Darkside Iced Tea Recipe

Darkside Iced Tea Recipe

[Photo: Michael Dietsch]

In his Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book, Frederic Yarm writes of the Darkside Iced Tea, "Chad Arnholt, then of the Woodward and Citizen Public House, made this riff on the Long Island Iced Tea for a Fernet Branca industry event at the Franklin Southie."

This drink is the perfect example of a cocktail that can tame the rough edges of Fernet, allowing its mint and herbal flavors to shine without its bitterness overpowering the drink. The rum adds caramel notes, and working with the citrus from the lemon and the orange liqueur, they together approximate the flavors of Coca-Cola.

In an entry on his blog, Yarn notes that adding a splash of Coke to the top of the drink would add a touch of authenticity and a nice complement to the flavors. I agree.

I chose this drink to highlight because so often these days cocktails seem like Serious Business, and this drink points out that drinking can and should be lighthearted and fun.

Note: To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The recipe calls for Zaya Gran Reserva Rum, but you can substitute any high quality aged rum.

Reprinted with permission from Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book.

  • Yield:makes 1 drink
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Total time:5 minutes


  • 1/2 ounce Rittenhouse rye
  • 1/2 ounce Zaya Gran Reserva Rum (see note)
  • 1/2 ounce Fernet Branca
  • 1/2 ounce Combier Orange Liqueur or Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (see note)
  • Garnish: lemon wedge, straw


  1. 1.

    Add rye, rum, Fernet, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Pour unstrained into a Collins glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge and add a straw.