Arnold Palmer Mocktail Drink

Arnold Palmer

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

The Arnold Palmer Drink only contains two simple ingredients and it perfectly straddles the line between a cocktail and refreshment.

Arnold Palmer Drink Recipe

Chill out with this effortless Arnold Palmer recipe! Combining iced tea and lemonade, this thirst-quenching drink is your go-to for beating the heat.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

89 kl

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Iced Tea
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slice or wedge, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Simple Syrup: Pour ½ oz simple syrup.
  • Add Lemon Juice: Pour 1 oz lemon juice.
  • Add Iced Tea: Pour 4 oz Iced Tea into your highball glass.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently.
  • Garnish: Place a lemon slice or wedge into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Iced Tea: Green tea works well if you're out of traditional black iced tea. I've also used herbal teas like chamomile for a different twist.
  • Lemon Juice: Lime juice works as well.
  • Simple Syrup: I have substituted the simple syrup with agave nectar or maple syrup.

Making a Pitcher of Arnold Palmer:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 32 oz of iced tea, 4 oz of simple syrup and 8 oz of lemon juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the iced tea, lemon juice and simple syrup. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, garnish with a lemon slice or wedge, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

Good news! The Arnold Palmer is already a non-alcoholic drink. Just follow the original steps and enjoy.

Making it Vegan:

Most commercial iced teas are already vegan. Ensure you use a vegan-friendly sugar that doesn't use bone char in the refining process.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
89
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
13
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
23
g
8
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
22
g
24
%
Potassium
 
49
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
2
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
11
mg
13
%
Calcium
 
7
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%

 

Arnold Palmer Mocktail Drink

Arnold Palmer Drink Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Chill out with this effortless Arnold Palmer recipe! Combining iced tea and lemonade, this thirst-quenching drink is your go-to for beating the heat.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 89

Ingredients
 

  • 4 oz Iced Tea
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slice or wedge - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Simple Syrup: Pour ½ oz simple syrup.
  • Add Lemon Juice: Pour 1 oz lemon juice.
  • Add Iced Tea: Pour 4 oz Iced Tea into your highball glass.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently.
  • Garnish: Place a lemon slice or wedge into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Iced Tea: Green tea works well if you're out of traditional black iced tea. I've also used herbal teas like chamomile for a different twist.
  • Lemon Juice: Lime juice works as well.
  • Simple Syrup: I have substituted the simple syrup with agave nectar or maple syrup.

Making a Pitcher of Arnold Palmer:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 32 oz of iced tea, 4 oz of simple syrup and 8 oz of lemon juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the iced tea, lemon juice and simple syrup. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, garnish with a lemon slice or wedge, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

Good news! The Arnold Palmer is already a non-alcoholic drink. Just follow the original steps and enjoy.

Making it Vegan:

Most commercial iced teas are already vegan. Ensure you use a vegan-friendly sugar that doesn't use bone char in the refining process.

What is an Arnold Palmer Drink?

Arnold Palmer Drink is a blend of iced tea and lemon juice, named after the legendary golfer who popularized it. While it may not be a cocktail in the traditional sense, it holds its own as a refreshing staple on drink menus everywhere. You don’t need to be a beverage connoisseur to appreciate the straightforward appeal of an Arnold Palmer.

A side shot of a Arnold Palmer mocktail in a highball glass on front, with a bar spoon and two lemon wedges behind and two lemons, a shaker and a jigger on the background.

What is an Arnold Palmer Drink made of – The Ingredients

The Arnold Palmer requires these key components:

  • Iced Tea: Provides the drink’s base, adding depth and a touch of bitterness.
  • Simple Syrup: Add a sweetness note to the mix.
  • Lemon Juice: Balances the iced tea with a citrusy zing.
  • Ice Cubes: Keep the drink chilled for maximum refreshment.
  • Lemon Slice or Wedge (optional): Adds a visual element and a hint of extra citrus flavor when used as a garnish.

Iced tea, simple syrup and lemon juice lai out on a white bar table.

How do you make an Arnold Palmer Drink?

Try our easy steps for making an Arnold Palmer:

1
<p>Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes to ensure your drink stays cold.</p>

Start by filling a highball glass with ice cubes to ensure your drink stays cold.

2
<p>Pour ½ oz of simple syrup over the ice.</p>

Pour ½ oz of simple syrup over the ice.

3
<p>Measure and add 1 oz of lemon juice into the glass.</p>

Measure and add 1 oz of lemon juice into the glass.

4
<p>Pour 4 oz of iced tea over the ice, creating the foundational layer of your beverage.</p>

Pour 4 oz of iced tea over the ice, creating the foundational layer of your beverage.

5
<p>Grab a bar spoon and gently stir the iced tea and lemonade to combine the flavors.</p>

Grab a bar spoon and gently stir the iced tea and lemonade to combine the flavors.

6
<p>If you like, place a lemon slice or wedge into the glass to serve as a garnish.</p>

If you like, place a lemon slice or wedge into the glass to serve as a garnish.

Make your homemade Iced Tea:

  1. Boil water in a kettle
  2. Once the water has boiled, pour it over your tea bags in a heat-proof container. 
  3. Let the tea steep for around 3-5 minutes, depending on the strength you desire.
  4. Remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool to room temperature
  5. Once the tea has cooled, transfer it to a refrigerator, allowing it to chill for at least 1-2 hours.

