KINGSPORT, Tenn — The "Battle for the Long Island Iced Tea" has been brewing for almost a year, and the battle came to an end tonight with Kingsport winning bragging rights over New York that their version of the drink is the superior one.
For years Kingsport has been known for its Long Island Iced Tea. Visit Kingsport says it all started in the 1920s when Charles Bishop brewed his first batch of the tea while in the Long Island community of Kingsport.
Then, last year, Hudson's on the Mile owner Butch Yamali issued a challenge from Long Island, New York. He proclaimed his tea was the true Long Island Iced Tea, and a competition between teas was created.
The first battle took place on New York soil. Yamali's area tea took home the win. The second battle took place on home turf in Kingsport. In that match, our area was victorious.
The final match between the two kicked off tonight at Bobby McKey's Dueling Piano Bar at National Harbor in Maryland. Visit Kingsport said the match was decided on completely neutral ground, with Kingsport's version winning the final blind taste test in a 3-2 decision.
"This has just been such a tremendous experience for both of us," Jud Teague with Visit Kingsport said. "When we started talking about the Long Island Iced Tea first being created on Long Island in Kingsport, we had no idea it would generate so much attention,"
With the win, Kingsport gets a trophy, bragging rights, and Hudson's is now forced to fly Kingsport's flag to show they are the 'true' home of the best Long Island Iced Tea!
Kingsport version of the classic cocktail is mixed by East Coast Wings, which consists of rum, vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, maple syrup, lime, lemon and cola. 'Old Man' Bishop is said to have concocted the drink in this manner during Prohibition, and his son, Ransom, had perfected it years later.
Hudson's in New York, on the other hand, uses vodka, tequila, rum, gin, triple sec, and cola in its version. They content their drink originated in the 1970s when it was popularized by Robert 'Rosebud' Butt of Long Island, NY.
Last year, Visit Kingsport had proclaimed in a press release that it was reclaiming its place in history as the home of the original Long island Iced Tea. Hudson's disputed that, which ended up in this duel of drinks.