Monday, June 15, 2015

[Gluten-Free] The PERFECT Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer. Try saying that five times fast. Arnold Palmer, Arnold Palmer, Arnold Pamler, Anrold Pameler, Ranold Pamler... It's hard! I'm sure the real Arnold Palmer could do it. Can you imagine having a drink named after you? Talk about rockstar. Apparently Mr. Palmer had been drinking his combination of iced tea and lemonade for years before he famously ordered it at a bar after a golf tournament. That one drink order changed the course of our country's {drink} history...forever.

Everyone in my family is a fan of the Arnold Palmer. And why wouldn't they be? Sweet tea mixed with the right touch of lemonade tartness. It seems like a match made in heaven. But can I tell you a secret? I am new to the Arnold Palmer bandwagon. The drink I mean. There's no debate that the man has mad golf skills. But I've never been a fan of lemon in my tea. While everyone was ordering Arnold Palmers, I would sip on half sweet, half unsweet tea. That's what I considered a refreshing summer drink. I didn't need lemonade to make my drink a party. But I must admit. I was always curious. Why did everyone like it and not me? I like lemons. I like tea. Why couldn't my tastebuds figure this out? Come on tastebuds.

I decided to give up on the matter. Forsaking the thought that I could ever love the Arnold Palmer as much as everyone else. That is, until a couple weeks ago when my A/C in my truck decided to give out. Extreme sweating ensued. Then, one day while I was making the 45-minute, A/C-less trek to my parents house, I just couldn't make it. I had to stop and get a cold drink. I made a mad dash for a Chick-fil-a where I knew I could get a cold iced tea. But I found myself craving something different. Something...tart. I surprised myself when I blurted out "An Arnold Palmer, please." It was delicious. I couldn't believe it! I was normal! Okay, well kind of. But then I thought, why did I like this one? What was it about this time, that made a difference. It was all about the ratio.

You see, the girl behind the counter poured more iced tea than lemonade. To some Arnold Palmer purists this might have been an utter disaster. But to me, it was a breakthrough. So of course, I tried it out at home. I made it for the whole family last weekend. And guess what? It was more popular than the big pitcher of margaritas sitting right next to it on the drink table. If that's not a good recipe test, I don't know what is. So here it is, my PERFECT Arnold Palmer. Thank you girl behind the counter, wherever you are. 

[Gluten-Free] The PERFECT Arnold Palmer
There’s nothing quite like a homemade Arnold Palmer in the summer. And this is exactly how I like to make the classic iced tea and lemonade combo. Perfectly sweet, slightly tart, but just a little more tea than lemonade. Serve this to your summertime guests and watch it disappear!

Makes 6 cups

7 ¼ cups water, separated
1 ¼ cups sugar
4 black tea or English breakfast tea bags
1 ¼ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a small saucepan, heat together the sugar and 1 ¼ cups water over medium-high heat. Stir often until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the sugar syrup from heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring 4 cups of water to a boil, turn off the heat, and add the tea bags. Let the tea bags steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and set tea aside to cool.

In a large pitcher, mix together the cooled sugar syrup, the cooled tea, the lemon juice, and the remaining 2 cups of water. Pour over ice when serving. Enjoy!

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