Supposedly, it's LeBron's favorite drink," says Deadstock Coffee owner Ian Williams while sipping his own bespoke version of the Arnold Palmer drink James allegedly favors. "I haven't heard it from LeBron himself, so I can neither confirm nor deny."
Old Town's Deadstock is, to our knowledge, the only cafe in the world dedicated entirely to sneaker culture. On a hot summer afternoon, you might find yourself seated alongside St. Johns rapper Mic Capes, four tourists from Vancouver, the Air Jordan-wearing crew of guys who hang out at nearby rare sneaker boutique IndexPDX, a senior Portland city employee, and venture capitalist Stephen Green.
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And all of you will be sipping an ice-cold glass of sweet tea, coffee and lemonade that Williams has dubbed the LeBronald Palmer, named after a particularly rare, tropical print version of James' LeBron 9 Nike sneaker.
The LeBronald is an equally singular take on the Arnold Palmer, the iced tea-and-lemonade refresher favored by the legendary golfer. The LeBronald tastes something like a liquid Tootsie Roll, or maybe a craft Brisk ice tea.
"I had this lemonade that I was experimenting with, and I wanted to make an Arnold Palmer my own way," says Williams. "I poured it in the Zero Chill [a coffee-sweet tea blend originally made for Portland streetwear label Trillblazin's 2015 Trail Blazers season opener party]. I sipped the cup and was like, 'Aww, man!' I made more, and took that over to Index, where I had all those guys try it. They told me it was real."
The drink went on sale April 8, and made its way from special menu to center stage. "It's been really popular," says Williams. "The special menu comes and goes, but at least five Palmers get ordered a day. And I've probably done 20 today."
By the time I got done sipping my own LeBronald out of a vintage Kevin Duckworth glass, 11 LeBronalds had been ordered. In a row.