This Arnold Palmer Bourbon Cocktail spikes the classic drink to create the most refreshing summer sipper. Not too sweet and not too boozy, this is a cocktail you can sit back and relax with. 

short rocks glass filled with an amber-hued cocktail and lemon wheel

Why I Love This Arnold Palmer Bourbon Cocktail

It’s no secret I’m a big cocktail person (I do a Cocktail Friday every week). And bourbon is one of my favorite spirits to play around with. I love a classic Bourbon Smash that’s slightly sweet and a bit tart. And one of my all-time favorites, the New York Sour, is an absolute show-stopper. 

I find this particular bourbon cocktail to be the perfect drink for summer. It’s mildly sweet, not too boozy, and wonderfully refreshing. 

a bottle of bourbon and iced tea set on a counter with honey and lemons set around it

Ingredient Notes

Honey

I prefer to naturally sweeten my cocktails. Honey, maple syrup and agave syrup are my go-to sweeteners for drinks because they easily dissolve into liquids. When making cocktails with honey, be sure you stir the honey into the liquid until it dissolves before adding ice and shaking. If you do not mix the honey in first, it will seize up and not dissolve due to the ice. 

Lemon Juice 

Fresh is best! Fresh lemon juice is an absolute must when making cocktails. Since most cocktails are made with just a handful of ingredients—quality matters. 

Iced Tea

For ease of preparation, we recommend grabbing some prepared iced tea from the grocery store. It’s just easier. Feel free to make your own iced tea or sun tea. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try out a peach tea for a bit of Southern flare. We recommend using unsweetened iced tea since we’re sweetening the drink ourselves. And finally, opt of decaffeinated if you’re sipping on this later in the day. 

Bourbon

Like I always say, the perfect cocktail is one made to your preference. And that means using the liquor you like best. We prefer bourbon in this drink over other types of whiskey for it’s smooth sweetness. Use whatever you like, and since there are a handful of other ingredients in this drink, use something middle of the road—nothing too expensive. 

Step-By-Step Instructions 

three-image gallery showing honey being added to a glass, honey and lemon juice being mixed in a glass, and a glass filled with an amber-hued drink and ice

Step 1: combine honey and lemon juice

Mix the honey and lemon juice together in a cocktail shaker until the honey is fully dissolved. 

Step 2: add iced tea and bourbon

Add the remaining cocktail ingredients to the shaker then fill with ice. 

Step 3: shake until chilled

Secure the lid of the shaker and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled.

Step 4: strain, garnish and sip

Strain the cocktail into a Collins or rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel and enjoy. 

Variations to Try

  • Use peach iced tea in place of regular iced tea.
  • Skip the honey and lemon juice and use prepared lemonade.
  • Make it sparkling and use sparkling lemonade instead of lemon and honey. 
  • Muddle some mint in the cocktail shaker before adding the other ingredients. Garnish with additional mint. 

Additional Recipes to Try

Thanks so much for reading! If you make this recipe, please take a picture and share it on Instagram and be sure to tag me @ZestfulKitchen and Katie @HealthySeasonal so we can see your creations. And please leave a star rating and review below!

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short rocks glass filled with an amber-hued cocktail and lemon wheel

Arnold Palmer Bourbon Cocktail

  • Author: Lauren Grant-Vose
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: no-cook
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Arnold Palmer Bourbon Cocktail spikes the classic drink to create the most refreshing summer sipper. Not too sweet and not too boozy, this is a cocktail you can sit back and relax with.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 ½ ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces prepared iced tea
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Lemon wheel, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine honey and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Using a bar spoon, stir together until honey dissolves into lemon juice.
  2. Add iced tea and bourbon. Fill shaker with ice, secure lid and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled.
  3. Strain into a rocks or collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Notes

Seek out decaffeinated iced tea if you’ll be sipping on this in the evening.

Since we’re sweetening with honey, opt for unsweetened iced tea.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cocktail
  • Calories: 205
  • Sugar: 18g
  • Sodium: 10mg
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg