As we mourn the golf great Arnold Palmer, we acknowledge another contribution he made to our culture: the tasty and refreshing iced tea and lemonade beverage that carries his name.
Over his long career, Palmer won seven majors, 62 PGA Tour events, the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open. However, it was his working-class background — Palmer’s dad was a greenskeeper and golf pro — as well as his humble spirit that helped the now-iconic sports figure grow famous. So the nonalcoholic concoction that Palmer stirred up fit with his plainspoken persona.
But how did Palmer come up with the eponymous refreshment? In a 2013 episode of ESPN’s 30 for 30, the sports hero explained how it just poured out of him one afternoon in his Pennsylvania kitchen. As he recalled, he asked his wife to make a big pitcher of iced tea and put a little lemonade in it.
“We mixed it up and I got the solution about where I wanted it and I put the lemonade in it, and I had it for lunch,” Palmer said.
From then on, the golfer took a thermos of the drink with him when he teed up on the links.
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Tanya Ballard Brown