Arnold Palmer drinking an Arnold Palmer (USA Today/ESPN)
(USA Today) -- How did a glass of iced tea with a healthy splash of lemonade come to be named after legendary golfer Arnold Palmer?
The drink has as many origin stories as a Marvel comic book hero.
The rumor at Palmer's alma mater was that he developed the beverage at the Wake Forest dining hall. Another said it was created by mistake, like penicillin or Lifesavers. What's the real story?
The man himself sets the record straight in an entertaining new 30 for 30 short, "The Arnold Palmer."
"My wife made a lot of iced tea for lunch, and I said, 'Hey babe, I've got an idea.' You make the iced tea and make a big pitcher, and we'll just put a little lemonade in it and see how that works. We mixed it up, and I got the solution about where I wanted it and I put the lemonade in it. I had it for lunch after working on the golf course. I thought, 'Boy, this is great, babe. I'm going to take it when I play golf. I'm going to take a thermos of iced tea and lemonade.' "
Palmer goes on to tell the story about how he was in a Palm Springs restaurant, ordered the drink to his specifications and was overheard by a woman sitting nearby. "I want an Arnold Palmer," she told the waitress. "I want what he ordered."
With that, a mixed drink was named and a legendary golfer extended his influence beyond the course. Ten years ago, the rights to the drink were sold to AriZona Beverage Co. Sales exceeded $100 million in 2010.
That easy access must come as a relief to Palmer. The 83-year-old told filmmaker Bryan Gordon that ordering his namesake drink used to be embarrassing. He would describe how to make it rather than ordering it by name. At some point, he learned to live with it.
Making it himself looks much easier.
What's the right way to make the beverage?
Like a good golf swing, the Arnold Palmer is all about proper balance.
"Iced tea dominates the drink, and if it doesn't, it's not really right," Palmer says.