This is it. The one we’ve been waiting for, the victory anthem, 100 days of cocktails. I have been looking forward to this milestone for a while now and we are celebrating with a drink I love and a swanky new vessel ready to make its debut. This is a quintessential tiki drink, lots of ingredients working in conjunction toward a common flavorful goal. The way things ought to be, in the glass and in the world. So, join me now as we stand and make the classic, Three Dots and a Dash.
It is funny, I have been looking forward to this drink and this chance to say something meaningful, but now that we are here, the words escape me. Nothing feels right. Believe it or not, as much as I talk, I am often at a loss for words. It is hard to know the right thing to say or, more often, whether to say it. I know that what I really feel today is gratitude. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to listen to these shouts into the darkness. Contrary to popular belief, I am not content to just hear myself talk. If it weren’t for you folks clicking the occasional like or engaging through the comments I would have given this up long ago. Sure, sometimes, this gets to feeling a bit like “Dear Diary,” but honestly it is written with you in mind, gentle reader. This is my way of finding connection in this distanced world. Hopefully, inspiring other connections, moving the conversation forward, finding ways for us all to share and feel a little more connected during these (I promise to not go on a rant) “trying times.” I never know what I am going to say, but I try to make it worth your time, if you don’t want the snarky commentary on the state of the world today, you at least get a decent drink, usually. I apologize again for ever buying that bottle of Midori. So, let’s make a truly excellent drink and then relax together for a bit.
This drink is a classic in every sense of the word, created during World War II by Don the Beachcomber himself, one of the founding fathers of the Tiki scene. The name comes from the morse code for “V” ••• -, three dots and a dash. It is meant to be flash-blended, which does not mean what I thought, when I began this “learning at home” bartending experience. Flash blending does not require a blender at all, rather you need a milkshake mixer, the retro single head affair with the metal cup and the shaft coming down with the little wavy disc on the bottom. You know the ones, like at that cool vintage soda shoppe you visited down on the coast. That’s what you need to truly flash blend and, as it turns out, a lot of the classic original tiki bars did not have any blenders at all, just walls of these little mixers. That said, you can totally shake this drink to great effect, but if you are going for realism grab the milkshake mixer.
OK, grab your tins, whether mixing or from the mixer, and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of rhum agricole from Martinique, I went with Clement Cask Collection Tres Vieux; 1/2 an ounce of blended aged rum, I opted for El Dorado 5 year; 1/4 ounce of Allspice Dram, I use St. Elizabeth’s; 1/4 ounce of Velvet’s Falernum, 1/2 an ounce of honey simple syrup, 1/2 an ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice, 1/2 an ounce of orange juice and four drops of 18-21 Prohibition Aromatic Bitters. Add 12 ounces of crushed ice and either flash blend, which means turning on the mixer for 10-15 seconds or shake hard to the beat of the 1812 Overture, but only from the beginning of the epic horns till the first cannon fires, it’s easy to over dilute with crushed ice. Open pour into a suitable vessel, the recipe calls for a footed pilsner glass, but I figure that is because they don’t own an awesome Octopus Encircling the Tempest tiki mug, which I do. After I pour the drink, I top with more crushed ice and garnish with three dots and a dash, represented here by luxardo cherries on a pick and a single pineapple frond. Add a reusable straw, toss a Ben Franklin on the bar in honor of 100 drinks and to remind folks to tip their bartenders and you are ready to serve.
This drink is so good, like I said at the top, the true beauty of these complex tiki drinks is how they come together to create flavors greater than the sum of their parts. It truly does remind me of the best in us, what we can accomplish when we hang up the smartass confirmation bias memes that only serve to divide us and work together. I have said it before and I will say it again, there is no them, there is only us. We should act accordingly.
So there is your drink, Three Dots and a Dash, a single “V”. Is that V for victory, V for virulent, V for vehement, V for vindictive, V for vain, V for vacuous, V for vociferous, V for vacillate, V for veto, V for visciously violent virus, V for villainy or is that V for the victims, V for the vulnerable? There certainly are a lot of V’s to choose from aren’t there? You get to choose what kind of V you present to the world. My V is for being violently voluble, verbosely venting through the vernacular, avoiding the vagaries of the vapid while seeking value and variable ways to be versatile and most, importantly veritable. Always vigilant in our quest for validation from our fellow vagabonds, vicariously viewing each others lives through voyeuristic videoconferences, unable to venture forth into the valley of verisimilitude until we have a viable vaccine. Until then, I present you with this valediction, stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.