Arnold Palmer Drink Can – Ready to Go

For a quick and convenient Arnold Palmer, canned options are a lifesaver. Arizona’s Arnold Palmer Half & Half is a staple, offering a reliable mix of iced tea and lemonade. Honest Tea also makes a good one, focusing on organic and fair trade ingredients. However, my top pick has to be Snapple’s “Takes 2 to Mango” tea. It mixes mango tea with lemonade, adding a tropical flair to the traditional recipe without going overboard on sugar.

Variation with Alcohol – the Spiked Arnold Palmer

An Arnold Palmer with alcohol, often called a “John Daly,” is a spiked version of the classic iced tea and lemonade blend. It adds a kick of alcohol to the traditional, non-alcoholic drink, making it a more adult-friendly option. Vodka is a popular choice for the alcohol as it goes well with the iced tea and lemonade.

Best Vodka for an Arnold Palmer Drink

The vodka you choose can make or break your Spiked Arnold Palmer drink. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is a solid pick. It’s gluten-free, distilled from corn, and has a clean, neutral profile that lets the iced tea and lemonade shine. Grey Goose is another option, offering a subtle sweetness that pairs well with the citrus notes in the lemonade. But if you’re looking for a budget-friendly choice that doesn’t skimp on quality, Smirnoff No. 21 is the way to go.

A Arnold Palmer mocktail, shot from above, in a highball glass surrounded by two lemon wedges, two lemons, a bar spoon and a jigger on a blue table

Arnold Palmer Drink Variations

Curious about new takes? We share some of our favorite picks:

  • Green Tea Arnold Palmer: This blend combines green tea with the classic lemonade, offering a more herbal and slightly earthy taste. The green tea provides a refreshing twist, making it lighter and less sweet. I appreciate the subtle, natural flavors of green tea in this mix; it’s invigorating and a great alternative for a less sugary experience.
  • Arnold Palmer Slushie: This is a frozen version, blending the traditional lemonade and iced tea into a slushy consistency. It’s perfect for hot days, offering a fun, icy twist on the original. The slushy texture is something I enjoy; it’s playful and makes for a cooling, delightful sip.
  • John Daly Drink: Essentially an ‘adult’ take, this introduces vodka into the classic mix of lemonade and iced tea. The addition of vodka lends a bit of a kick, making it suitable for evenings or social gatherings.
  • Boozy Arnold Palmer: Similar to the John Daly, this one also introduces alcohol, but often with a twist of added flavors like lemon or mint. The presence of these extra elements brings a new layer of complexity and refreshment.
  • Peach Bourbon Arnold Palmer: This version infuses the timeless blend with peach flavor and bourbon. The peach adds a sweet, fruity touch, while the bourbon brings a warm, oaky depth. The combination of peach and bourbon is what I find most appealing; it’s a harmonious blend of sweetness and richness, creating a sumptuous and satisfying beverage.

History and Origin of the Arnold Palmer Drink

The Arnold Palmer Drink owes its name and popularity to Arnold Palmer, the legendary American golfer. In the 1960s, Arnold Palmer walked into a restaurant and ordered a blend of iced tea and lemonade. A woman sitting nearby overheard him and ordered “that Palmer drink,” and the name stuck. The golfer had a specific way of preparing it: he mixed three parts of iced tea with one part of lemonade. Over time, the drink gained immense popularity on and off the golf course.

The beverage became so popular that it eventually led to commercial production, with Arnold Palmer endorsing a line of ready-to-drink versions. Today, you can find the Arnold Palmer in restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores, solidifying its place as a refreshing staple in American drink culture.

A side shot of a Arnold Palmer mocktail drink in a highball glass surrounded by lemons wedges, lemons, a bar spoon and a jigger on a blue table and a white wall behind.

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FAQ

How many calories are in an Arnold Palmer?
A typical Arnold Palmer contains around 50-100 calories, depending on the sugar content in the lemon juice and tea used.
How strong is the Arnold Palmer in terms of ABV and proof?
The classic Arnold Palmer is a non-alcoholic drink with an ABV and proof of 0.
What alcohol is used in an Arnold Palmer?
The traditional Arnold Palmer doesn't contain alcohol. However, some people add vodka or bourbon to spike it.
In which glass is an Arnold Palmer typically served?
An Arnold Palmer is usually served in a highball glass.
What does an Arnold Palmer taste like?
The Arnold Palmer offers a balanced taste of sweet, tangy lemon juice and slightly bitter iced tea.
What is the typical iced tea to lemonade ratio in an Arnold Palmer?
The classic ratio is 4 oz iced tea, ½ oz simple syrup, 1 oz lemon juice.
How is Arnold Palmer served in terms of ice?
The Arnold Palmer is commonly served over ice cubes in a highball glass.
What is a Dirty Arnold Palmer?
A Dirty Arnold Palmer is a variation of the classic Arnold Palmer drink that includes alcohol, typically vodka or bourbon, to make it a spiked beverage.
Are there other names for an Arnold Palmer?
Yes, a blend of iced tea and lemonade is sometimes simply called Arnold Palmer "Half and Half."

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