Three Dots and a Dash Cocktail Recipe

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Three Dots and a Dash Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Three Dots and a Dash is a classic tiki cocktail created by the legendary Don the Beachcomber in the 1940s. The name of the drink is Morse code for the letter 'V', which stands for 'Victory' and was a popular slogan during World War II. This exotic cocktail is perfect for those who love tropical flavors and a bit of history.

  • Don the Beachcomber is considered the founding father of tiki culture and tiki bars
  • The cocktail was created as a tribute to the Allied Forces during World War II
  • It remains a popular choice at tiki bars around the world

How Three Dots and a Dash Tastes?

The Three Dots and a Dash cocktail is a delightful combination of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. It has a rich and complex taste, with notes of citrus, honey, and spices. The rum adds a warming, smooth finish to the drink.

Interesting facts about Three Dots and a Dash

  • The name 'Three Dots and a Dash' comes from the Morse code for the letter 'V', which was used as a symbol of victory during World War II
  • The garnish for this cocktail, a combination of three cherries and a pineapple spear, represents the three dots and a dash in Morse code
  • Don the Beachcomber, the creator of this cocktail, was also responsible for inventing other famous tiki drinks like the Zombie and the Mai Tai


  • Aged martinique rum: 1.5 oz(45ml)
  • Aged demerara rum: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Lime juice: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Orange juice: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Honey syrup: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Falernum: 0.25 oz(8ml)
  • Allspice dram: 1 dash
  • Crushed ice: 1 cup
  • Garnish: 3 Maraschino Cherries
  • Garnish: 1 Pineapple Spear

Aged Martinique Rum

Aged Martinique Rum adds a grassy and a slightly funky complexity due to its agricole nature. 1.5 oz gives the cocktail a strong rum foundation, but not too overpowering. If you skimp, you'll lose that rum character; overdo it and you might as well be on a pirate ship!

Alex Green

Aged Demerara Rum

0.5 oz of Aged Demerara Rum brings in a dark, caramel-like sweetness, balancing out the tartness of the citrus. Less could make the drink too sharp, more and you'll feel like you're drinking syrup. It's like a supporting actor that steals the show when overused.

Emma Rose

Lime Juice

The 0.5 oz Lime Juice is essential for that tangy kick, which brightens the drink. Less lime juice, your cocktail might taste flat; too much, and you're in sour city!

Mary Mitkina

Orange Juice

Another 0.5 oz here, Orange Juice lends a gentler citrus note and a touch of sweetness. It's like the lime's more laid-back cousin who makes sure things don't get too rowdy.

Alex Green

Honey Syrup

0.5 oz Honey Syrup cozies up with the rums to smooth out the drink's edges with its velvety sweetness. If you're stingy with it, the drink might sting back with tartness; drown the drink in honey, and it's no longer a cocktail but a bear's brunch.

Emma Rose


This sweet syrup with hints of almond, ginger, and lime (usually) dances in at 0.25 oz. It's the secret handshake of the tiki world – too subtle and the magic is lost; too much and it's like chewing on a spice rack.

Mary Mitkina

Allspice Dram

Just a dash brings an exotic whisper of warm spice to the party. Omit it and you'll miss that 'What's that?' moment; overdo it, and it's Christmas in July.

Alex Green

Crushed Ice

1 cup keeps the drink frosty and dilutes it to perfection as it's sipped. Too little ice? Hope you like your cocktails lukewarm. Too much and you're on a one-way trip to brain freeze central.

Emma Rose


3 Maraschino Cherries and 1 Pineapple Spear aren't just eye candy; they suggest the drink's sweet-tart profile. Skipping garnishes is like forgetting to put the star on the Christmas tree.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Three Dots and a Dash Drink

  1. Combine all ingredients (except garnishes) in a cocktail shaker
  2. Add crushed ice and shake well
  3. Strain the mixture into a tall tiki glass or Collins glass filled with fresh crushed ice
  4. Garnish with three maraschino cherries and a pineapple spear, representing the three dots and a dash in Morse code

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh juices for the best flavor. The difference between fresh and bottled can be significant.
  • Shake well to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail into it. This will keep your drink cooler for longer.

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled Shrimp: The citrus and sweetness from the cocktail complements the smokiness of the shrimp.
  • Crab Cakes: The fruit flavors in the cocktail enhance the richness of the crab.

Spicy Dishes

  • Jerk Chicken: The complexity of the drink matches the depth of spices in the chicken.


  • Polynesian-inspired Appetizers: Such as chicken skewers with pineapple. The drink's tropical vibe is a great match.


  • Tropical Fruit Sorbet: To echo the fruity notes of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Three Dots and a Dash

  • Martinique Rum: Can be replaced with any other aged rum if not available.
  • Demerara Rum: A dark rum can be used as a substitute.
  • Allspice Dram: If not available, a pinch of ground allspice can be used.

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And of course - twists🍹

Coconut Three Dots and a Dash

  • Substitute Honey Syrup with Coconut Cream
  • Add 1 oz of Coconut Water

Give the cocktail a creamy and tropical coconut twist that'll make you feel like you've been whisked away to a secluded beach.

Spicy Three Dots and a Dash

  • Infuse the Aged Martinique Rum with Habanero Peppers
  • Add a small slice of Jalapeno to the shaker

Turn up the heat with a spicy kick that contrasts the cocktail's inherent sweetness and brings some daring excitement to the mix.

Smoky Three Dots and a Dash

  • Use a Mezcal in place of Aged Demerara Rum
  • Add a pinch of smoked salt to the shaker

Introduce a smoky dimension to the cocktail, tailored for those who love the mystique and depth that comes from a hint of smoke.

In case you forgot basics how to make Three Dots and a Dash

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Three Dots and a Dash

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Three Dots and a Dash cocktail?

Yes, you can create a mocktail version of Three Dots and a Dash by substituting the rums with non-alcoholic alternatives and the honey syrup with simple syrup.

Where can I find Falernum and Allspice Dram?

Both Falernum and Allspice Dram are available in liquor stores or online. They are also commonly found in stores that specialize in fine wine and spirits.

Can I make my own honey syrup?

Yes, you can make your own honey syrup by mixing equal parts of honey and warm water until they are well combined.

What kind of rum is Demerara rum?

Demerara rum is a type of rum made from sugar cane juice that's grown in the Demerara region of Guyana. It's known for its rich, dark flavor.

What type of food pairs well with the Three Dots and a Dash cocktail?

Given its tropical and sweet flavors, it pairs well with spicy dishes, grilled meats or fish, or tropical fruit desserts.

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