The Best Arnold Palmer (Half and Half Iced Tea + Lemonade) Recipe

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Maceration allows lemon rinds to express their natural oil, creating a more aromatic and flavorful drink.
  • This no-cook technique dissolves sugar without any need for firing up the stove.
  • Weight measurements ensure the perfect ratio of sugar to citrus, despite natural variations in fruit size.
  • From the bowl and strainer to the pitcher, nonreactive equipment prevents the flavor of the lemons from turning harsh.
  • Rather than diluting the lemonade with water, this Arnold Palmer gets intense flavor from mellow cold-brewed tea.

This Arnold Palmer has a bold, rich tea flavor (without any bitterness) and a deeply lemony, tangy lemonade profile that's much more multifaceted than your standard-issue refresher.

Recipe Facts

Active: 35 mins
Total: 4 hrs
Serves: 6 servings

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  • 3 pounds (1.3kg) lemons (10 to 14 medium lemons)
  • 14 ounces sugar (2 cups; 400g)
  • 4 cups cold-brewed black tea


  1. Bring lemons to room temperature, then roll firmly against the counter to soften their rinds. Halve and juice; pour juice into a sealable container and refrigerate. Cut rinds into 1-inch chunks. Toss with sugar in a large nonreactive mixing bowl, cover tightly with plastic, and let stand at room temperature, stirring once every 45 minutes or so, until sugar has completely dissolved, about 3 hours. (You can let the mixture stand up to 12 hours, if desired.)

  2. Add 8 ounces (1 cup) of reserved lemon juice to rind mixture. Stir well, then strain through a nonreactive fine-mesh strainer or piece of cheesecloth into a glass or ceramic container. At this point, the concentrated lemonade can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

  3. When ready to serve, pour concentrated lemonade and cold-brewed tea into a pitcher and stir. Serve in ice-filled glasses. (You will likely have some fresh lemon juice left over, which can be reserved for another use or added to individual glasses to make Arnold Palmer more tart to taste.)

Special equipment

Cheesecloth or nonreactive fine-mesh strainer, 2-quart pitcher

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