I fondly remember my first sip of an Arnold Palmer: About 6 or 7 years old, experimenting by throwing a Crystal Light sugary lemonade mix into some of my mom's ice tea. It was delicious. Of course, I didn't know it was called an Arnold Palmer until a few years later. In high school, I worked at a country club and made them all the time, perfecting the ice tea-to-lemonade-to-lemon slice (and, occasionally, mint) ratio perfectly. In college, I learned just how delicious they taste when made with a touch of Firefly.
Anyway, Grantland has a fascinating documentary today about the birth of the greatest non-alcoholic drink of all time. Go watch it yourself:
1. Arnold Palmer's wife made it for lunch at his home in Latrobe, Pennsylvania after he came home from working on the golf course. It was just an experiment at the time, but he ended up taking out a Thermos full of the drink for the afternoon.
2. Prefer more lemonade than ice tea? Bro, you're doing it wrong. According to Palmer himself, ice tea should “have the dominate side” and dominate the flavor of the drink. “If it doesn't, it isn't really right.”
3. The name “Arnold Palmer” caught on when Palmer was building a golf course in Palm Springs on a hot summer day. He asked a club waitress for ice tea with a quarter of the glass lemonade. When the waitress went to another table, a lady ordered the same thing asking for an “Arnold Palmer.” It spread “like wildfire.”
4. Arizona Ice Tea sells about 400 million cans of officially-licensed “Arnold Palmer” a year. Or 600,000 a shift.
5. Arnold Palmer is embarrassed to ask for an Arnold Palmer by name. Instead, he asks for ice tea with about a third in lemonade. The waitstaff response? “Oh, you want an Arnold Palmer?!”
Discuss the Arnold Palmer in the comments. Or we can talk Arnold Palmers on Twitter.