Kamikaze Cocktail

Kamikaze Cocktail

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
214 Calories
0g Fat
20g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 214
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 0g
Calcium 22mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The kamikaze is an iconic drink in the bar. It's one of the best-known vodka "martinis" and offers a sweet-tart taste that many will enjoy. In fact, it's such a popular mix that there's also a kamikaze shooter and a number of other variations to explore.

The history of the drink is as interesting as the history of the name. In Japanese, the word Japanese translates to "divine wind" and initially referred to the typhoon that the Mongols were met with while trying to invade Japan in the 13th century. But it's also often erroneously attributed to also a name used by the Japanese military for its pilots and their missions, either, although it seems they later adopted the use of the phrase despite the fact that the word used for their pilots was slightly different. To some extent, you can chalk it up to the classic old-fashioned telephone game, where words and meaning become lost in translation the further they go.

The drink's origins can be traced to an American naval base in Japan after World War II. It became popular in the 1970s, according to writer Heywood Gould in his book "Cocktail," who calls it a classic disco era cocktail invented by teenagers.

If you look at the recipe, you'll notice that the kamikaze is quite simply a vodka margarita, and it's also very similar to a daiquiri. The proportions of the famous tequila-lime cocktail are different, but the ingredients are the same. So, if you don't like tequila for one reason or another, this is a great option.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce lime juice (fresh)
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • Garnish: lime wedge​

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Kamikaze Cocktail

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, pour the vodka, lime juice, and triple sec.

    cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, vodka, lime juice, and triple sec

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. Shake well.

    cocktail shaker

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. Serve and enjoy.

    Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Tips

  • This is a cocktail where you want to pour the smoothest vodka in your bar. Use premium vodkas that you would typically enjoy on their own or in your vodka martini.
  • Fresh lime juice definitely produces a better-tasting kamikaze. You should be able to get 1 ounce of juice out of a whole lime. Just squeeze it directly into the shaker.
  • Ensure that the quality of the triple sec matches that of your vodka. Combier and Cointreau are two great options; you can also pour a high-end curaçao.

Recipe Variations

  • Adjust the ratio of the three ingredients to suit your taste. For instance, you might like a little more lime and prefer your kamikaze with 1 1/2 ounces of lime juice and just 1/2 ounce of the orange liqueur.
  • Turn the kamikaze a pretty blue color by pouring blue curaçao instead of triple sec.
  • Try flavored vodka; almost any fruit infusion works. Try it with berry, citrus, coconut, or pineapple vodkas. Vanilla vodka works well, too; it'll make it similar to the key lime pie martini without the pineapple.
  • Another popular variation is a "SoCo" kamikaze, in which the vodka is replaced with Southern Comfort.

How Strong Is a Kamikaze Cocktail?

The kamikaze is a very strong martini, weighing in around 25 percent ABV (50 proof). That's typical of drinks in this style and over half the strength of the vodka itself. If you want to avoid a hangover, think twice about mixing up another round.