How to put a new twist on an Arnold Palmer, according to a golf-club chef

arnold palmer

The Arnold Palmer — a timeless golf refreshment. But how can you spruce it up?

Shaun Lewis

There was only one Arnold Palmer.

But there are many variations on his namesake drink.

The original recipe is as simple as it gets: a 50-50 medley of iced tea and lemonade.

That’s your base. Feel free to build from there.

Add vodka to the mix, and you’ve got a popular non-virgin version known as the John Daly. Some people call it the Tom Arnold, but either way, it’ll get the party started. Swap the vodka out for tequila, and you’ve turned your cocktail into a Juan Daly.

You get the idea.

At Liberty National Golf Club, in New Jersey, where I serve as assistant general manager and executive chef, I make a drink that I’ve dubbed the Shaunimoto; it features gin and yuzu, an Asian citrus fruit. But you don’t need booze for a refreshing spin on an Arnold Palmer. Some people favor raspberry or strawberry lemonade. Others use jasmine or green tea instead of black tea. Mint and fennel fronds make great herbal additions. Here’s another twist: you can freeze your Arnold Palmer in ice-cube trays, and use those cubes in your cocktail, so it won’t get diluted as the ice melts.

And on, and on.

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My rules for riffing on an Arnold Palmer boil down to this: use the best ingredients you can find; sweeten with simple syrup instead of sugar (it allows you to sweeten with more precision, and you won’t end up with a layer of granulated sugar at the bottom of your glass); and let your imagination run free.

But in case you need guidance or inspiration, I’ve shared three recipes below.

Cheers to cocktail hour! And to the King!

The John Daly

4 ounces fresh-brewed tea

4 ounces fresh lemonade

2 ounces vodka

½-ounce simple syrup, or to taste

The Juan Daly

4 ounces fresh brewed tea

4 ounces fresh lemonade

2 ounces tequila

½-ounce simple syrup, or to taste.

The Shaunimoto

5 ounces Wakoucha tea, a mild, earthy black tea from Japan

2 ounces gin

1 ounce yuzu juice

¾-ounce ginger simple syrup (see recipe below)

Method: In a mixing tin, measure out all ingredients and shake with ice. When I say shake, I mean a hearty one. You want this cocktail to have a lot of life. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with fresh herbs.

How to make Ginger Simple Syrup

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Add a slice of ginger and bring the mixture to a simmer, letting it start to come to a syrupy consistency. Strain and reserve.

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