OAKMONT (KDKA) — The late Arnold Palmer had a style all his own. The golfing legend from Latrobe introduced generations of fans to the game, and later, the homemade drink he loved.
Palmer said he and his wife, Winnie, came up with the concoction at their home.
“I came home one day, and my wife made a lot of iced tea for lunch. And I said, ‘Hey, babe, I’ve got an idea. You make the iced tea, make a big pitcher, and we’ll just put a little lemonade in it. And see how that works,’” Palmer once said.
It worked just fine. That combination became known as ‘The Arnold Palmer.’
At the Chelsea Grille in Oakmont, near a course that Palmer played many times, bartender Samantha Crawford says she serves up a couple dozen Arnold Palmers each week. She says she starts with iced tea.
“Sixty percent into the glass, and then we actually make our lemonade right here. So then we put 40 percent in,” she says.
Just the way Arnie liked it.
“Oh, iced tea has the dominant side,” Palmer said. “That dominates the drink. If it doesn’t, it isn’t really right.”
Though the drink was simple, the name was assembly line magic for the Arizona Beverage Company. But the Chelsea Grille still makes their own. Though now and then, another golfer’s name gets into the mix.
“People will add some vodka to it,” the bartender says smiling, “and they call it a John Daly. Because he likes his alcohol.”
But most customers prefer their Arnold Palmer straight – right down the fairway.
The golfer himself was too modest to ask for it by name.
“I always said, could I have an iced tea, and put about a third of it in lemonade. And they said, ‘Oh, you want an Arnold Palmer.'”