What’s better than an Arnold Palmer iced tea? A lemonade iced tea with a boba twist! Make an Arnold Palmer iced tea bubble tea with a hole-in-one recipe made with homemade lemonade!
Here’s a fun fact: I used to live on an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course. Our backyard offered an intimate, birdseye view of the 11th tee box, where I could easily lose track of the day watching the players’ graceful swings. I would study the golfers’ approach to the tee area, appreciate their sharp outfits, and watch them joke around when the snack cart rolled up.
Since I wasn’t a golfer (oh, the irony to live on a course and not play!), I was more keenly interested in their drink order than anything else. And I always wondered, did they serve Arnold Palmers on the beverage cart? It seemed like the perfect, refreshing beverage to serve on a hot day on the links!
In a funnier twist of fate, here I am, many years and several homes later, in another part of California, still not golfing but certainly drinking more Arnold Palmers. I still adore summer classics like an iced tea lemonade. However, I do prefer my summer drinks with a boba twist. Who can resist iced bubble tea?
Arnold Palmer (Iced Tea Lemonade Recipe)
So, what is an Arnold Palmer drink? The Arnold Palmer is a refreshing drink, a simple blend of equal parts cool ice tea and sweet, tart lemonade. It’s the perfect drink for a hot summer day, whether or not you’re on the golf course. It is well-loved as a mocktail, but you can, if you wish, give it a boozy hit (vodka and bourbon are popular choices). Let me show you how to make my favorite lemonade iced tea with this simple recipe.
Lemonade Iced Tea
Since an Arnold Palmer iced tea is, at its simplest, an iced black tea lemonade, I like to make it all from scratch, with simple ingredients, for the best flavor. Here’s how:
Hot Brew Method
Let’s start with the hot brew method. Brew regular black tea in hot water – my preference for a flavorful iced tea is a classic Earl Grey, English Breakfast, or Darjeeling tea. I love steeping loose tea leaves in boiling water and allowing the hot tea to cool to room temperature (as much as possible – it’s hard when I’m impatient!) while I make the rest of the drink. You can also make the tea in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
If you prefer bagged tea, steep 6 tea bags in 3 cups of boiling water (208°F) for 4 minutes. Discard the tea bags and allow the tea to cool to room temperature.
Cold Brew Method
Alternatively, I have also found that the cold brew method works nicely! Drop tea bags or loose tea in 3 cups of water and let it steep for 4 to 5 hours in the refrigerator. Don’t forget to discard the tea after about 5 hours, otherwise, your tea will be too bitter.
I find that store-bought lemonade is way too watered down for my liking, so I prefer to make my homemade lemonade recipe sweetened with simple syrup. Combine fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and cold water in a large pitcher for the perfect sweet and tangy drink! Take into consideration your personal preference and the tartness of the lemons when making lemonade, but remember, once you add ice to the drink, it will get watered down even more, so err on the side of tart and flavorful!
While the components of the drink chill in the refrigerator, make your boba. You can find tapioca pearls (boba) at your local Asian market (like 99 Ranch) or on Amazon. The brand I use cooks in just 5 minutes. Be sure to follow the instructions on your packaging since each brand is different.
You can combine the brewed tea and lemonade in a large pitcher to serve a crowd or make each drink individually by adding the tea and lemonade in equal proportions in a glass. Serve the tea mixture over boba, ice, and garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint!
And that’s it! I hope you enjoy this lemonade iced tea recipe! Cheers!
More drink recipes
More tea recipes
Arnold Palmer Iced Tea With Boba (Bubble Tea)
For the tea
- 8 grams loose black tea such as Early Grey, English Breakfast, or Darjeeling (2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoons). See notes below if using bagged tea.
- 3 cups boiling water ideally, 208°F
For the lemonade
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice from about 5 lemons
- 3/4 cup water or up to 1 cup, to taste
For the boba
- 2 cups large tapioca pearls (boba)
- 3 tablespoons agave syrup or maple syrup
- lemon slices
- fresh mint leaves
Brew the tea
- Place the loose tea leaves in an infuser and insert into a teapot or heatproof pitcher. Pour the boiling water over the tea and let it steep for 2-3 minutes, to taste.
- Remove the infuser and cool the hot tea to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use. The tea can be made a couple of days in advance.
Make the lemonade
- Make the simple syrup: combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Cool completely. This can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
- Combine the lemon juice and simple syrup in a pitcher. Add 3/4 cup of water, or up to a cup of water to taste, depending on the tartness of your lemons. Remember, you will be adding ice to the drink, so it is best not to dilute the lemonade at this point.
Make the boba
- Bring a saucepan with water to a rolling boil. Drop in the boba pearls and cook according to your package directions. If you use the quick cook variety, it should take about 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and stir in the agave or maple syrup to sweeten the tapioca pearls.
Assemble the Arnold Palmer
- Combine the tea and lemonade in a large pitcher.
- Assemble the drink by spooning the boba into a tall glass. Add some ice, pour in the lemonade iced tea (Arnold Palmer), and garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint.