The Simple Drink Addition To Add A Fall-Flavored Spin On Your Iced Tea

Step aside, Arnold Palmer (the bevy, not the pro golfer): There's a new iced tea fusion drink in town, and its arrival comes just in time for fall. Your seasonal sips never looked so refreshing.

For many foodies, "fall fever" hits weeks before the temperature starts dropping. That beloved PSL might warm you up on the crisp November days we've been fantasizing about while sweating in front of our air conditioning units all summer, but on a toasty early September afternoon, that steaming pumpkin spice latte might sound a little less appealing. But rest assured — you can still get into the fall spirit with your beverages. Apple cider is here to give your iced tea an autumnal facelift.

Classic Arnold Palmers use a 50/50 ratio of lemonade and iced tea. This could be a good jumping-off point as you craft your cider tea drink, but feel free to play around with the ratio of ingredients to suit your taste. Typically, homemade iced tea is made from some sort of understated, plainer black tea. To turn the fall vibes up to 11, you could also swap your go-to black tea for a seasonal variety like orange spice, harvest pumpkin, hot cinnamon spice, or earthy red rooibos.

This seasonal sipper is a hole-in-one

To transition into crisper days, take a cue from the iconic autumnal hot toddy — garnish your apple cider iced tea with a thin apple slice, orange wedge, or lemon wheel. You could even warm this two-part bevy up on the stove in a saucepan like a reimagined mulled wine. Bonus points if you toss in flavorful seasonal garnishes like a cinnamon stick, star anise, or some juniper berries.

Craving an evening digestif? A shot of baking-spice-forward bourbon would work beautifully here. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, you could depart from the classic fall spirit and use mezcal instead for an unexpected yet complementary smokiness. 

Pro tip: If you're all about creating an aesthetically pleasing iced drink, we feel you, and we have a technique to make it happen. To create a lovely red-brown color-blocked apple cider Arnold Palmer, fill your glass halfway with ice and pour in the iced tea. (Larger ice cubes work better than pebble ice here.) Then, slowly and gently pour in your cider, focusing the stream on hitting the side of just one ice cube. The ice cube will act as a buffer between the two liquids and their unique densities, and the cider will layer on top of the iced tea in a clean line. From there, simply pop in a straw and enjoy.