Bay Hill Hummer

Bay Hill Hummer Cocktail
xia yuan / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving

If you want to drink like golf legend Arnold Palmer you can, of course, mix up that refreshing and famous iced tea and lemonade drink that bears his name. If you're in the mood for something a little stronger, turn to the Bay Hill hummer. It was one of the golfer's favorite alcoholic drinks.

Though they may be rare today, there is a whole host of "hummer" recipes. You might say they were among the first boozy milkshakes and it all started in the late 1960s. The recipes include a great variety of flavors, from chocolate to strawberry, and many did not take on the "hummer" name.

The Bay Hill hummer is one of those recipes and it comes from Palmer's own golf course, Bay Hill Club and Lounge in Orlando, Florida. The recipe is a delicious mix of vodka, chocolate, and brandy blended with the best vanilla ice cream you can find. It's a tasty treat, but don't let the sweetness fool you because it's a rather strong drink.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a blender, add all of the ingredients.

  3. Blend until smooth.

  4. Pour into a well-chilled tall glass.

  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • The drink is better if you allow the ice cream to soften before adding it to the blender.

Mix Your Hummer Like Arnold Palmer

The Bay Hill hummer is easy enough, it's even a bit like a blended brandy Alexander. While you have many options, there are two specific brands that Arnold Palmer enjoyed in the drink.

The first is Ketel One Vodka, which is well known to have been Palmer's vodka of choice for many years. It's an exceptionally smooth vodka and it does make some excellent cocktails. However, it is not inexpensive and if you prefer to save some cash for a drink like this, there are some good and reasonably priced vodkas available

The other ingredient is Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream. However, any good ice cream—preferably one made with real vanilla beans—will make a perfectly fine hummer.

How Strong Is a Bay Hill Hummer?

Maybe it's the delicious taste or the possibility that people drink hummers too quickly, but it doesn't have the high alcohol content that its reputation suggests. It is one of the stronger blended cocktails, though. When made with two scoops of ice cream, it weighs in at 16 percent ABV (32 proof), or about half the strength of a martini. Of course, the more ice cream you add, the lighter it will become.

The Story of the Hummer Cocktail

The original hummer cocktail was created in 1967 by Jerome Adams at the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, Michigan. This is why it's also sometimes called the Detroit hummer.

The rum ice cream recipe was the result of the then-new bartender trying to mix up something different for customers. He admits in an interview with the Detroit Metro Times that he never thought it would be an international success. Adams says the drink was named the hummer because one customer commented that it's so strong that two will make you want to hum.

Adams' recipe mixes 1 1/2 ounce each rum and Kahlua with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and "a couple ice cubes." It's a fantastic blended drink and can be adapted in many ways.

Recipe Variations

  • Over the years, the love for the hummer has inspired new recipes, including Palmer's favorite Bay Hill hummer. Other hummers include a banana split with banana and chocolate liqueurs; a candy cane with peppermint schnapps and crème de cacao; and a strawberry shortcake with strawberry liqueur and amaretto.
  • You can also transform some of your favorite sweet cocktails into a hummer by using the main liquors. For instance, a creamsicle is made with triple sec, amaretto, and lemon ice cream with orange sherbert. A grasshopper uses crème de menthe and cacao, while a mocha hummer uses coffee liqueur and crème de cacao. Both of those use vanilla ice cream, as most hummers do.
  • The possibilities for creating hummers are endless. Keep your liquor pour to a total of 2 to 3 ounces and use two to four scoops of ice cream. With four scoops, you can easily get two short or one tall drink.