PBS Inventors — Bob Butt, Inventor of the Long Island Iced Tea

Every bar serves them, but where do Long Island Iced Teas come from?!

PBS recently featured Bob “Rosebud” Butt in their “Inventors” series. Filmmaker and photographer David Friedman speaks with Bob about his boozy concoction, the Long Island Iced Tea. He invented it when he was a bartender at the Oak Beach Inn on Long Island in the 1970s.

…Bob may not be the first bartender to have made a mixed drink resembling iced tea — some stories say that a similar drink was mixed during prohibition — but Bob says he’s pretty sure he’s the first person to come up with this particular recipe. I’ve included Bob in this series because it reminds me that not every invention has to be serious, or for profit, or part of a larger plan.

Written by Rusty Blazenhoff

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