Kamikaze Cocktail Drink

Kamikaze Cocktail

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

This Kamikaze recipe covers you if you want to make a classic cocktail! With just a few ingredients, this drink is easy to make and incredibly satisfying.

Best Kamikaze Cocktail Recipe

Enjoy a great time with our easy Kamikaze recipe! This drink is a crowd-pleaser with vodka, Triple Sec, and lime juice.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

193 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime slice or twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer
  • Martini Glass or Coupe Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: To chill your martini glass place it in the freezer a few hours before or ice it up before starting.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 1½ oz Vodka into the shaker.
  • Add Triple Sec: Measure and pour 1 oz Triple Sec into the shaker.
  • Add Lime Juice: Add 1 oz lime juice to the shaker.
  • Prep Shaker: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 10-15 seconds.
  • Strain: Empty your martini glass, if iced it up before. Fine strain the mixture into your chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lime slice or twist for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: If you're out of vodka, you can use gin for a more botanical twist. I've tried it, which adds an interesting layer to the drink.
  • Triple Sec: Cointreau is a great choice, offering a more refined orange flavor. I've also used Grand Marnier for a richer, deeper orange note.
  • Lime Juice: Fresh lemon juice can replace lime juice, but it will make the drink a bit more tart. I usually add a splash of simple syrup to balance it out.

Making a Pitcher of Kamikaze:

  • Scale: To serve 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That's 12 oz of vodka, 8 oz of Triple Sec, and 8 oz of lime juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the vodka, Triple Sec, and lime juice. Stir well with ice cubes.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled glasses, garnish with a lime slice or twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic vodka substitute; they're available and do a decent job mimicking vodka's neutral profile.
  • Triple Sec Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic orange liqueur or a simple syrup infused with orange peel.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic Kamikaze.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Your Ingredients: Most ingredients in a Kamikaze are already vegan. However, some Triple Sec brands may use animal-derived products in their production. Make sure to choose a vegan-friendly brand.
  • Garnish: Ensure that any colored garnishes you use are vegan-friendly, as some food dyes contain animal products.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
193
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.03
g
0
%
Sodium
 
3
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
12
g
4
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Potassium
 
42
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.04
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
14
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
9
mg
11
%
Calcium
 
4
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Kamikaze Cocktail Drink

Best Kamikaze Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Enjoy a great time with our easy Kamikaze recipe! This drink is a crowd-pleaser with vodka, Triple Sec, and lime juice.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 193

Ingredients
 

  • oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime slice or twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer
  • Martini Glass or Coupe Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: To chill your martini glass place it in the freezer a few hours before or ice it up before starting.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 1½ oz Vodka into the shaker.
  • Add Triple Sec: Measure and pour 1 oz Triple Sec into the shaker.
  • Add Lime Juice: Add 1 oz lime juice to the shaker.
  • Prep Shaker: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 10-15 seconds.
  • Strain: Empty your martini glass, if iced it up before. Fine strain the mixture into your chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lime slice or twist for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: If you're out of vodka, you can use gin for a more botanical twist. I've tried it, which adds an interesting layer to the drink.
  • Triple Sec: Cointreau is a great choice, offering a more refined orange flavor. I've also used Grand Marnier for a richer, deeper orange note.
  • Lime Juice: Fresh lemon juice can replace lime juice, but it will make the drink a bit more tart. I usually add a splash of simple syrup to balance it out.

Making a Pitcher of Kamikaze:

  • Scale: To serve 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That's 12 oz of vodka, 8 oz of Triple Sec, and 8 oz of lime juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the vodka, Triple Sec, and lime juice. Stir well with ice cubes.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled glasses, garnish with a lime slice or twist, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic vodka substitute; they're available and do a decent job mimicking vodka's neutral profile.
  • Triple Sec Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic orange liqueur or a simple syrup infused with orange peel.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes and follow the original steps to enjoy a non-alcoholic Kamikaze.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Your Ingredients: Most ingredients in a Kamikaze are already vegan. However, some Triple Sec brands may use animal-derived products in their production. Make sure to choose a vegan-friendly brand.
  • Garnish: Ensure that any colored garnishes you use are vegan-friendly, as some food dyes contain animal products.

 

What is a Kamikaze cocktail?

