How to Make an Arnold Palmer Drink

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A mix of iced tea and lemonade, an Arnold Palmer is a popular summertime drink. My Arnold Palmer is made from scratch using cold brewed tea.

Arnold Palmer drinks in a cup with ice

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What’s an Arnold Palmer?

  • It’s a drink made of iced tea and lemonade that’s named after the famous golfer, Arnold Palmer.
  • The original drink ordered by Arnold Palmer was three parts unsweetened iced tea to one part lemonade.
  • My recipe is half homemade lemonade and half cold brew iced tea. This drink is also called “fifty-fifty” or “Half and half” when it’s made this way.

RELATED: Matcha Lemonade

What Makes This Recipe So Good

Cold brew iced tea
Cold brewed tea is milder and less astringent with practically no bitterness, giving this Arnold Palmer a more refined taste.

Homemade lemonade
It’s perfectly tart and sweet.

Layered
It’s pretty to look at with the lemonade at the bottom and iced tea on top.

Ingredient Notes

Arnold Palmer drink ingredients
  • Black tea (loose or in tea sachets): Any basic black tea will work great. Use loose tea or tea sachets for a better tasting iced tea.
  • Filtered water: Better water makes for a better iced tea. Always use filtered water if possible.
  • Just one large lemon is needed for each serving.
  • Sugar: Cane sugar works well since it dissolves quickly in hot water.
  • Ice: Keep your drink cooler for longer using ice cubes.

How To Make Arnold Palmers

Layered Arnold Palmer drink with lemonade and iced tea in a cup with ice
  1. Make cold brewed tea
  2. Make lemonade
  3. Assemble drink

1. Make cold brewed tea

Combine black tea and cool or room temperature filtered water in a glass container. Put in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Strain tea.

RELATED: Quick & Easy Lemon Iced Tea

2. Make lemonade

Stir sugar and hot water until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

Squeeze a lemon and strain out the seeds and pulp using a mesh strainer.

Make the lemonade by combining the lemon juice, simple syrup, and cold filtered water. 

I like to store it in these handy tall Weck jars with plastic Weck lids.

3. Assemble drink

Fill 1/3 of a cup with lemonade then add ice.

Tea Sommelier’s Tip: The drink will be layered due to the sweetened lemonade and ice. The sugar is what helps to create the layered effect. The more sugar there is in the lemonade, the more separation you’ll see.

Pour in the cold brewed tea.

Stir before drinking.

RELATED: Best Cold Brew Tea Makers

Serving Suggestions

The iced tea and lemonade can both be made in advance and assembled when ready to drink.

Serve the drink immediately after assembling since the layers will start to blend together as the iced tea makes its way down the cup.

Serve layered in glass cups or small Weck jars.

Expert Tips

  • The lemonade can be made at the same time as the cold brew iced tea and can be stored in the refrigerator until the tea is ready.
  • I used black tea but cold brewed green tea will work just as well with the lemonade.
  • To make this drink the same way Arnold Palmer ordered it, use three parts iced tea and one part lemonade.
  • To create the layered effect, make sure to add the lemonade first.
  • You can use any sweetener like honey or date syrup as long as it becomes fully diluted in water.
  • Just one large lemon is all that it takes for this recipe. If you’re using small lemons, use two.

Questions You May Have

Is there caffeine in this drink?

Yes, there’s iced tea made with black tea so there is caffeine in this drink.

What’s the trick to layering a drink?

Sugar and ice. The bottom layer needs to have more sugar than the top layer. Ice helps to keep the layers separated as you pour.

Can I make this with green tea instead of black tea?

Yes! Try a basic green tea like gunpowder.

Can I make this with tea bags or tea sachets?

Yes, replace the 1 tablespoon of black tea with 2 tea bags or 2 tea sachets.

Can I make the drink layered using store-bought lemonade?

Yup. Put the lemonade in first, ice, then pour iced tea on top.

More Easy Tea Recipes

4.79 from 23 votes

Arnold Palmer Drink (Iced Tea and Lemonade)

By: Jee Choe
Layered Arnold Palmer drink (half lemonade and half iced tea).
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients 

Cold Brew Iced Tea

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon black tea
  • Ice

Lemonade

  • 1 ⅔ cup water
  • cup lemon juice
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar

Instructions 

MAKE COLD BREWED TEA

  • Put tea and water in a pitcher or glass container.
    Make sure you use filtered water for a better tasting iced tea.
  • Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
    You can cold brew for up to 24 hours.

MAKE LEMONADE

  • Combine sugar and hot water.
    Boil water and stir in sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved. It takes just a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Squeeze lemon and strain.
    Squeeze one large lemon to get 1/3 cup lemon juice. Strain out the seeds and pulp.
  • Combine lemon juice, simple syrup, and cold water.

ASSEMBLE DRINK

  • Into each cup, pour in lemonade, add ice, then top with iced tea.
    Start with filling the cup 1/3 full with lemonade. Add ice, filling to 2/3 of the way up. Add the cold brewed tea. Stir before drinking.

Video

Notes

  • The sugar and ice is what makes the layered effect. The bottom layer needs to have more sugar than the top layer. Ice helps to keep the layers separated as you pour.
  • Juice from 1 large lemon should be enough to make 1/3 cup lemon juice.

Nutrition

Calories: 34Carbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 11mgPotassium: 21mgSugar: 8gVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4 Comments

  1. How much water do you use to make the simple syrup? I only see the 1 2/3 cup water that you add cold.

  2. So you mix the pressed lemonade and syrup together and add water How much water do you add to the lemonade?