Arnold Palmer Iced Tea Lemonade Mocktail

Named after the legendary golfer who invented it, the Arnold Palmer Iced Tea is a refreshing drink. A combination of homemade unsweetened tea and lightly sweetened lemonade, this mocktail sips easy on a hot day. The best part is that when you make the tea and lemonade at home, you can control the sweetness and find your favorite ratio of tea-to-lemonade! This non-alcoholic drink is the perfect way to cool down on a summer’s day.

Two glasses of Arnold Palmer Iced Tea sit on a teal background, ready for drinking

This post originally appeared on Julie’s Eats and Treats, where I am a contributor.

When we honeymooned in Mexico years ago, one of the specialty drinks of the day was called an Arnold Palmiter.

Neither of us had heard of an Arnold Palmiter before, so we did some investigating when we hit the pool after breakfast.

Turns out, the drink was a boozy nod to the golf legend who invented my favorite lemonade-tea drink.

Not surprisingly, the classic summer sipper tasted just as good on the beach as it does at home on a hot summer’s day.

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    The Arnold Palmer gets its name from the legendary American golfer. (Hi. I know nothing about golf, but his name kind of rings a bell because I like this beverage.)

    Its origin story is widely varied — I’ve read that he invented it in the dining hall at his alma mater, Wake Forest, and that he ordered it at a bar after a long day golfing.

    Whenever and wherever it was invented, an Arnold Palmer Drink is the perfect drink to cool down on a hot summer’s day.

    What is a classic Arnold Palmer Iced Tea?

    I’ve read that the golf legend liked his at the ratio of four parts tea to one part lemonade. So basically, the original non-alcoholic drink is unsweetened tea with a splash of lemonade.

    I’ve changed it a bit because I like mine a little sweeter and with more lemonade. That said, you can use whatever ratio you’d like to make your Arnold Palmer. Experiment and tinker until find your happy medium — it’s a tasty endeavor. 🙂

    More refreshing cocktails and mocktails: Cucumber Margarita | Virgin Margarita (Margarita Mocktail) | Grape Shrub | Pimm’s Cup

    A mason jar full of homemade lemonade and a mason jar full of homemade unsweetened tea sit side by site on a marble background

    What you need to make this recipe:

    The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    Here’s what you need to grab at the store:

    • Unsweetened tea — we make our own with hot water and tea bags. I used a raspberry leaf tea because that’s what I had on hand, and that’s why the drink is a pinker color. Black tea works, too. You can purchase the pre-mixed stuff from the store if that’s easier for you.
    • Lemonade — like the tea, we make our own with fresh lemon juice, a simple syrup and water. You can use premade lemonade or the store-bought kind, if that’s easier for you. Personally, I love homemade because the tart lemonade adds a ton of flavor.
    • Crushed or shaved ice — this is an awesome addition to the actual drink itself and adds to the refreshing nature of the drink!

    Variations and substitutions

    Add some fruit as garnish. Fresh sliced strawberries, raspberries and lemon wheels are an excellent and refreshing addition.

    Use a flavored lemonade, like Strawberry Lemonade, to add some different flavors!

    Swap out the tea bags. Black tea bags are classic, but the raspberry leaf tea that I used made for awesome color and flavor. I do not recommend using a green tea or a super herbal tea for this recipe.

    Spike it! A spiked Arnold Palmer is actually called a John Daly. It involves vodka.

    Unsweetened tea is poured into an Arnold Palmer Iced Tea

    How to make an Arnie Palmer

    Make the tea. I like to do this in a medium-to large saucepan. Add the water, and bring it to a boil and remove from the heat. Add the tea bags, and steep for 2-4 hours before refrigerating.

    Make the syrup. Bring the water to a boil in another saucepan. Add the sugar, and stir until it has dissolved. (We’re making a homemade simple syrup!) Let it cool.

    Make the lemonade. Juice the lemons and pour the juice into the syrup in the saucepan to make the lemonade. Refrigerate it to cool it off, too.


    Juicing Lemons at Home

    Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks about juicing lemons. They come in handy when you’re making a pitcher of homemade lemonade.

    • Don’t juice a cold lemon. A cold lemon won’t give as much juice as a room temperature one. If you keep your lemons in the fridge, let it come to room temperature, or pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds to get it to warm up.
    • Roll the lemon on the countertop. This will bring the juices to the surface.
    • Slice the lemon at the equator, not from the stem to the tip.
    • Don’t just squeeze it with your hands… use a lemon reamer or a juicer to get that good juice out of it.
    • Run the juice through a fine mesh strainer if there is pulp and seeds in it before pouring into the glass.

    Make crushed ice. I like to use my blender to do this because I love the powdery consistency. (It’s like that you would use in a classic Mint Julep.) Add it to a tall glass.

    Mix the drink. Pour the lemonade over the ice, then add the tea. Stir with a spoon or a straw, garnish with a lemon slice (if desired) and enjoy immediately.