The Kamikaze cocktail is a drink made with vodka. It tastes sharp and tangy, thanks to its three main ingredients: vodka, triple sec (an orange-flavored liqueur), and lime juice. You usually mix these in equal parts. Its origins are a bit unclear, but people probably started enjoying it in the 1970s or 1980s. Although it shares its name with the Japanese term “kamikaze,” they don’t have a direct connection. As for making it, it’s quite easy. You just mix equal parts of vodka, triple sec, and lime juice, shake them well with ice, and then strain them into a glass. I’ve made it a few times myself, and it’s pretty straightforward – great for those who are just getting into mixing drinks.

A side shot of a Kamikaze cocktail in a martini glass on a wooden coaster placed on a green table with a lime wedge and a lime slice in front and a yellow wall on the background.

What is a Kamikaze cocktail made of – The Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Vodka: Provides a strong, neutral base for the cocktail.
  • Triple Sec: Adds a sweet, orange-flavored layer to the mix.
  • Lime Juice: Offers a zesty kick, balancing out the sweetness.
  • Ice Cubes: Chill the drink, making it refreshing.
  • Lime slice or twist (optional for garnish): Enhances presentation and adds a hint of extra lime flavor.

Vodka and triple sec laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Kamikaze Cocktail?

Our step-by-step guide takes you through the process of making a Kamikaze cocktail:

1
<p>First, chill your martini glass in the freezer for the best experience.</p>

First, chill your martini glass in the freezer for the best experience.

2
<p>Pour 1½ oz of vodka into the shaker, setting the foundation for your cocktail.</p>

Pour 1½ oz of vodka into the shaker, setting the foundation for your cocktail.

3
<p>Measure and add 1 oz of Triple Sec to the shaker, introducing a sweet, orangey note.</p>

Measure and add 1 oz of Triple Sec to the shaker, introducing a sweet, orangey note.

4
<p>Squeeze in 1 oz of lime juice to give the drink its zesty kick.</p>

Squeeze in 1 oz of lime juice to give the drink its zesty kick.

5
<p>Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes to prepare for shaking.</p>

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes to prepare for shaking.

6
<p>Put the lid on the shaker and shake the ingredients vigorously for 10-15 seconds, ensuring a well-mixed cocktail.</p>

Put the lid on the shaker and shake the ingredients vigorously for 10-15 seconds, ensuring a well-mixed cocktail.

7
<p>Take your chilled martini glass out of the freezer or discard the ice cubes and fine strain the shaken mixture into it, leaving the ice in the shaker.</p>

Take your chilled martini glass out of the freezer or discard the ice cubes and fine strain the shaken mixture into it, leaving the ice in the shaker.

8
<p>Garnish the drink with a lime slice or twist for that extra flair and a hint of lime.</p>

Garnish the drink with a lime slice or twist for that extra flair and a hint of lime.

9
<p>Enjoy your Kamikaze cocktail!</p>

Enjoy your Kamikaze cocktail!

What is the difference between a Lemon Drop and a Kamikaze Cocktail?

The Lemon Drop and the Kamikaze feature vodka and citrus flavors, but key differences set them apart. First, the Lemon Drop uses lemon juice for its citrus component, while the Kamikaze opts for lime juice. This difference makes the Lemon Drop more tart compared to the zesty kick of the Kamikaze. Second, the Lemon Drop incorporates simple syrup to balance the tartness, whereas the Kamikaze uses Triple Sec, adding an orange-flavored sweetness. Additionally, bartenders often serve the Lemon Drop with a sugar rim on the glass, which is not a traditional feature of the Kamikaze. Finally, the Lemon Drop is generally served in a martini glass like the Kamikaze. Still, it’s more common to see the Lemon Drop served as a cocktail rather than a shooter, which is a popular format for the Kamikaze.

Kamikaze Shot

The Kamikaze typically finds its home in a martini glass, a choice that adds a touch of elegance to this straightforward drink. The wide brim of the martini glass allows the citrus aroma to waft up, enhancing the overall drinking experience. While you might also encounter the Kamikaze served as a shooter in a shot glass, especially at lively gatherings, the martini glass remains the classic choice. It’s not just about looks; the shape of the glass helps to evenly distribute the flavors across your palate as you sip. 

What is a Blue Kamikaze?

A Blue Kamikaze swaps out Triple Sec for blue curaçao, which gives the drink its distinctive blue color. This substitution also offers a slightly different orange flavor than the traditional Kamikaze. The blue hue makes it visually striking, and it’s often served both as a cocktail and as a shooter, similar to the classic Kamikaze. The primary alcohol remains vodka, and lime juice continues to provide the citrus kick.

