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The Arnold Palmer is a classic ice tea-lemonade combination made famous by the eponymous golfer. I like to infuse vodka with the lemon and tea flavors, resulting in a flavorful addition to drinks on a hot day. I infuse the lemons first to fully extract their flavors, then add the tea near the end to minimize the bitter flavors that can be released.
This infusion really goes great in iced tea or lemonade. My friends Sean and Paige Reilly from North Carolina turned me on to sweet tea vodka over ice with a splash of water and this infusion works great as a variation. You can change around the lemon to tea ratio to tweak the flavors in the direction you prefer.
Preheat a water bath to 160°F (71.1°C).
Lightly scrub the outside of the lemons then remove the zest with a vegetable peeler or zester. Make sure little to no pith came off as well, using a paring knife to remove
any. The lemon pieces can be reserved for garnishing the drink.
Combine the vodka and lemon zest in a sous vide bag or Mason jar then seal and place in the water bath. Heat the infusion for 1 to 3 hours. Remove the infusion from the water, unseal it, add the tea leaves to the vodka, reseal, and place back in the water bath for 10 minutes.
Prepare an ice bath with 1/2 ice and 1/2 water. Remove the bag or Mason jar from the water bath and place in the ice bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the vodka and store in a sealed container.