A boozy version of the classic refreshment, this spiked Arnold Palmer cocktail features sweet tea, tart lemonade, and smooth whiskey or bourbon.
Arnold Palmer Cocktail
If you go to a restaurant and order an “Arnold Palmer,” you’ll likely end up with a non-alcoholic drink. The original Arnold Palmer drink is a blend of half lemonade and half iced tea. This is said to have been the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer’s favorite refreshment to order while on the green.
However, it’s easy to turn this tasty tea drink into a boozy beverage that’s just as refreshing and has a little kick! This Arnold Palmer with alcohol is the perfect drink to beat the summer heat, whether you’re on the golf course or in your own backyard!
How Did the Arnold Palmer Drink Get Its Name?
Arnold Palmer is one of the most successful and beloved golfers from the United States. During the mid-century when he was at the height of popularity, Mr. Palmer took to ordering his own special drink: half lemonade and half tea. He became known for this drink, so that when others would order it, they just called it the “Arnold Palmer.” And the name stuck!
Related: For another iced tea-inspired cocktail, try our Long Island Iced Tea recipe! But beware…it’s strong!
- 4 Ounces Sweet Tea or Unsweetened Tea
- 4 Ounces Lemonade
- 2 Ounces Whiskey or Bourbon
This recipe contains alcohol and is intended for readers 21+
Helpful Bartending Tools
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- Cocktail Jigger (for measuring liquor amounts)
- Boston Cocktail Shaker Set (contains shakers, jigger, strainer)
- Bar Spoon (traditional tool for stirring cocktails)
- Fill a large glass with ice.
- Pour lemonade to just under halfway full.
- Add an equal amount of iced tea.
- Finish with a shot of whiskey and give a quick stir before serving.
- Garnish your drink with a lemon wedge.
- Want a sweet drink? Use sweet tea! If you prefer something more tart, use unsweetened black tea.
- Instead of layering in a glass, you can also prepare this drink in a cocktail shaker to thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients.
- Don’t care for bourbon? Use vodka instead! This variation of the drink is named a John Daly, after the wild-card golfer who was known to enjoy a good drink.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Better to Use Bottled or Brewed Tea?
If you want to save time, it’s perfectly fine to use pre-made iced tea or your favorite brand of bottled tea.
However, you’re also welcome to brew your own ice tea too! You can even try different types of teas or different flavors. Both sweet and unsweetened tea are fine too, it’s up to your preference and how sweet you want the overall drink to taste.
Can You Make a Pitcher of Arnold Palmers?
Absolutely! This is a great recipe to make ahead of time or make in a big batch because there are no fizzy ingredients, such as soda.
If mixing a day in advance, don’t add the ice to the pitcher so the drink doesn’t get watered down. Keep refrigerated and pour over ice when serving.
Grab a Free Printable Copy of Our Spiked Arnold Palmer Recipe:
Spiked Arnold Palmer Cocktail
- Cocktail Shaker
- 4 Ounces Iced Tea
- 4 Ounces Lemonade
- 2 Ounces Whiskey
- Fill a large cocktail glass with ice.
- Add lemonade, so the glass is just under halfway full.
- Pour in an equal amount of iced tea.
- Add a shot of bourbon and stir.
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