Three Dots & A Dash

by Matt Robold on June 12, 2012

Post image for Three Dots & A Dash

I love the smell of Tiki in the morning. Come to think of it, I love the smell of Tiki in the afternoon, evening, and in the middle of the night too. I guess what I’m saying is that I really like Tiki drinks.

Three Dots and a Dash may be a bit of a mouthful for a drink name, but it’s certainly easy on the tongue when you’re sipping it through a straw. A tantalizing combination of Martinician and Demerara rhums, honey mix, and citrus; this cocktail lives up to the meaning of it’s name – VICTORY!

Three Dots & A Dash

1.5 oz Amber Martinician Rhum
.5 oz Demerara Rum
.5 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Orange Juice
.5 oz Honey Mix*
.25 oz Falernum
.25 oz Pimento Dram
6 oz Crushed Ice

Combine everything into a blender and blend at high speed for about 5 seconds. Pour into a Collins glass and garnish with 3 cherries and a pineapple spear.

*Honey Mix

1 part Honey
1 part Water 

The garnish here is pretty much everything – and makes the drink one of the easiest to recognize by any Tikiphile. The three cherries and the pineapple spear represent the three dots and the dash for the Morse Code, and guarantee that the person receiving the drink is more likely to ask, “Is this a 3 Dots?” than “What is this?”

With GI’s coming home from Europe and the Pacific at the end of World War II, Don The Beachcomber created the Three Dots to commemorate the Allied victory. The name of the drink comes from the Morse Code for the letter “V.” This, of course, was often used to symbolize the “V” in “Victory” – which is where the hand sign we make for “peace” today originally came from (holding two fingers up to make a “V” for “Victory” – because “V” for “Peace” doesn’t make any damned sense). As usual, we have Jeff “Beachbum” Berry to thank for unearthing the recipe and publishing it in his book, Sippin’ Safari.

We don’t have blenders at 320 Main, but this is a drink that I make quite frequently. If you find yourself in a similar position, you can modify the drink by building everything including the ice in a shaker and then shaking the drink using my patented method that I like to call “Shaking Like You Hate Your Arms And Everything That They Stand For” – which is essentially a 45-second, very vigorous shake.

Shaking the drink in this manner should mean that almost all of the ice will disappear and the tin should freeze to your hand as a flagpole to a tongue. You can then pour what should be a creamy-textured drink into your glass and top with fresh crushed ice before affixing your garnish.

This approach to making the drink has so far met with great approval from patrons. I even had the esteemed Joby Bednar of SpiritedGeek.com come in and quaff one of these and proclaim that he had never liked the 3 Dots prior to my making it for him, but what he had in his glass was good. When asked what I did differently, I only responded that I made mine, “correctly – which is to say, using the recipe that Don created and the Bum unearthed.”

Question of the Day:

What’s your favorite WWII era Tiki drink?

{ 7 comments }

Jordan June 12, 2012 at 8:00 am

Finding a rhum agricole and a Demerara rum that will play well together is definitely the crux of this drink. Which ones do you usually go for?

Don’s Navy Grog is probably my favorite from that era, but the Test Pilot and Rum Julep aren’t too far behind.

Matt Robold June 12, 2012 at 8:29 am

At 320 I use Clement VSOP for the Agricole and El Dorado 12 for the Demerara. I’ve also had good success with Rhum JM VSOP and St. James Ambre in the Agricole slot.

Colonel Tiki June 12, 2012 at 8:43 am

Ol’ Didda Didaw! The …- may be my favorite Navy Grog variant (Orange/Lime/Honey, rather than gf/Lime/Honey -yes, &c.), which is where I stick it in my mind.

It was the oj in …- that led me to mistakenly adding OJ to my Navy Grogs coming up with Craig’s Mistake as well as stumbling into the master mix of (Orange/Lime/gf/honey) such as in the Dark Magic.

Now I’m thirsty!

Doug Winship June 12, 2012 at 9:34 am

I also have had some fun with this one, though it is amazing how strongly that little bit of pimento dram comes through when you encounter a drinker who doesn’t like it… like my wife.

Sunny&Rummy June 12, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Agree with Doug that a little pimento dram goes a long way for some people. I love the flavor, but even so, I typically knock the amount back to usually 1/2-3/4 what a recipe calls for just because it can so easily dominate the flavor profile of a drink. Before I could get St. Elizabeth and had to use homemade dram I stuck close to what published recipes call for, but the St. Elizabeth seems to cut through other ingredients better because if I follow most recipe guidelines using St. Elizabeth it usually overpowers the more subtle aspects of the cocktail.

I really like just about all of the WWII era Tiki drinks (including the Three Dots, which I have now have blended up two of tonight as a result of this post!), but if I had to pick a favorite it would without doubt be a classic Vic-style Mai Tai.

Rowen June 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Ooh—love that one. Citrus, spice and everything nice.

Peter Holland June 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Dood – the honey mix has a little * against it… Anything I should know about “YOUR” honey mix?

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