    Three glasses of Arnold Palmer Iced Tea sit side by side on a teal backdrop

    How to make a pitcher drink:

    Combine 24 oz. of unsweetened tea with 8 oz. lemonade. Stir together in a pitcher.

    Pour over ice in individual glasses to serve!

    How to store leftovers:

    I like to store my homemade tea and lemonade separately in the fridge and mix them when I want a glass of this summer classic. It’s easy to put together!

    If you want to store these in a pitcher together, great! Just don’t add ice to the pitcher or it will become watered down.

    Three glasses of Arnold Palmer Iced Tea Lemonade Mocktail are surrounded by ice and lemon slices before enjoying

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I have to make this from scratch?

    If you’re not feeling it from scratch, you can certainly pick up some store-bought ingredients to mix up your Arnold Palmer! We’ve all been there, and it certainly works in a pinch, though I’m partial to the homemade rendition because I know exactly what’s going into it.

    Pro tip: Make sure to get real lemonade and your favorite unsweetened tea to make it taste as delicious as possible.

    Two glasses of Arnold Palmer Iced Tea are surrounded by ice and lemon slices on a teal background

    More summer drink recipes to try:

    Looking for lemonade recipes? You’ve got to try Blueberry Lemonade and Limoncello Lemonade.

    Want a wine-based sipper? This Blackberry Ginger White Wine Slush is a favorite of mine because it’s ice cold. You can’t go wrong with Honeysuckle Cherry Smash, Peach Raspberry Sangria or Cherry Lemonade Margaritas.

    Looking for another mocktail? Check out Sparkling Cider Blackberry Peach Bellini Mocktail and Sweet Sunrise Mocktail for more delicious flavors.

    Just want to make this one? Scroll on down to learn how easy it is to make at home…

    Three glasses of Arnold Palmer Iced Tea sit side by side on a teal backdrop

    Arnold Palmer Iced Tea

    Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate
    Named after the legendary golfer who invented it, the Arnold Palmer Iced Tea is a refreshing drink. A combination of homemade unsweetened tea and lightly sweetened lemonade, this mocktail sips easy on a hot day. The best part is that when you make the tea and lemonade at home, you can control the sweetness and find your favorite ratio of tea-to-lemonade! Drinking an Arnold Palmer Iced Tea is the perfect way to cool down on a summer’s day.
    5 from 1 vote
    Servings 12 Arnold Palmer Iced Teas
    Calories 22 kcal
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Refrigeration Time 12 hours
    Total Time 12 hours 25 minutes


    Unsweetened Tea

    • 6 cups water boiling
    • 5 tea bags


    • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice freshly squeezed
    • 2 ½ cups water
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar

    Arnold Palmer Iced Tea (Makes 1)

    • 4 oz. unsweetened tea
    • 2 oz. lemonade
    • Crushed or shaved ice

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.


    Make the Tea

    • In a medium-to-large saucepan, measure out the water.
    • Bring water to a boil, and take the saucepan off the heat.
    • Add the tea bags.
    • Steep for 2-4 hours (or until the intensity you like your tea.)
    • Refrigerate overnight in a mason jar or a pitcher.

    Make the Lemonade

    • In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
    • Add the sugar and stir until there are no visible sugar crystals.
    • Remove the saucepan from the heat, and let cool. (This is a rendition of simple syrup that’ll sweeten your lemonade right up!)
    • Using a citrus juicer, juice your lemons.
    • When you have the desired amount of lemon juice, pour it into the saucepan with the simple syrup.
    • Transfer the lemonade to a mason jar, and refrigerate overnight.

    Make an Arnold Palmer

    • Use your blender or refrigerator to make crushed ice. (I like mine almost powdery because it’s soooo refreshing. But you can use regular ice cubes, too.)
    • First, pour in the lemonade.
    • Next, pour in the tea.
    • Stir with a spoon or a straw, garnish with a lemon slice (if desired) and enjoy immediately.


    This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled! If you’re serving it to a crowd, feel free to combine it in a pitcher and call it a day, making sure to continually stir the ingredients so everyone gets the right amount of lemonade and tea.
    If you want to spike this, feel free! The most popular rendition is called a John Daly (also after an American golfer) and uses vodka. But honestly, rum would be delicious here, as would champagne if you want some bubbles!


    Serving: 1gCalories: 22kcalCarbohydrates: 6gSodium: 10mgSugar: 5g
    Keyword arnold palmer, drink, iced tea, iced tea mocktail, lemonade, lemonade mocktail, mocktail, summer drink, tea drink, tea mocktail
    Course Mocktails & Nonalcoholic Drinks
    Cuisine American
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    1. I love how insanely refreshing Arnold Palmers are! It’s super hot here this time of year, so I’ve been all about the arnie palmy lately 😉 Will definitely be making these all summer long! xo

      1. I love how insanely refreshing they are, too, Julia! I love that you’ve been all about these recently, too. I’m with you: I’ll be making them until the end of summer. Thanks for stopping by, lady!

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