When you think of Arnold Palmer, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For many, it’s the legacy he has left in the world of golf, but for most others, it doesn’t stop there. In the wake of his passing, Palmer’s legacy is being retold as one that has surpassed itself. His story is one that is great on the golf course all of the way to the kitchen- Arnold Palmer: Golf Legend; Arnold Palmer: The Drink.
How does one become so famous, he has a drink named after him? Fascinating story to by him to ESPN’s 30 for 30 short story. “My wife made a lot of iced tea for lunch and one day I had an idea. I asked her to make a big pitcher of tea, but this time let’s add a splash of lemonade to it. So, she made a large pitcher of tea but left enough room for me to add in some lemonade and it was so great I started taking it to the golf course with me and drinking it all of the time.”. The story continues that while at a restaurant in Palm Springs, he asked his waiter if he could order his drink to his liking, letting him now to fill it up with more tea, and then top it with lemonade. A lady at a nearby table overheard him order the drink and told her waiter “I’ll have what he’s having. Can you make me an Arnold Palmer, as well?” and Voila!
Palmer admitted that it was a bit embarrassing for him to order an “Arnold Palmer” while out, and he spent a lot of time explaining what the drink was instead of calling it by name, however slowly but surely he came around and became okay with it. The rights to the drink and its name was sold to Arizona Beverage Company in 2006 and since then, and by 2010, sales had exceeded over $100 million.
To commensurate his life, not only has Arnold Palmer left behind his legacy in golf, but he has also left us his legacy in his namesake drink, “Ice tea dominates the drink and if it doesn’t, then it’s not really an Arnold Palmer.”.