John Daly Drink Recipe (Spiked Arnold Palmer Cocktail)

I have been drinking this John Daly Drink for as long as I can remember! Growing up, I loved a classic Arnold Palmer drink, which is half lemonade and half iced tea. This John Daly cocktail is an adult (aka alcoholic) version of the Arnold Palmer. My recipe combines homemade lemonade, freshly brewed tea, and smooth vodka for the ultimate summer cocktail. You’ll sip on this drink all summer long—it’s the perfect beverage for the golf course or watching the tour at home!

A refreshing john daly cocktail in a highball glass with lemon and mint with a pitcher of the cocktail behind it.

The John Daly or a Dirty Arnold Palmer, is a refreshing alcoholic version of an Arnold Palmer cocktail. It’s the perfect summer cocktail for when you want something light and refreshing. Combining iced tea and fresh lemonade is one of my favorite drink recipes to enjoy during the summer. We are huge golf fans in our home, and we love paying homage to the great American golfer John Daly (and Arnold Palmer) by sipping on this drink!  This is the perfect beverage for enjoying in your back yard on a hot summer day. The bitter black tea and the sweet lemon juice strike the perfect balance. If you’re a fan of lemony recipes, try my Lemon Ricotta Cake, Limoncello Martini, Limoncello Spritz, or Lemon Blueberry Cake!

An overhead shot of a spiked arnold palmer with a yellow straw, mint, and lemon.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s nostalgic. There are few things more classic than that deliciously refreshing Arnold Palmer taste! It’s a traditional drink everyone knows and loves, spiked with vodka!
  • It’s the perfect midday drink. This spiked Arnold Palmer is light perfect for day drinking.
  • It’s homemade from scratch. My recipe is completely homemade – from the lemonade to the freshly brewed iced tea. It’s a refreshing drink that your guests will love – especially when they know that you made it from scratch!

Ingredients

Ingredients for a homemade john daly drink.

  • Water – Water forms the base of both the iced tea and lemonade, providing hydration and balance.  Use filtered water for the best taste, as it removes impurities that can affect the overall flavor of your John Daly drink!
  • Black Tea Bags –  Black tea adds robust flavor and color to the iced tea base. It complements the tartness of the lemonade and the alcohol. Look for high-quality tea bags or loose-leaf tea. Steep the tea bags for the recommended time to avoid bitterness!
  • Granulated Sugar. –  Sugar sweetens the lemonade and balances the acidity from the lemons.  For a smoother texture, dissolve sugar in warm water before adding it to the lemon juice mixture. You can adjust sweetness to your preference.
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice –  Lemon juice provides the bright, citrusy flavor that defines an Arnold Palmer. Choose ripe, heavy lemons for juicing. Rolling them on a counter before juicing helps release more juice. Strain the juice for a smoother consistency.
  • Vodka – Vodka has a nice clean flavor while still providing an alcoholic kick! Use a quality vodka that is smooth and not overly harsh. Adjust the amount to suit your preference for alcohol content.
  • Lemon Slice / Lemon Wheel –  Lemon slices add some brightness and color to the John Daly cocktail.  Slice thinly and remove the seeds before adding to the drink.
  • Sprigs of Mint – Fresh mint leaves give the drink a subtle minty flavor and a vibrant pop of freshness. Gently slap the mint leaves before garnishing to release their aromatic oils. 

Substitutions

  • Flavored Vodka – This would be perfect with lemon-infused or sweet tea vodka! 
  • Make it Sweeter – If you want a sweeter drink, you could add some simple syrup! You could also make sweet tea instead of plain black tea. 

Step by Step Instructions

Black tea brewing in a stainless steel saucepan.

Step 1: First, we must brew the tea! Boil 2 cups of water, then remove the pot from the heat and add the tea bags. Let the tea steep for 5-7 minutes. Then, remove the tea bags and let the tea cool to room temperature.

Step 2:  In a large pitcher, mix the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

Adding water to fresh lemon juice in a glass pitcher.

Step 3: Add the 1 ½ cups of cold water to the lemon and sugar mixture.