A Kamikaze cocktail, shot from above, in a martini glass on a wooden coaster placed on a green table with a lime wedge and a lime slice on the side.

Kamikaze Drink Variations

Want to explore other options? Check out some of our favorites:

  • Tequila Kamikaze: Replaces vodka with tequila, introducing a more robust, earthy undertone.
  • Melon Kamikaze: Incorporates Midori, a melon liqueur, instead of Triple Sec, lending a sweet melon twist to the classic.
  • Raspberry Kamikaze: Utilizes raspberry liqueur like Chambord instead of Triple Sec, adding a berry burst of flavor.
  • Gin Kamikaze: Swaps vodka for gin, infusing the drink with botanical notes that make it more complex.
  • Spicy Kamikaze: Adds a dash of hot sauce or a slice of jalapeño, giving the drink a surprising kick.
  • Lemon Kamikaze: Uses lemon juice instead of lime, making the drink a bit more tart and less zesty.
  • Pomegranate Kamikaze: Incorporates pomegranate juice or liqueur instead of lime juice, adding a fruity and slightly tart edge.
  • Peach Kamikaze: Features peach schnapps instead of Triple Sec, lending a sweet, fruity aroma and taste.
  • Coconut Kamikaze: Includes coconut rum instead of regular vodka, giving the drink a tropical flair.
  • Cherry Kamikaze: Utilizes cherry liqueur or cherry vodka instead of the standard vodka, adding a sweet and tart cherry note.
  • Cranberry Kamikaze: Replaces lime juice with cranberry juice, offering a tart and slightly sweet alternative.
  • Elderflower Kamikaze: Incorporates liqueur like St-Germain instead of Triple Sec, adding floral notes and a sophisticated touch.
  • Mango Kamikaze: Uses mango juice or mango liqueur instead of lime juice, infusing the drink with tropical sweetness.
  • Cucumber Kamikaze: Adds muddled cucumber to the shaker, providing a refreshing and crisp element to the traditional ingredients.

History and Origins of the Kamikaze

The Kamikaze cocktail emerged in the late 1970s, gaining popularity as a shooter in American bars and clubs. Its name, “Kamikaze,” draws inspiration from the Japanese word for “divine wind,” which historically referred to the typhoons that protected Japan from Mongol invasions and later became associated with World War II suicide pilots. While the name might suggest a Japanese origin, the cocktail has American roots.

The drink quickly became a staple in the American bar scene, especially among younger drinkers looking for something easy to make but still flavorful. The classic combination of vodka, Triple Sec, and lime juice made it a hit, and its simplicity contributed to its widespread appeal.

A side shot of a Kamikaze cocktail in a martini glass with a lime wedge on the side on a wooden coaster placed on a green table with a half lime and a yellow wall on the background.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Kamikaze?
A standard Kamikaze has around 200 calories, depending on the brands of alcohol used.
How strong is a Kamikaze in terms of ABV and proof?
The Kamikaze typically has an ABV of around 30-35%, translating to 60-70 proof, depending on the spirits used.
What type of alcohol is used in a Kamikaze?
Vodka serves as the primary alcohol in a Kamikaze.
In which glass is a Kamikaze usually served?
A Kamikaze is traditionally served in a martini glass.
What does a Kamikaze taste like?
The Kamikaze offers a balanced blend of sweet, sour, and strong flavors.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Kamikaze?
The Kamikaze follows a 1.5:1:1 vodka, Triple Sec, and lime juice ratio.
How is the Kamikaze served in terms of ice?
The Kamikaze is usually shaken with ice and then strained, serving it "up" without ice in the glass.
Why is it called a Kamikaze?
The name draws from the Japanese term for "divine wind," although the cocktail has American roots.
Is a Kamikaze a shooter or a cocktail?
It started as a shooter but is often enjoyed as a cocktail today.
Can I make a Kamikaze without a cocktail shaker?
Yes, you can stir the ingredients with ice and then strain them, although shaking is traditional.
What's the difference between a Kamikaze and a Margarita?
A Margarita uses tequila and often has a salted rim, while a Kamikaze uses vodka and has no salt.
Can I make a Kamikaze with flavored vodka?
Yes, flavored vodka can add a unique twist, although it will alter the traditional taste.

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