An Arnold Palmer is a refreshing, summery drink made by mixing equal parts iced tea and lemonade and named for the American professional golfer Arnold Palmer. So far, the earliest evidence we have for the term in print is from 1991.
Give your staff the opportunity to upgrade an iced tea to an Arnold Palmer (half tea, half lemonade) for a quarter or fifty cents more.
1991 Jim Sullivan & Phil Roberts, Service that Sells!, p. 161
The reason it is named for Palmer, however, is, by his own account, because he started mixing the drink for himself sometime in the 1960s and, when he began ordering it in bars and restaurants, the name caught on. Given this and the fact that Palmer first rose to fame in the 1960s and 70s, we think there is a strong possibility that earlier evidence exists for this term, perhaps in an unusual place like a cocktail menu or a restaurant flier.
Can you help us find evidence for an Arnold Palmer from before 1991?
Posted by OED_Editor on 3 August 2016 13.11