Top 5 Variations on the Arnold Palmer

There's nothing quite as refreshing in summer as a tall, icy Arnold Palmer. So popular is this hybrid beverage (ice tea and lemonade, with some debate as to the exact proportions) that many supermarkets now offer their own premixed varieties. I prefer, however, to mix my own Arnold Palmer at home and while the classic version is still my favorite, here are five variations that are also satisfying.

5. Peachy Palmer. (Lemonade, Peach Iced Tea). You can brew your own peach iced tea, or if in a time crunch, pick up a bottle of Sweet Leaf. Either way, you'll end up with a sweeter drink that's closer to juice than tea. Perhaps a more appealing and appropriate way to introduce the Palmer family of beverages to younger children.

4. The Tom Arnold. (Lemonade, Iced Tea, Vodka). So named, I guess, because we think of Tom Arnold as a brash boozer and Arnold Palmer as a classy teetotaler? I dunno. A shot of hard alcohol definitely transforms this lunchtime libation into a potential party drink. Plain vodka is a-okay, but a citrus-flavored spirit will smooth out the harsh edge of the alcohol.

3. Pink Palmer. (Pink Lemonade, Red Iced Tea). Tastes about the same but certainly looks cuter. Perfect for a Valentine's Day brunch in warmer climates or summertime baby showers. Add a shot of grenadine if you really want a bright rosy hue.

2. The Sweaty Palmer. (Lemonade, Iced Tea, Tequila). Credit for this clever recipe goes to Toddparty.com. Todd recommends salting the rim of your glass; I would also add a splash of lime juice for some tart zing.

1. Picante Palmer. (Ginger Lemonade, Ultra Spice Chai Iced Tea). My own variation, though I'm sure if I spent enough time on the Internet, I would find someone with the exact same idea. Just hoping it's not copyrighted and they have retained energetic counsel. Ginger provides some pepper flair to the Palmer while the strong cardamon and cinnamon notes of the tea make you nostalgic for autumn, even as you sip in sunny June.

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