Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Arnie & me.

This month 50 years ago, Arnold Palmer won the Palm Beach Invitational. Very fitting, as that's where I finally learned the official name of my longtime favorite drink... a half iced-tea half lemonade nectar of the gods that I've known and loved it since I was 13. It was introduced to my impressionable young taste buds as a "half and half" at Calories on Ste-Catherine West, where it was dispensed by a slushee machine of the Couche-Tard variety. It was love at first slurp.

Fast forward a few years. I'm in Florida, ordering my usual half & halfs everywhere we go (wondering why every waiter requires an explanation - um... half lemonade and half iced tea - duh). Then one afternoon in Palm Beach, a very kind waitress by the pool informs me that what I'm actually looking for is referred to as anArnold Palmer (named after the famous golfer whom I imagine famously ordered many iced tea and lemonade combos, eventually popularizing them to the point where the drink was named after him. In fact, according to Wikipedia, after overhearing the golf legend's order at a bar in Palm Springs, the woman seated beside him said "I'll have one of those... Palmer drinks." ).

And there you have it.

"A-a-a-rrrrrnold Palmer" I repeat. OK. That came out like my tongue was asleep. I try again. "Arrrrnold Pal-pal-palmer", "Awnol Polrmer". The waitress walks away after a curious look at me, as I repeatedly try and fail to pronounce the name to myself. Imagine the horror - not being able to pronounce the newly discovered name of my favorite drink!

That was a few years ago, but even today, as soon as we enter a gas sation or a Price Chopper on a US road trip, Eric begins referring to me as Arnie, imitating my speech impediment as I struggle to pronounce Arn-nollld Poll-mer. I am still speech challenged by this. Am I alone? (I'm working on adding a comments feature to this blog so you can join in on important conversations like this one.)

I think Half & Halfs a.k.a. APs are best when home made, or ordered at a restaurant that has iced tea AND lemonade (better than the premixed stuff). But Arizona and Arnold Palmer teamed up a few years ago to create the Arnold Palmer Half & Half, and it's very good. They sell it in oversized cans, golf themed plastic bottles, 2 litre jugs, powder stix, and in pomegranate and green tea flavors. It also comes in a Lite version, about 50 calories in a 240ml serving. Unfortunately, it's not available in Canada. Personally I find it a touch sweet so at home I squeeze in half a lemon, throw in lots of ice and it's perfect. However you drink it, just make sure it's freezing cold. Eric says it makes a good vodka mixer too.

My sis-in-law is now hooked on it too - a couple days ago discovered a jug in the fridge at her house with a post-it note on it (see below). Another addict!

Arnold Palmer: Best golfer ever? Maybe. Best drink ever? Absolutely.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to be conducting a serious google search and ordering this online! wonder how my parents will react to cases of arnold palmer delivered to our house...
    was lovely seeing you yesterday at the bridal boudoir!!!