This year, Three Dots and a Dash—the speakeasy-style take on a tropical island bar in downtown Chicago from Lettuce Entertain You—is turning ten years old. Led by Beverage Director Kevin Beary, the expert team of bartenders has distinguished themselves by evolving the tropical cocktail experience and creating drinks that engage all the senses with the finest and most unique rums and freshest ingredients.
Over the past decade, Three Dots and a Dash has served as an escape for guests, with eye-catching presentations and crafting countless new adaptations of classic tropical drinks like the Mai Tai and Fogcutter. The team has traveled extensively throughout the years to source the best rums possible from nearly every rum producing country, building one of the largest libraries in the country of more than 300 rums and rhum agricole. Their passion for the spirit led them to expand to create The Bamboo Room at Three Dots and a Dash, regarded as a destination for rare rums and elevated refined takes. Three Dots and a Dash has been recognized by World’s 50 Best Bars and the team most recently has been nominated for “Best Bar Team” by Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards and more, for how they continue to evolve what the tropical drinks category can be.
In honor of their tenth birthday, Three Dots and a Dash will debut a specialty, limited-time-only menu of ten cocktails called “Ten Years of Tropical Delight” highlighting nine favorite originals from the past ten years as well as one new creation showcasing a modern tropical cocktail. The specialty menu will be available throughout the spring and summer starting on May 25.
“This menu features our most notable cocktails that have added to the modern tropical cocktail movement. At Three Dots and a Dash, while we always look back to the roots of tropical drinks, we are always pushing ourselves to create something new, and this menu is the first time we’ve looked back in this way,” says Kevin Beary, Beverage Director.
Menu highlights include cocktails such as Idle Hands, a 2018 cocktail illustrating the evolution of the Banana Daiquiri – the bar’s most popular drink – and the team’s foray into a modern technique approach to cocktails. Preparing the cocktail involves using a centrifuge to create a clear banana rum and banana syrup that gets combined with a mix of citric, malic and succinic acids to mimic lime juice. The result is a completely clear liquid served in an Old Fashioned glass, named Idle Hands for the incredible amount of time and care it takes to produce. Other beloved originals cocktails being revisited range from the Aloha Felicia #2, a drink with a long lineage at Three Dots and a Dash that is now currently on its fifth iteration, using a blend of molasses rums infused with cocoa nibs and combined with coconut and fresh pineapple, to the Strawberry Junglebird, an adaptation of a classic Jungle Bird, that combines Wray & Nephew Jamaican rum and Campari macerated with fresh strawberries, and strawberry cordial that gets shaken over ice with lime and pineapple.
“What’s exciting about these ten cocktails is that they tell the story of how we have grown, the relationships with rum producers throughout the globe we’ve developed, and what we’ve been able to create as a team over the past decade,” adds Beary. “The menu captures a bit of everything, highlighting multiple cocktail styles, and not just covers our greatest hits, but drinks we love for how they represented a specific period of time throughout the decade of Three Dots and a Dash.”
To kick-off the festivities, on Sunday, June 4, Three Dots and a Dash will be teaming up with a lineup of world-renowned bars and each will be serving original cocktails for one-night only alongside Three Dots and a Dash for Three Dots and a Decade. The participating bars have received top recognitions from Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards, the James Beard Awards, and World’s 50 Best Bars, and include: Thunderbolt (Los Angeles, CA), Limantour (Mexico City, Mexico), Trailer Happiness (London, England), Friday Saturday Sunday (Philadelphia, PA), Navy Strength (Seattle, WA), Manhattan (New York, NY), Tiki Tatsuya (Austin, TX), Bar Leather Apron (Honolulu, HI) Birds of Paradise (Boston, MA), Water Witch (Salt Lake City, UT) and the Aviary (Chicago, IL).
Three Dots and a Dash is located at 435 N. Clark St. The bar is open Sunday – Wednesday from 4 PM –12 AM, Thursday – Friday from 4 PM – 1 AM and Saturday from 2 PM – 1 AM. Reservations are encouraged and can be booked through OpenTable.