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History with Chado Tea: Origins of the "Arnold Palmer"

History with Chado Tea: Origins of the

Growing up playing the game of golf or even being an avid fan of the game, one would know the name Arnold Palmer.  Famous for his historic golf career but even more legendary for the tea based drink that contains his name.  As a kid who played golf in Southern California, an iced cold “Arnold Palmer” was a real treat during the hot summer months.  Heck, even as an adult I can’t say no to one after being out on the links!  Today we’re doing a little deep dive into how this legendary man of the game of golf came to have an iced tea drink named after him.


This story has quite a simple beginning, everyday Mr. Palmer would come home from the golf course for his lunch break.  His wife Winnie would make pitchers of iced tea to serve with lunch and one day Arnie was struck with a genius idea.  He suggested to Winnie to make a large pitcher of iced tea as usual but to leave room to top it with lemonade.  He had a glass of this concoction with his lunch that day, loving it so much that he took a thermos of it with him back to the golf course and everyday after that. 


While Arnie had been drinking this combination for quite a while, it wasn’t known to the general public till about the mid 1960s.  The story goes that Mr. Palmer was at a golf course in sunny Palm Springs, California and ordered the combination of iced tea with lemonade.  A woman seated nearby overheard him and told the waitress that she would have the same, “that Palmer drink” she said.  After this, supposedly the rest is history!


Below is the ratio for the “perfect” Arnold Palmer:

  • An Arnold Palmer contains 50% lemonade and 50% black tea, served in a tall Collins style glass full of ice. If you’d like you can garnish it with a slice of lemon.

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