Cocktail & Other Recipes Preparation Style On the Rocks

A Lonely Island Lost in the Middle of a Foggy Sea

A Lonely Island Lost in the Middle of a Foggy Sea in a collins glass, with foamy top, garnished with coffee beans and pineapple fronds

Three Dots and a Dash

The best cocktails taste good and look pleasing to the eye, but a well-conceived name can be the difference between a drink that fades into the night and one with centuries of staying power. It’s yet to be determined whether we’ll still be drinking the 11-word A Lonely Island Lost in the Middle of a Foggy Sea decades into the future, but with a memorable name and tasty blend of ingredients, it could happen.

This cocktail comes from Paul McGee of Chicago’s beloved Tiki bar Three Dots and a Dash. It combines three types of rum with pineapple and lime juices, demerara syrup and cold brew coffee. The first rum is an unaged rhum agricole, which is distilled from fresh sugarcane juice, rather than the more common molasses, and sports a grassy, earthy flavor.

Blackstrap rum is next. It’s characterized more by its dark color than by any actual regulations. The category often features young distillates that get their inky hue from caramel coloring, not lengthy barrel aging. But those rums can be intensely flavorful and fun to work with, and blackstrap rums are used in cocktails like the Jungle Bird and Corn ’n’ Oil. Lastly, the recipe calls for Old Port Deluxe rum, which is made in Bangalore, India, using 100% local sugarcane.

The rums are sweetened with demerara syrup, a type of simple syrup made with demerara sugar, which has a coarse grain and light tan color. With notes of molasses, toffee and coffee, it provides a richer, deeper flavor than traditional simple syrup, so it pairs well with dark spirits and is a staple in many Tiki-style cocktails.

Pineapple lends sweet, tropical notes, while fresh lime juice provides citrusy balance. Finally, the cocktail is topped with a small pour of cold brew coffee before it’s garnished with coffee beans and pineapple leaves.

A Lonely Island Lost in the Middle of a Foggy Sea may sound somber, but with a trio of rums, bright fruits and coffee, it’s a fun, complex drink to be enjoyed whenever the mood strikes.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Rhum J.M agricole blanc

  • 1/2 ounce Cruzan blackstrap rum

  • 1/2 ounce Old Port Deluxe matured rum

  • 1 ounce pineapple juice

  • 3/4 ounce demerara syrup (1 part demerara sugar, 1 part water)

  • 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/4 ounce La Colombe cold brew coffee

  • Garnish: coffee beans

  • Garnish: pineapple leaves


  1. Add the rhum agricole, blackstrap rum, Old Port rum, pineapple juice, demerara syrup, lime juice and cold brew coffee to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a Tiki mug or other tall glass filled with crushed ice.

  3. Garnish with coffee beans and pineapple leaves.