February 22, 2013

The Invention of Long Island Iced Tea

This week’s episode of my PBS web series INVENTORS spotlights Bob “Rosebud” Butt, credited with inventing the Long Island Iced Tea while he was a bartender at the Oak Beach Inn on Long Island in the 1970s.


The OBI was quite (in)famous on Long Island, and I remember the original one (not the one in the Hamptons, where this guy apparently worked). I think a scene in the movie Goodfellas referred to one of the OBI locations indirectly.

Even if you never went to the OBI, if you lived on Long Island in the 1970s or 1980s, you would remember the ubiquitous “SAVE THE OBI” bumper stickers on cars.