Denver – Arnold Palmer

It was early on a Sunday, well not that early, it was after breakfast when a family of four from Denver sat down. Colorado people are often very distinct, a real straight forward, ‘dont fuck with me’ tone, they order with confidence. But still, they don’t order well. I always feel that when I try to alter their order to serve them they think that they are getting swindled by some scheming Jew.

Maybe thats just in my head.

They were a very good looking family, all with chiseled midwestern good looks. The father was probably in his late fifties, in good shape, with a super weathered, sun blasted face. He was all business. He wanted Roast Beef, and we talked about it. And he understood, and he got the pastrami. His family, if memory serves got a brisket and a cheesesteak, and probably fries.

‘OK, what do you want to drink?’ I ask.

‘I’ll have an Arnold Palmer.’ He says, exuding pure Colorado swagger.

Something inside snaps. Arnold Palmer, “an Arnold Palmer” “I’ll have an Arnold Palmer”.


“We don’t have Arnold Palmers” I say fast and angry.

He looks pissed, I feel as though i just jostled a sleeping rattle snake.

“If you want, you can buy an iced t and a lemonade, and you can make yourself one.”

I say to chill him out. I don’t want an altercation with this cowboy. It never goes well. He laughs and declines. I leave him alone, and we wound up getting along fine, they left happily, and I kept working..


But what is it about that drink that makes me so mad?

Arnold Palmer, I believe was a golfer. Shit, now i have to research Arnold Palmer. Hold on one second…

Yes he was a golfer, he was known as ‘The King’ and was the first superstar TV golfer. Good for him.

Apparently, Arnold Palmer was a regular at a country club where he ordered the drink at the bar. A woman overheared him and ordered ‘that Palmer drink’. The rest is history.

But I don’t know. Maybe it’s these words; ‘Golfer’ or ‘Country club’ that sets me off. Maybe it’s just the gall of sitting in a ridiculously busy restaurant you wave your hand, drop some golfers name, and think that’s gonna make someone start mixing up iced t and lemonade.

I don’t know.

Just to get it out of the way, there is nothing wrong with an Arnold Palmer.  Half iced tea, half lemonade. Nothing wrong with that.

There is definitely something wrong with me.

I have at times been known to mix a little lemonade and iced T, together, who doesn’t?

But never would I call it an Arnold Palmer. Why? The same reason that I say ‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass’ instead of “DUMBO”.
An Arnold Palmer is a beverage consisting of iced tea and lemonade, named after American golfer Arnold Palmer.[1][2][3] According to Palmer, he was in the habit of drinking ice tea with lemonade at home, and in 1960 at the US Open at the Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver, CO, he ordered the drink at the bar. A woman sitting nearby overheard him, and ordered “that Palmer drink”,

hus giving the mix its name.[4] The drink is also referred to as a “Half & Half” in many parts of the United States, especially the South.

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