Classics Exhibition: Three Dots and a Dash


Welcome back to Classics Exhibition, our photo gallery of classic cocktails. This is our third of four drink explorations from San Francisco’s rum haven, Smuggler’s Cove. If you missed it last week, we covered the Mai Tai. Today, a little known tiki drink with a memorable name and garnish, Three Dots and a Dash.

Three Dots and a Dash is such an unusual name for a drink, that it takes the guess work out of where to begin our odyssey – it is Morse Code for Victory. Once again, the drink was invented by Don the Beachcomber. “The Don” created the drink to honor the victorious Allies following World War II, and cleverly utilized the garnish – three cherries and a pineapple spear – as the physical manifestation of the Morse Code letter V – for Victory!

There are two types of rum that make up the Three Dots and a Dash, one of the rums is an aged rum from Guyana (or Trinidad), and the other is Rhum with an h, which is Rhum Agricole. Agricole, an “agricultural” rum is fermented from sugar cane juice, as opposed to sugar cane byproduct like molasses. It is vegetal, often called grassy, and an excellent counterpoint to slightly sweeter rums.

A half ounce of following ingredients are included: orange juice, lime juice, and honey syrup (like simple syrup, rather with honey). Additionally, Falernum, and Allspice Dram are blended with ice. For the record, Falernum is from Barbados, and is basically a syrup flavored with clove, lime, and almond, which adds a milky quality to the texture. In a way, it is like all of the ingredients that have been included in the drink thus far.

If you don’t have a blender, you can shake, shake, shake until you achieve a texture that looks something similar to what you see here.

1 1/2 oz. aged Rhum Agricole
1/2 oz. aged rum from Trinidad or Guyana
1/2 oz. Orange Juice
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. honey syrup (equal portions honey and water)
1/4 oz. Falernum
1/4 oz. St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
6 oz. crushed ice

Flash blend all of the ingredients together and pour into a tall glass
Garnish with three cherries on a pick and a pineapple spear

Photography: Andrew Dinh
Special Thanks: Steven Liles, Bartender