will also get you very drunk. The great thing about a sweet drink when you’re drinking to have a good time is that, when you can’t taste the alcohol, you can just keep on drinking.
So, if your goal is to get wasted, this is a great-tasting option. This is also where Tokyo tea shots come in very handy. In my experience, a lot of straight shots, even of the types of liquor found in the Tokyo tea drink, don’t taste particularly great. Not that a shot needs to, as you only taste it for a few minutes.
But when I’m in the mood to take more than one shot, I like to be able to taste something more than straight alcohol, and this is why the Tokyo tea shot is one of my favorites on a night out. Why drink it? Because it can work for almost any occasion for almost any reason. Whether you’re drinking just casually or drinking to get drunk, this drink, both in its shot and cocktail form, will more than likely hit the spot.
What’s the Best Time to Drink?
Tokyo tea is a summer drink that just screams tropical breeze. The perfect drink to have on vacation, or at least to have when you want to pretend you’re on vacation, this sweet treat is made with all of the best tropical flavors. While like its Long Island counterpart, this drink has no actual sweet iced tea in it, it’ll still cool you down on those hot summer days like an iced tea would.
This one just has alcohol—and it’s green.
My favorite place to enjoy this green long island drink is out on my deck in the middle of summer, especially on those cool summer evenings. Stretching out under the setting sun, feeling the light breeze on my back and drinking a nice, cool sugary sweet drink with a book on my lap or good company is the best way I can think of to spend a summer night.
Maybe you are on vacation and you just want to try something that feels more tropical. You can try one of these at your hotel bar or stretch out with a Tokyo tea by the poolside. Especially with the absolute plethora of tropical garnishes you can use for this summertime drink, every sip of the Tokyo tea drink tastes like, feels like, and even looks like the middle of a long vacation.
The green color is reminiscent of a perfect summer sea or a cool, clear poolside night. This means it’s even a great drink for when you are definitely not on vacation.
Maybe you have the wintertime blues or just want to feel like you’re on vacation during a particularly stressful time at work. Order one of these green drinks and be transported to a place you’d much rather be. It’s not as good as the real thing, of course — nothing truly is — but you can fake it til’ you make it by pretending it’s summer all the time.
To Whom Would I Recommend the Tokyo Tea?
While this drink may be one of my favorites, not every person is going to respond to the same drink, particularly an alcoholic one, in the same way. Still, there are some specific situations where I would recommend the Tokyo tea more than others.
As it’s a great summertime drink , it’s the perfect drink for late summer get-together, back-to-school parties for parents excited to have some time to themselves again after the kids go off to school, or even just a gathering among friends in the warmer months.
This colorful drink is a social one, the exact opposite of the glass of wine you might have to calm yourself down or unwind after a long day at work. This is the drink you make when you’re having people over, having a party or even just a small girl’s night or night with your friends. The drink takes a minute to make, so it’s rarely the type of drink you’d make just for yourself — although you definitely could, and it would probably taste great — so it’s best enjoyed with a group of people.
You can even reminisce about your old high school days with a larger portion in an old-school punch bowl. My friends and I like to make a pitcher of it since our parties tend to be on the smaller side. It depends on the type of gatherings you like to have with your friends, but it’s always a lot of fun to pull out at a party.
It just brightens the mood, especially with the bright color.
I also recommend the Tokyo tea drink for people who are a little bit pickier when it comes to their alcoholic drinks. I admit to being one of those people; I have never been one to like any drink with a particularly strong alcoholic taste. And I never particularly liked the Long Island Iced tea. The mixture of liquors was just too strong for my taste.
But I’ve always loved pretty much any drink with Midori in it, and even though I was nervous to try it, I have to say this tropical-themed twist on the Long Island actually won me over. It adds just enough sweetness to the alcohol, especially when garnished to my personal tastes — you’ll get to have fun figuring yours out for yourself — that it balances out the more bitter flavors.
This is a drink that’s a bit stronger than most sweet drinks, so it might be perfect for someone who doesn’t normally like the taste of alcohol but still wants something with a bit more of a kick to it. I also always recommend it to my friends who like to get the same drinks over and over again. For those of you who enjoy Long Island iced Teas but want to mix up your palate a bit, this is a great twist on an old favorite.
It has the same basic ingredients, but it’s just different enough to add a bit of extra flair to something that you’ve had countless times. It adds a bit of variety, and, as we’ve all heard before, variety is the spice of life. That’s definitely true for this cocktail, which is why I always recommend it to those stubborn friends, too.
They know what they want, and they’d never try something so green. But this green iced tea drink almost always wins them over. As it’s so similar to the traditional tea liquor drink, it becomes just different enough to win over those stubborn people who don’t like a change in their drinks.
In being exactly the same only different, it allows people who normally don’t want to try something new to add something a little bit more fun to their palate. It tricks stubborn people into drinking colors, which is my favorite phrase to use when describing the benefits of the drink.
Finding new drinks to try is always tricky. You know what you like, especially when it comes to alcohol, and even more especially when you’re picky about it, as I am. You don’t necessarily want to change what you like or venture into something new. I know a lot of people who have been initially put off by the sheer green of the drink. But the Tokyo tea is a drink that doesn’t need to be too complicated.
It’s very easy to make, it’s fun in the summer time, and it looks and feels like something straight out of the cutesy culture of Japan and plays on the idea of the Japanese green tea. It’s a simple twist on an old classic that is great for social drinking, parties, or even when you just want something different. It’s sweet, colorful, and perfect for picky drinkers. The Tokyo tea is honestly one of my favorite drinks, because it’s versatile, tastes great, and is just fun.