The Jet Pilot
The Jet Pilot was originally invented by Steven Crane in 1958. It's made at Three Dots with dark Jamaican rum, gold Dominican rum, overproof rum, lime, cinnamon, grapefruit, John Taylor's Velvet Falernum, Letherbee Ansinthe Brun, and Angostura bitters.
McGee believes that the mugs at Three Dots are a huge part of the experience. "If the drink comes in a regular glass, it loses something," McGee explains. "I think it's great to see four different glasses on the table." Most of the restaurant's mugs come from two vendors, Tiki Farm and Cheeky Tiki, and have been customized with the restaurant's logo. Custom-designed mugs will be sporadically released over the next year.
The Lonely Island
One of McGee's new drinks, "The Lonely Island Lost in the Middle of A Foggy Sea" is a riff on a Bali Hai. The name comes from a line in the song in the musical South Pacific. The drink is made with pineapple, coffee (bottled La Colombe Pure Black Cold Press), rhum agricole, blackstrap rum, Indian rum, and lime.
The Three Dots Banana Daiquiri is made with banana, lime, and nutmeg, and a combination of Jamaican rum, spiced rum, and overproof rum. McGee won't disclose the brands of rum in each drink; it's a nod to the way Don the Beachcomber kept portions of his recipes secret, even from his own bartenders.
The drink also includes a homemade coconut liqueur. "It's a pain in the ass, to tell the truth," says McGee, "but it turns out delicious. We take fresh coconuts and we crack them open to get the water out, then we scoop out the meat and make coconut milk. We sweeten the milk and add a little overproof rum from Trinidad. We call it Coco Likker."
Three Dots and a Dash
The restaurant's namesake cocktail, made with aged rhum agricole, Guyanese rum, honey, falernum, allspice, lime, and Angostura bitters. The drink, invented by Donn Beach, was named after the Morse code for V—three dots and a dash. V for Victory, that is. If you look closely at the garnish, the morse code is replicated there.
"This is one of my favorite tiki drinks," McGee says. "When I was researching all the drinks, this was one that really stood out. I love the baking spices—the allspice, the cinnamon, the clove, a little bit of honey."
All of the swizzle sticks were custom-designed for Three Dots. The ones on the ends bear a suspicious resemblance to McGee.
The dining room
Many of the fixtures, including the lights, are from Trader Vic's, thanks to a memorable visit McGee made to the shuttered restaurant. "We were at the closed Trader Vic's in the Gold Coast—they were getting ready to transform that into a Connie's Pizza," McGee remembered. "It had been closed for several years, but it looked untouched, and the landlord told us we could take whatever we wanted. We ended up in the manager's office, and I'm digging through file cabinets. I found this old menu from 1957 from the Palmer House. It was a 6 or 7 page menu, and on the back it had a girl's name—Rita. It must have been a menu she was using for training. Under all the drinks, she actually had written down all of the ingredients! It was really cool, I have it in my office."
Three Dots and a Dash is below another Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, the barbecue-themed Bub City. McGee also runs the drink program there. If you look closely, you can see skulls piled up on the right side under the stairs.
Banana Daquiri garnish.
The dolphin garnish for the banana daiquiri.