Have you ever noticed that as soon as summer hits, most things in life become less complicated? Life in the summer simply slows down a bit. Meals during the summer equate to anything quick on the BBQ, grilled veggies and a salad. Summer simplicity even takes over my wardrobe. I just reach for that light and flowing summer dress, slip on my jazzy sandals and I’m out the door, ready for the day.
Even when our family schedule boasts errands and to-do lists, there’s always an undercurrent of an upcoming vacation to calm me, or the promise of summer evenings that go on forever that beckon me back into that slower summertime pace.
For those uncomplicated summer get-togethers and impromptu afternoons on the front porch watching the sunset, I’ve got a drink for you that partners well with the effortless mood of the season. Enter the Arnold Palmer, a classic cocktail made by combining equal parts of tea and lemonade with ice.
While I think we can safely say that the combination of lemon and tea have been enjoyed for centuries, it was golfing great Arnold Palmer who made the mixture famous during the 1960s and we’ve been enjoying his namesake ever since. When you think about it, there’s nothing better to quench your thirst and cool you down more than either ice tea or lemonade so combining the two is sheer genius!
Even though it’s tough to enhance a true classic like iced tea or the Arnold Palmer, I’m going to add a little booze to the mix for a truly delicious — and simple — summer cocktail that you can have at the ready to enjoy on one of those awesome summer evenings.
Wind down your summer days with a cold drink in your hand. Make a pitcher of Gidget’s tipsy Arnold Palmer, or try these recipes for $1 cocktails!
Easy Breezy Alcoholic Arnold Palmer Recipe
Get started by making your Arnold Palmer base of tea and lemonade. Once you’ve got these key ingredients made and chilling in the fridge, simply grab a glass, add a little booze and you’re ready any time for celebrating or just satisfying that summertime thirst. Besides, I think spiked tea is the best tea of all!
Tools: Saucepan for boiling, measuring cups, pitcher for chilling and muddler
Glass: Mason jar in any size
Extras: Oranges, lemons (you can make wheels, wedges, or spirals) and mint for garnish
Servings: 1 pitcher
- 6 cups water
- 8 bags of black tea
- 1/2 cup sweetening agent (honey, demerara sugar, crystals, or granulated sugar)
- Check out our classic lemonade recipe here!
For each cocktail
- 1.5 ounces Wild Turkey American Honey Bourbon
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Remove from heat, add tea bags and let steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and add sweetening agent of your choice, stirring until dissolved.
- Taste for your desired level of sweetness, adding sweetener until you’re happy with the flavor and set aside.
Alcoholic Arnold Palmer
- In a pitcher, combine equal parts of sweetened tea and lemonade and let chill for at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight. Stir again before serving.
- Garnish pitcher with citrus slices.
- Place a few slices of lemon and orange in bottom of each cocktail glass and muddle gently to release flavors of citrus.
- Add bourbon and fill glass to top with ice.
- Fill glass with Arnold Palmer tea/lemonade mixture and give it a good stir.
- Garnish with mint and additional citrus.
Bonus! The Vodka Hack
If you aren’t willing to dive into the sweet deliciousness that is Wild Turkey American Honey Bourbon (even though I really think you should try this!), you can always keep your tipsy Arnold Palmer more on the lemony side of things by using only lemons and Citrus Vodka instead of the oranges and bourbon.
This version keeps the flavor very refreshing and you’ll be amazed at how you can’t even tell you’re drinking spiked tea!
Bonus! The Life is Busy Hack
While making fresh lemonade and black iced tea will make this cocktail epic, sometimes we need to embrace the simplicity of summer and cut some corners to keep life easy.
I found Arizona Sweet Tea in jugs at the dollar store nearby and when added to some store-bought lemonade, it did the trick in a pinch.
If you’re giving this easy hack for our alcoholic Arnold Palmer recipe a try, don’t forget to check for Arizona Tea coupons before you shop.
The mixture will certainly be sweeter than making your own tea and lemonade, but you can balance that out with fresh lemons and oranges muddled into the drink or added to your chilled pitcher.