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DIY Cool Soft Drink

Updated on October 24, 2020
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Lee has a degree in philosophy, but when cooking, Lee is more like an experimental scientist than an abstract thinker. Loves new ideas.

The Arnold Palmer - No, Not Him . . Something to Drink!

It is not clear how this delicious beverage got named after the famous golfer of the 50s and 60s, but the name is memorable. It used to be that if you ordered an Arnold Palmer you were met with a stare. Not today.

Here's the basic idea. Actually, two ideas and a conclusion -- just like the drink itself.

Idea # 1: plain iced tea needs help, but cutting a piece of lemon and squeezing it into the tea, then adding sugar, while it produces a delicious drink, is time consuming.

Isn't there something simpler?

Idea #2: lemonade is hard to beat, but drinking a lot of it is pretty -- lemony.

Couldn't we tone it down a bit and still retain a lot of that delicious lemon flavor?

Conclusion: How about half iced tea and half lemonade? Now that's an Arnold Palmer.

Let's start with the tea

The tea in this picture is implicity itself -- and that is a main ingredient here in the making of this soft drink, simplicity.

Just fill a pitcher with water and drop in some tea bags. Black tea, usually. Five bags should be enough. Put the pitcher in the fridge. In a few hours (at most), you have iced tea. (There's a thing called "sun tea" --where you put this out in the sun. Nice. But the fridge is faster, if you include the time needed to cool the sun tea. And the tea produced is actually less cloudy than the tea produced via the sun.)

You can use used tea bags for this. One of us here has many cups of hot tea each day. The other of us takes these bags which would otherwise be discarded and plops them in the pitcher filled with water -- to make iced tea. If the tea bags have already been used, it takes more than five here to make the pitcher of tea we need.

Now the lemonade

Obviously you can use lemonade from the refrigerated cartons of lemonade found in the coolers in supermarkets -- like Newman's* Own. You could even squeeze your own lemons, add your own sugar, stir your own stirs, though that gets us away from simplicity a bit.

The lemonade shown here is perfectly sufficient, pretty good in fact -- in an Arnold Palmer!

Anyway, start by filling half the glass with iced tea.

* If you want to see a good Paul Newman movie, try "The MacIntosh Man," a 1973 British cold war spy thriller film also starring James Mason and directed by John Huston, written by Walter Hill and William Fairchild, from the novel by Desmond Bagley. It may be his best film.

Complete the deal

Fill the rest of the glass with lemonade -- and there you have it: The Arnold Palmer.

It goes with everything: sandwiches, Chinese food, Greek food, sea food . . . (You get the idea).

The rest of life should be so simple.

Keep that pitcher of tea in your refrigerator, and keep that plastic bottle of lemonade in your refrigerator -- and pull them out, and mix in your glass, any time you need a soft drink

Get fancy

Add a piece of lemon!

Not required, of course, but it adds something nice on occasion.

What to do while sipping your AP

Download an ebook to your mobile phone or Kindle Fire or Thinkpad on how to improve your golf swing, or your putting. Arnold would like that.

Download an ebook to your mobile phone or Kindle Fire or Thinkpad on the subject of Prometheus (seen here), the Titan who was punished by Zeus for giving fire to mankind, all this way before Jeff Bezos. We would still be living in very cold caves were it not for Prometheus. Let's lift a glass of Arnold Palmer to him!

Download an ebook on lemonade to your mobile phone or Kindle Fire or Thinkpad.

Parting facts

It is a good guess that tea originated in Yunnan province, China, where the province adjoins the country of Myanmar (formerly Burma). The area was probably bigger than Yunnan (which housed the Flying Tigers during the Second World War) itself, incorporating adjacent northern Myanmar and even Sichuan province to the north. Tea appears to have been first used as a medicine (not surprising in a land where everything is looked upon as a potential medicine). And it was probably first used in this way as long ago as 1500 B.C., during the Shang dynasty.

There are as many teas, it would seem, as there are years separating us now from the Shang dynasty. Wars have been fought over tea.

Lemonade is a youngster compared to tea, but them almost everything is. Lemonade apparently originated not in ancient Egypt, but in Egypt of 1000 A.D. Jump to 1676 when a company in Paris sent out vendors with tanks of lemonade on their backs which they sold to customers by the cup. Another 300 or so years and you have the little kids with their lemonade stands for 50 cents a cup.

Combining iced tea and lemonade, 50-50, is also lost in the mists of time, but can safely be presumed to be more recent than the Shang dynasty. It might even postdate the birth of the golfer, Arnold Palmer, who was born in 1929.

Real Meal

Real Meal. Unlike fancy food mags, where images are hyped and food itself is secondary, all pix shown here are from a real meal, prepared and eaten by me and my friends. No throwing anything away till perfection is achieved. This is the real deal --- a Real Meal.


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