Arnold Palmer Drink

Arnold Palmer Drink

 The Spruce

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 drink
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
134 Calories
1g Fat
39g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 134
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 31mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 2g
Calcium 65mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Arnold Palmer is a refreshing nonalcoholic mixed drink that unites two great summer beverages: iced tea and lemonade. Created by and named after the golf legend, this simple mix was one of Arnold Palmer's favorite beverages. It has been a popular drink since the 1960s and is one that you can order at practically any bar or restaurant.

Tea and lemonade are a perfect match, and this drink is easy to make at home, especially if you regularly stock the two ingredients in your refrigerator. There are many ways to improve it, too. From fresh-made ingredients to spiking it with liquor, and even adding extra flavor, the Arnold Palmer is a perfect base that you can tailor to your personal taste.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making an Arnold Palmer (ice tea and lemonade)
     The Spruce
  2. Pour the lemonade and iced tea into a tall glass filled with ice.

    Lemonade being poured into a glass of iced tea
     The Spruce
  3. Stir well.

    Stirring a glass of tea and lemonade
     The Spruce
  4. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

    Arnold Palmer drink with lemon slices
     The Spruce
  5. Serve and enjoy.

    Two Arnold Palmer drinks
     The Spruce

Make It Like Arnold Palmer

The popular story goes that Arnold Palmer created this drink along with his wife, Winnie. The two concocted it one afternoon on the patio, and he instantly fell for its refreshing taste. Quite famously, Palmer was known to carry a thermos on the golf course whenever he teed off.

In the 1960s, the drink became known as the Arnold Palmer, and it has been a favorite mocktail ever since. Many people think that it's an equal mix of tea and lemonade—often called a "half and half"—but that is not how Palmer made it.

The 1:1 mix is good, but if you try it as a three-part drink (as in this recipe), you will be pleasantly surprised. With the 2:1 mix, you get a bold tea flavor with a sweet-tart lemonade background. The difference is considerable, and even if you want to revert to your old half-and-half ways, at least you know how Palmer preferred it. No matter which ratio you choose, the Arnold Palmer deserves only the best ingredients.


  • For the lemonade, it's always best to make your own. Homemade lemonade is easy, and all you need is water, sugar, and a few lemons.
  • Black teas are often preferred for iced tea and are the top choice for the Arnold Palmer as well. But try this drink with oolong iced tea, too. It has a natural sweetness that puts a subtle spin on the drink.
  • For the most flavorful iced tea, use the hot brew method. Each type of tea has preferred brewing times and temperatures, and tea companies often include an optimum brewing time on the packaging. Follow these recommendations with hot water, remove the tea bags, then give it a nice, long chill and you will see a great improvement in the taste of your iced tea.
  • Preserve the recipe's ratio and transform this into a pitcher drink. Simply store it in the refrigerator for a quick afternoon drink or serve it for a casual brunch, backyard barbecue, or any time you're entertaining.

Recipe Variations

Add extra flavor to the Arnold Palmer with a flavored simple syrup. It can take on any flavor, from flowers and herbs to sweet fruits, and you can approach it one of two ways:

  • Replace the plain syrup used to sweeten lemonade with a flavored syrup. For instance, lilac simple syrup makes a fantastic lemonade and equally tasty Arnold Palmer. Strawberry syrup is another favorite and mint, lavender, rose, and any berries are also good options.
  • If you already have your lemonade made, sweeten the Arnold Palmer directly with a flavored syrup. Just a small amount (1/2 ounce) should do, and you can always adjust it to taste.

Traditionally, an Arnold Palmer is alcohol free, but that doesn't mean you can't spike it. If you'd like to stick with the golfer's favorite, add a shot of Ketel One. This premium vodka was well known to be his preferred choice for a variety of cocktails. You might also try a robust bourbon or a sweet aged rum. ​