Whiskey Wednesday: Which whiskey should I put in my Arnold Palmer?

March 4, 2020

There’s never a bad time to enjoy an Arnold Palmer, the delicious beverage named after the legendary golfer. It’s not a hard one to make, but there is an art to it. Especially when making a spiked Arnold Palmer…

How To Make An Arnold Palmer

For an Arnold Palmer, you need two things: lemonade and iced tea. You can use sweetened iced tea if you’d like, but that combined with the lemonade sounds like a sugar bomb. I’d highly recommend sticking with unsweetened tea.

Arnold Palmer himself would stick with a 3:1 tea-to-lemonade ratio. If you want a more lemony and slightly sweeter version, ask for an Arnold Palmer “half and half.” That’s a 1:1 tea-to-lemonade ration.

Once you’ve figured out which ratio you want, the process for actually making one is pretty straightforward.

  1. Ice goes in first. About a handful.
  2. Then lemonade.
  3. Then iced tea.

If you want to make it look pretty and divided, add the ingredients very gently. And don’t stir it. If you don’t care about it looking pretty, throw everything in and stir away.

How To Spike An Arnold Palmer

The easiest way to make anything alcoholic is to simply add vodka. Technically that turns the Arnold Palmer into a John Daly, but let’s be real: It’s still an Arnold Palmer.

But this being a whiskey column, we’re not adding vodka. We’re adding whiskey. You’ll want to add about 2 ounces — the size of a standard shot glass — and the rule of thumb is that you want a whiskey that is either going to compliment or contrast the flavors in the drink.

Here are three options:

Buffalo Trace would probably be my first choice for a spiked Arnold Palmer. It’s a bourbon that’s great value for the price, and isn’t too heavy. It has light notes of mint and vanilla which will add a dimension to the drink without standing out.

Dewers Caribbean Cask is a scotch aged in rum barrels, which gives it a more rich, sweet note that compliments the overall beverage.

If I’m feeling adventurous, I’d go with a smokey scotch, like Ardbeg 10. The sweet flavors in the drink along with the smokey flavors of the whiskey will play off each other and form a really intriguing beverage.

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