3 Creative Ideas for Spiking an Arnold Palmer

Suggestions for a more exciting spiked Arnold Palmer
3 Creative Ideas for Spiking an Arnold Palmer

What better drink to celebrate the 2012 Masters Golf Tournament with than the Arnold Palmer — that classic, thirst-quenching combination of equal parts lemonade and iced tea named after the legendary American golf pro? 

Nothing, except maybe, a spiked Arnold Palmer.

Technically, that’s called a John Daly, and simply adds vodka to the equation (or alternatively, consists of a mixture of lemonade and sweet tea vodka). But given the level that cocktails have ascended to in today's bar culture, it seems almost too easy to merely add vodka to your Arnold Palmer and call it a day. To that end, we've come up with some creative ideas for ways to make a more interesting adults-only Arnold Palmer. 


1) Consider switching up the spirit

When you consider the grand spectrum of spirits available behind the bar, it's easy to see that there are plenty of suitable partners, beyond vodka, to pair with tea and lemonade. Things like aromatic gin or a bold bourbon would work especially well. Of course, if you really want to stick to vodka, something like bison grass vodka, with it's lovely, fresh, herbaceous notes, could make an interesting match.


2) Experiment with tea-infused spirits

Bartender Dan Carlson, of New York City restaurant Saul, suggests a more playful approach to the concept: Instead of simply mixing the tea, lemonade, and spirit together, he invisions a spiked Arnold Palmer featuring tea-infused spirits. "I could see maybe three spirits (different varietals for different spirits) with varying (lemon-based) citrus, bitter, and liqueur modifiers for a few cocktails," he says.


3) Punch it up

Another one of Carlson's suggestions? Make a punch, since they, as he explains, "often incorporate tea anyways" (and lemon juice, too, for that matter).