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A toast to Arnold Palmer

Sept. 10 is Arnold Palmer's birthday. Celebrate by mixing up your own "Arnold Palmer" iced tea and lemonade refreshment.

By Kitchen Report / September 10, 2012

An Arnold Palmer is half lemonade and half iced tea, created by the golfing sensation of the 1960s.

Kitchen Report


"I'll have an Arnold Palmer." Do you know what I mean? Lemonade and ice tea, and somehow my current favorite beverage. Named for the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, the drink is said to have been born in the 1960s, according to Parade magazine, when Mr. Palmer asked a waitress at a course in Palm Springs to mix lemonade into his iced tea. Another customer overheard his request, and "a Palmer" was born. It's refreshing powers are said to be the perfect drink to revive onself after 18 holes under the sun.

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Kendra Nordin is a staff editor and writer for the weekly print edition of the Monitor. She also produces Stir It Up!, a recipe blog for

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“You can now find it everywhere!” said Palmer, who turns 83 on Sept. 10.

Today, the Arizona Beverage Company has a corner on the market of the half-iced-tea, half-lemonade refreshment coming in bottles of all sizes, including a 20-ounce version bearing not only the image of Arnold Palmer, but a golf ball-shaped neck. Palmer, who stormed on the golfing scene to battle Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player just as TVs became a fixture in every American living room, is said to be a master of sports marketing.

But really, how hard is it to make your own Arnold Palmer at home? Not hard at all! You can either mix up store-bought lemonade and iced tea, or you can make it from scratch.

Here are some recipes to help you stir up your own Arnold Palmer. But no promises on improving your swing.


Makes about 9 cups, adapted from The Runaway Spoon

6 – 7 large lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
6 – 8 cups water

Scrub the lemons clean, and with a zester, or vegetable peeler, shave off the peel from one lemon. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and 1 cup of the water, add the lemon zest. Bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Halve and juice the lemons, yielding about 1 cup of juice. Pour the juice into a large pitcher. When the syrup has cooled, strain it through a fine sieve into the pitcher, pressing on the solids to extract as much syrup as you can. Stir the juice and syrup together. Add the remaining water, testing around 6 cups for your preferred level of sweetness.

Iced tea
Makes about 8 cups, adapted from Hillbilly Housewife

6 to 8 tea bags of your choice
4 cups of boiling water
4 cups cold water
1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup honey, optional

Add 4 cups of water to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Allow to steep for 10 minutes, but not longer so your tea doesn't turn out bitter. Toss tea bags into the trash.

Add the 4 cups of cold water to a pitcher, then add the hot tea water. If you like sweet tea, stir in sugar or honey until it has dissolved, to your taste. Chill in the 'fridge until ready for serving.

Arnold Palmer Iced Tea

1/2 glass lemonade
1/2 glass iced tea
Sprig of mint, for garish

Serve and enjoy!

Related posts on Kitchen Report: Sparkling Watermelon LemonadeRhubarb Spritzer

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The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.


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