Mixing the homemade lemonade in a pitcher.

Step 4: Stir the lemon juice, sugar, and water well until combined.

Pouring the steeped black tea into the pitcher with homemade lemonade to create a John Daly drink.

Step 5: Add your cooled black tea to the large pitcher with the homemade lemonade. 
Then, add the vodka.  Start with ½ cup and adjust according to your taste.

Pouring a john daly drink over ice.

Step 6: Chill your batch cocktail in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices and fresh mint.

A john daly drink with lemon wheel and mint.

Tips and Notes

  • Balance the Sweetness – Taste your lemonade mixture before combining it with the tea. You can adjust the amount of sugar or lemon juice to fit your own preference!
  • Steeping Tea Bags –  When you steep the black tea bags, follow the recommended time closely to avoid bitterness. If you prefer a stronger tea flavor, steep for a slightly longer duration rather than using more tea bags.
  • Chilling Time – Allow the combined Arnold Palmer mixture to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and ensures a refreshing, cold beverage.

A refreshing john daly drink in a highball glass with lemon and mint and a bowl of lemon wedges.

Serving Suggestions

  • Enjoy at a Barbecue – These drinks pair really well with burgers, hot dogs, and pasta salad! I love serving this drink as a big batch in a drink dispenser with garnishes so my guests can serve themselves while I’m flipping burgers on the grill!
  • Serve with Small Bites – Finger sandwiches, prosciutto-wrapped melon, bruschetta, and other light bites pair well with this boozy summer drink! 

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it! Tag @seasonedandsalted on Instagram and leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review below!

A john daly cocktail in a glass with a lemon wheel, mint, and a straw.

John Daly Drink Recipe (Spiked Arnold Palmer Cocktail)

Allie Hagerty
Quench your thirst this summer with a refreshing John Daly drink. This alcoholic twist on an Arnold Palmer combines homemade lemonade, tea, and vodka.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Time to Chill 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 4 drinks
Calories 145 kcal

Equipment

  • Medium pot
  • Pitcher or jug
  • Stirring spoon
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Knife and Cutting Board
  • Juicer or citrus reamer

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 black tea bags
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice about 2-3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup vodka adjust to taste
  • Lemon slices
  • Fresh mint
  • Ice cubes

Instructions
 

Make the Iced Tea

  • Start by boiling 2 cups of water in a medium pot.
  • Remove the pot from heat and add the tea bags.
  • Let the tea steep for 5-7 minutes to infuse its robust flavor.
  • Once steeped, remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool to room temperature.

Prepare the Lemonade:

  • In a pitcher or jug, combine freshly squeezed lemon juice and granulated sugar.
  • Stir well until the sugar completely dissolves.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of cold water to the pitcher with the lemonade mixture. Stir until well combined.

Combine and Chill:

  • Pour the cooled black tea into the pitcher with the lemonade. Stir gently to blend the flavors.
  • Pour in the vodka, starting with 1/2 cup and adjusting to taste. Stir well to incorporate.
  • Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and chill the spiked Arnold Palmer for at least an hour.
  • When you are ready to serve, fill glasses with ice cubes. Pour the chilled John Daly over the ice. Garnish each glass with lemon slices and a sprig of fresh mint.

Notes

Balance the Sweetness – Taste your lemonade mixture before combining it with the tea. You can adjust the amount of sugar or lemon juice to fit your own preference!
Steeping Tea Bags –  When you steep the black tea bags, follow the recommended time closely to avoid bitterness. If you prefer a stronger tea flavor, steep for a slightly longer duration rather than using more tea bags.
Chilling Time – Allow the combined Arnold Palmer mixture to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and ensures a refreshing, cold beverage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 145kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.003gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 32mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.04mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The best John Daly recipe ever! I love how this is made in one pitcher and everything is from scratch!

  2. 5 stars
    A summer staple, perfect for the porch, golf course, or anywhere else. Very easy to follow recipe and absolutely delicious. This is will be the drink of the summer at my house.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this for my golf-themed bachelorette weekend and it was such a hit! We drank this on repeat and everyone loved it!

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