Arnold Palmer Riffs

early girlThe Arnold Palmer, a refreshing marriage of lemonade and iced tea, grew to stardom in the 1960s when a restaurant patron purportedly overheard golf legend Arnold Palmer order the combo and requested a “Palmer” herself, and five decades later, tea shops and cocktail bars continue to put creative spins on the classic combo.

Lapsang Arnold Palmer
In Portland, Oregon’s Tea Chai Té’s Lapsang Arnold Palmer combines two cold-brewed black teas. Add 1 tsp. of Darjeeling and ½ tsp. of Lapsang Souchong to 16 oz. of cold water, stir and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. Strain the tea into a tall ice-filled glass and stir in the juice from half an orange. Add simple syrup to taste and garnish with an orange slice.

Lavender White Tea With Lemonade
Southern Californians make their way to Orange County’s Tranquil Tea Lounge to sip this floral twist on the classic Palmer. Steep 4 tsp. of lavender white tea (SerendipiTea’s White Lavender is a great option) in 8 oz. of 175-degree water for 4 minutes. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add 1 Tbsp. of simple syrup (1:1), 4 oz. of your favorite lemonade and the brewed lavender tea. Shake to chill, then strain into a tall ice-filled glass and garnish with a sprig of lavender and a slice of lemon.

The Early Girl’s Tea Party (pictured)
From Trick Dog in San Francisco, Morgan Schick created a late-summer version of the classic Palmer with a syrup made from Early Girl tomatoes and Ceylon tea. To make the syrup, steep 1 oz. of Ceylon leaves in 4 cups of hot water for 30 minutes, then strain. Add 4 cups of white sugar and stir until dissolved. When cooled, add the syrup to 1 lb. of chopped tomatoes in a blender, working in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. To make the drink, combine 2 oz. of tomato-ceylon syrup with 2 oz. of fresh lemon juice and 4 oz. of water in a highball glass. Add ice and stir. Garnish with fresh herbs. See the full recipe here.


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