Arnold Palmer was famous for two things: being an American professional golfer, and having a drink named after him. An Arnold Palmer is a mixture of iced tea and lemonade. There are a lot of ways to combine the two, but Palmer has stated that it “isn’t really right” if it isn’t about 2/3 tea and 1/3 lemonade. But that doesn’t really account for anything else that you might want to add in. And, as delicious and refreshing as the original is, people have been spiking Arnold Palmers for decades. The result is something that’s a little sweet, a little tart, and a lot of awesome. Here are some of the best Arnold Palmer drinks.
Arnie’s Gimlet Slush
This is an interesting take on the original. Rather than lemons, it uses limes. And, it’s in the form of a slushy. It would be great on a hot day, and is sure to please any slushy fan.
- 6 oz. Vodka
- 5 oz. Simple syrup
- 4 oz. Chilled brewed black tea
- 3 oz. Fresh lime juice
- Mint sprigs for garnish
- Pour the vodka, simple syrup, tea and lime juice in a blender and blend
- Freeze for 3-12 hours
- Add 2 cups of ice to the frozen mixture and then blend until it’s thick and has a smooth slushy consistency
- Pour into glasses
Grilled Arnold Palmer Cocktail
This one is a great idea for an outdoor party when you already have the grill going. It’s a recipe that’s pretty easy to create, but good enough to impress the most finicky of guests. It’s got a really neat 2-layered look that is eye-catching, and the grilled lemons lend a smokey flavor to the drink that pairs really well with the bourbon in it.
- 6 large lemons, halved horizontally
- 4 black tea bags
- 1 1/4 cups honey
- 2-4 oz. Of your favorite bourbon
- Prepare either a grill or a large grill pan for high heat
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add in the tea bags. Let steep for 5 minutes. Discard the bags. Pour the tea into a large liquid measuring cup. Let cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, and then refrigerate while you’re grilling the lemons.
- Slice one of the lemon halves into 4 thin rounds. Then, place the remaining halves on the grill, flesh side down. Cook for around 5 minutes until the flesh is deeply charred. (Don’t forget to rotate them occasionally so that they char evenly.) Place them on a plate and let them cool for at least 10 minutes. You’re going to be juicing them, so you want them just cool enough that you can handle them.
- Place the lemon slices on the grill and cook for around 3 minutes, charring both sides. Then reserve them for garnish.
- Squeeze the lemon halves into a bowl or liquid measuring cup. Whisk in honey and 1 cup of water.
- Fill 4 tall glasses with ice. Equally divide the lemonade mixture between them. Stir in 1/2- 1 oz of bourbon to each glass. Then slowly pour tea over the mixture in each glass.
Ketel One Tee Time
This is probably the easiest drink to create on this list so far. It’s equal parts vodka, lemonade and tea. It’s refreshing, sweet and tart, without any sort of burn from the vodka, making it a great Summer drink.
- 5 oz. Ketel One vodka
- 5 oz. Freshly brewed iced tea
- 5 oz. Fresh lemonade
- Add ingredients to a Collins glass filled with ice
- Garnish with lemon wedge
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur, which is a nice alternative to vodka or bourbon in an Arnold Palmer. It enhances the citrusy, tart flavor of the drink without making it overpowering. Basically, Limoncello takes a spiked Palmer to the next level.
- 1 1/2 oz. Limoncello liqueur
- 1 oz. Simple syrup
- 1 oz. Lemon juice
- 3 oz. Freshly brewed English breakfast tea, cold
- 1 lemon wheel (garnish)
- Ice cubes
- Fill serving glass to the brim with ice
- Pour the first 3 ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake until cold
- Strain into serving glass
- Pour tea into serving glass
- Garnish with lemon wedge
This drink is a delightful combination of floral, citrus and sweet flavors and a unique twist on the original Arnold Palmer. The tea contains elderflower, and this recipe calls for a lavender simple syrup and lavender sprig garnish. But, the floral taste is balanced out by lemonade and tequila. It would make an excellent addition to a garden party, or make for relaxing solo indulgence.
- 1 cup cold brewed Evening in the Garden tea
- 1 cup lemonade
- 5 oz. Tequila
- 1 oz. Lavender simple syrup
- Add all of the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice and shake until cold
- Strain into a glass filled with ice
- Garnish with sprigs of lavender
Dirty Arnold Palmer Cocktail
This is a tasty drink that’s mostly alcoholic. Probably one of the best things about it is that the recipe makes an entire pitcher and not simply a glass or two, so it can be easily served at a party, or at least cut down on the number of trips to the fridge. Be warned: you can’t really taste the vodka in it, so it’s easy for it to sneak up on you after you’ve had a couple of drinks!
- 1 bottle (fifth) of Sweet Tea vodka, chilled
- 64 oz. Lemonade, chilled
- Ice cubes
- Lemon slices or wedges (garnish)
- Pour the vodka and lemonade into a large pitcher
- Stir until well combined
- Pour into glasses filled with ice
- Garnish with lemon slice or wedge
Arnold Palmer was a legend in his own right, and the drink named after him is, as well. It’s the best of both worlds, eliminating the need to choose between sweet tea or lemonade on a hot day by combining them both. These cocktails embody the spirit of the Arnold Palmer, while adding some unique and boozy twists to it, ensuring that they’ll be a hole-in-one whenever you serve them.