Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rum Cocktails

Limbo Three Dots & a Dash

A Tiki mug in the shape of a green fish, its mouth the mouth of the cup. A pineapple and cherry garnish, as well as a blue and white-striped straw, extend upwards from its mouth.
Image: Virginia Miller

One of the only Tiki bars in Louisville, Kentucky, The Limbo comes from Olivia Griffin, an entrepreneur and designer who also owns The Mysterious Rack, a hat and fashion shop. Her take on the Three Dots & a Dash—a WWII-era Tiki classic created by the famed Donn Beach of Don the Beachcomber—swaps out the traditional rum seen in most Tiki drinks for bourbon, specifically Coopers’ Craft bourbon. Allspice dram, golden falernum, Angostura bitters, fresh lime and orange juices and a touch of honey round everything out for a playful and layered drink.

If the name of the cocktail sounds familiar, it’s because it’s Morse Code for the letter V, which stands for Victory, specifically referencing the call for the Allied Forces’ victory over the Axis Powers in World War II. Beyond Donn Beach’s cocktail recipe, it also is the name of a famous speakeasy-style Tiki bar in Chicago, also named for the drink. However, its original recipe, like the vast majority of Tiki creations, called for rum. The use of bourbon, in this case Coopers’ Craft, a Kentucky straight bourbon from Brown-Forman, means that the drink leans drier, with more oak and vanilla notes.

While it’s a relatively straightforward Tiki drink, it does call for two ingredients you may not have in your home bar: allspice dram and falernum. Griffin uses St. Elizabeth for the allspice, which is the most well-known of allspice dram brands. The dram is used in Tiki drinks to add warmth, spice and baking notes to the often bright and juicy drinks. Similarly, falernum, a ginger syrup, is a widely used Tiki ingredient. Its most well known producer is John D Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, but Griffin uses The Bitter Truth Golden Falernum, a rich and slightly spicy mix of ginger, vanilla, lime and other spices. While not all brands of falernum contain alcohol, the Bitter Truth’s version has 18% alcohol-by-volume, making it a more potent concoction for use in drinks like Three Dots & a Dash.

At the bar, this drink gets quickly blended with some ice and then poured over fresh crushed ice in a Tiki mug. If you’re making it at home and don’t have access to a blender, feel free to simply shake it vigorously before straining over crushed ice in whatever vessel best fits it.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Coopers’ Craft bourbon
  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce honey
  • 1/4 ounces St. Elizabeth allspice dram
  • 1/4 ounces The Bitter Truth Golden falernum
  • Garnish: blueberries
  • Garnish: candied ginger
  • Garnish: pineapple wedge

Steps

  1. Add the bourbon, lime juice, orange juice, honey, allspice dram and falernum to a blender with ice and flash-blend.

  2. Strain into a Tiki mug over crushed ice.

  3. Garnish with three blueberries and a candied ginger slice, skewered, and a pineapple wedge.

  4. Serve with a straw.