This Bourbon-Mint Strong Palmer Cocktail Recipe packs a lighter punch

Southern Kitchen

About the recipe

A staple of Southern patios and backyards throughout the South, the Arnold Palmer is named for the legendary golfer. We’ve turned the drink on its head (and made it adults-only) by adding mint and bourbon to the mix.

We like the drink on the low ABV-side, so like to use only one ounce of bourbon per drink; add up to two ounces if you’d like. Or feel free to make larger batches of the tea and lemonade and serve the drinks at a party. You can have your guests build their Arnold Palmers just as they’d like.

Serves: 1

Hands on Time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour



1 cup sugar

1 3/4 cups water

1 small bunch fresh mint

4 large, juicy lemons

Black Tea

1 family-sized black iced tea bag, such as Luzianne

4 cups water


Ice cubes

2 sprigs fresh mint

1/2 ounce Mint Simple Syrup, plus more to taste (from Lemonade, above)

3/4 cup Black Tea (above)

1/2 cup Lemonade (above)

1 to 2 ounces bourbon


To make the lemonade: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with one cup of the water. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the mint. Let cool to room temperature. Once cool, strain out the mint.

Meanwhile, halve the lemons and squeeze the juice out into a medium pitcher; you should have about 1 cup of juice. Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup water. Stir 3 tablespoons of the mint syrup into the lemonade. Add more, to taste, if desired. Reserve the remaining syrup for the cocktail.

To make the black tea: Place the tea bag in a medium teapot or heatproof pitcher. Bring 2 cups of the water to a boil; pour the boiling water over the tea. Let steep for 5 minutes, then remove the tea bag. Stir in the remaining two cups water and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

To make the cocktail: Fill a Collins glass or other tall glass with ice cubes.

In a mixing glass, combine one sprig of mint with the mint syrup. Use a muddler to gently bruise the mint to release its flavor. Add the tea, lemonade, bourbon and a handful of ice. Stir to combine. Taste and add additional mint syrup, if desired. Double-strain through a fine mesh strainer into the prepared Collins glass. Garnish with the sprig of mint and drink immediately.