Arnold Palmer Drink

Arnold Palmer mixed drink

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 drink
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
28 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 28
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 6mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 63mg 1%
*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 ultimate summertime beverage, the Arnold Palmer is a refreshing mixed drink made with iced tea and lemonade. Created by and later named after the golf legend, this simple mix was one of Arnold Palmer's favorite drinks. It has been a popular bar and restaurant drink since the 1960s and is incredibly easy to make at home.

The Arnold Palmer is often mistakenly thought of as an equal mix of tea and lemonade, but that's not how Palmer made it. Called a "half and half" or Arnie Palmer, 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.

There are many ways to enhance and tailor the Arnold Palmer to your taste, too. Use fresh-made ingredients, add extra flavor, or spike it with liquor; it's a fun drink to play with and share with family and friends.


Click Play to See This Classic Arnold Palmer Come Together

“The ratio of iced tea to lemonade in this Arnold Palmer is perfect. It’s punchy from the lemon, yet sweet and smooth at the same time. I like to keep a batch of unsweetened black tea and a batch of lemonade on hand for whenever the craving for this Arnold Palmer strikes.” —Kayla Hoang

Arnold Palmer drink in a glass garnished with lemon slices
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1/4 cup lemonade

  • 1/2 cup iced tea

  • Lemon slice, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make an Arnold Palmer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Pour the lemonade and iced tea into a tall glass filled with ice.

    A glass with ice, lemonade, and iced tea

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Stir well.

    A swizzle stick stirring a glass of Arnold Palmer mixed drink

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Garnish with a slice of lemon. Serve and enjoy.

    An Arnold Palmer mixed drink garnished with a slice of lemon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck


  • 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 the top choice for the Arnold Palmer as well. 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 package. 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. 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 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 have premade lemonade, sweeten the Arnold Palmer directly with a flavored syrup. Just a small amount (1 tablespoon) should do, and you can always adjust it to taste.

Did the Golfer Create the Arnold Palmer?

According to the golfer himself, 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 after a woman overheard Palmer order the drink at a golf club and asked for "an Arnold Palmer" for herself.

What's the Best Liquor for a Spiked Arnold Palmer?

Traditionally, an Arnold Palmer is alcohol-free, but that doesn't mean you can't add liquor. Vodka is the popular choice for a spiked Arnold Palmer (also called a John Daly cocktail). If you'd like to stick with the golfer's favorite brand, pour a shot of Ketel One. Spiced rum is a popular option, and you might also try a robust bourbon or aged rum. ​