Arnold Palmer, the great American golf pro is most likely not the first person to mix lemonade and iced tea, but he did bring it to the public’s attention in the 1960’s, asking for an iced tea mixed with lemonade so often that people just started calling it that. If Shirley Temple can do it, why not?
We all know it’s important to stay hydrated, especially in the summer. Cold water is the best way to do it, but it’s nice to have a treat every now and then too. Coconut water is a great choice, and for us Northerners, maple water is cool too. But for once let’s consider a lightly sweetened iced tea and a tart and refreshing lemonade.
A really good Arnold Palmer is only as good as its two main ingredients, the tea and the lemonade. You could use green tea, or rooibos, or any of your favourite non-caffeinated infusions, but the classic Arnold is made with good old orange pekoe. Either make the lemonade yourself or pick up your favourite ready made brand.
Make sure both the lemonade and iced tea are good and cold before pouring them in chilled glasses filled with ice, otherwise they will get diluted rather quickly. Sweetness is a matter of taste, so if you’re making them from scratch why not let each individual sweeten their drink to their liking? This is best done with a simple syrup made from sugar and water. To make it, mix 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool, store in the fridge in a mason jar.
Here are two simple recipes for iced tea and lemonade.
Classic Iced Tea
8 bags orange pekoe tea
8 cups water
Place the tea bags in a large pitcher. Slice the lemon into several thin slices and add to pitcher. Boil the water and pour over the tea and lemon. Let it steep for at least 10 minutes, strain, discard the lemon and teabags and refrigerate the tea until use.
1 quart fresh lemon juice (about 24 juiced lemons)
1-2 cups simple sugar syrup
1-2 cups ice water
mix the lemon juice, a cup of simple syrup and a cup of ice water. Taste. Add more water or syrup as desired to taste.
To make your Arnold Palmer, fill a tall chilled glass with ice and pour in lemonade to the halfway point. You could drop in a lemon slice or two, then top it up with iced tea, pouring slowly so you get a nice two layer effect. Garnish with a lemon slice and a sprig of mint. Take a drink then hit the links! Or not. Just enjoy peacefully in the sunshine.
If you decide to make this a grown up drink, a shot of bourbon is your best bet, perfect for the nineteenth hole.