Three Dots and a Dash

Martin Cate

Smuggler's Cove, San Francisco

"Created during World War II by Donn Beach, the name is Morse code for 'Victory.' The garnish cleverly represents the Morse code. The three cherries are the 'dots, and the 'dash' was, traditionally, at Don the Beachcomber’s, a rectangular chunk of pineapple. At Smuggler’s Cove we choose to use a pineapple frond as our dash."

Reprinted with permission from Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki by Martin Cate with Rebecca Cate, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


Smuggler’s Cove Honey Syrup (makes 3 cups):

  • 1 1/2 cups honey 
  • 1 1/2 cups water 

Three Dots and a Dash:

  • 1 1/2 ounces rhum agricole vieux (Duquesne Élevé Sous Bois or J.M Gold)
  • 1/2 ounce blended aged rum (Appleton Estate Reserve or Real McCoy 5 Year) 
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice 
  • 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice 
  • 1/2 ounce Smuggler's Cove Honey Syrup
  • 1/4 ounce John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum 
  • 1/4 ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram 
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters 


  • 3 maraschino cherries and a pineapple chunk speared on a cocktail pick, or three maraschino cherries on a cocktail pick plus a pineapple frond 


Make the honey syrup: heat the honey in a saucepan over medium heat until runny and not viscous—nearly to a boil but not quite. Add the water to the hot honey and whisk together. Immediately remove from the heat. Let cool. Store in a lidded bottle or other sealable container in the refrigerator. The syrup will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks. 

Make the cocktail: add all the ingredients to a drink mixer tin. Fill with 12 ounces of crushed ice, flash blend, and pour contents into a footed pilsner glass. Top with the cherry and pineapple garnish. 


1 cocktail