An Arnold Palmer drink is a classic, refreshing mocktail sipper perfect for summer’s hot temps. Easy to make and even easier to drink!
The first time I recall having an Arnold Palmer drink was poolside at the deluxe Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs.
On a lazy afternoon break from a Barbecue University intensive course I was attending, a pool attendant was serving Arnold Palmer’s to take an edge off the heat.
I was hooked!
What’s in an Arnold Palmer drink?
As our summer temp’s begin to spike, and making Sun Tea becomes a norm, the Arnold Palmer drink is a perfect thirst quencher.
An Arnold Palmer beverage is made with two summer drink classics: a combination iced tea and lemonade. It’s a slightly sweet lemony tea blend that has a refreshing taste.
How Did the Arnold Palmer Get its Name
It was named after the golfer of the same name who became known to frequently request this drink combination at various golf club houses.
The start of the official drink name was supposedly from a woman ordering the drink at a golf club asking for ‘that Arnold Palmer drink’.
His preference was so well known all the big golf courses knew exactly how to make it! Palmer was said to order a ‘Mr. Palmer’ at golf country clubs when requesting the drink.
It also became a springboard for spin-offs, of course many including booze.
Best Type of Tea to Use
A neutral unsweetened black tea is the classic choice. Orange Pekoe is a great option and goes with any lemonade.
Arnold Palmer Drink Recipe
This mocktail is more about proportions than a traditional recipe.
Arnold Palmer’s original drink was made with:
- 3 parts unsweetened tea
- 1 part lemonade
It’s served in a tall Collins glass full of ice.
Widely available at any restaurant or bar, the ‘Arnie Palmer’ is often made with 50% lemonade and 50% iced tea.
This ‘equal parts’ ingredient ratio sometimes is referred to a ‘Half and Half’.
How to Sweeten an Arnold Palmer
The easiest way to sweeten the drink is with simple syrup. It mixes quickly into the other ingredients since it’s a liquid.
Making simple syrup at home is easy!
- Can be made with prepared, store-bought ingredients.
- Homemade Sun Tea can be used too.
- Use either traditional black tea bags or a tea flavor of your choosing.
- Homemade lemonade can be used if desired.
Multiple variations of the Arnold Palmer have spun off including different flavored teas, frozen versions and even a slushie version.
What Type of Alcohol Goes Well with an Arnold Palmer
An Arnold Palmer spiked has alcohol added making it into a cocktail.
There are multiple ways to spike it:
- A Captain Palmer uses rum versus the common spiking with gin or vodka.
- The most well known cocktail spin is named after a rival golfer John Daly which included vodka.
- Other spin-offs include a Juan Daly with tequila and Southern version uses sweet tea and bourbon.
Arnold Palmer drink
For a Glass
- 7.5 ounces unsweetened iced tea homemade or purchased, chilled
- 2.5 ounces lemonade homemade or purchased, chilled
- simple syrup optional to sweeten if desired
For a Pitcher
- 3 cups unsweetened iced tea homemade or purchased, chilled
- 1 cup lemonade homemade or purchased, chilled
- simple syrup optional to sweeten if desired
For a glass
- Combine chilled unsweetened iced tea with lemonade. Pour over ice in a tall Collins glass.
For a pitcher (makes 1 quart)
- Combine the chilled unsweetened tea and lemonade in a pitcher filled with ice. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.
Definitely so delicious and tasty. Perfect to beat the heat this summer season. Thanks for sharing this with us!
I am in the UK and an American suggested this drink to me during Dry January 2021….never heard of the golfer or drink.
I do drink iced tea, but adding lemonade takes it to a new level. I use black tea, slice of lemon and 3 : 1 ratio with lemonade. No added sweeteners. I make the tea, chill and add the lemonade when I am ready to drink.
Toni Dash says
Well as they say Julie ‘now you know’ probably more than you ever dreamed you would about Arnold Palmer and his iconic drink! Glad to spread the drink across the pond! Happy New Year.
Ruth I says
Oh gosh. I feel like I’m missing a lot, haven’t tasted any of these! I will be trying this, I am sure the taste is yummy!
Pamela Frost says
I can’t believe i just came across this. I just heard about this drink a week ago when I was at a lunch meeting and several attendees ordered them. When they came out they looked so cool and amazingly delicious on such a hot summer day! I want to make my own from organic lemons and some good quality tea!