It was New Year’s and we were preparing a nice Shabu Shabu for dinner and needed a cocktail. I don’t know why I settled on the Kamikaze but I think it was the limes—something tart and acidic to go with all that hotpot goodness. According to cocktail historian David Wondrich (and wikipedia), the Kamikaze first appeared in 1976 and was originally a shooter before evolving into a cocktail. Some stories have it that the Kamikazee was invented in Japan’s Yokosuka naval base (near Tokyo) when the country was under American occupation. In Japanese, kamikaze means “divine wind.”


  • 1 oz vodka
  • 10z Triple sec
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Mix all the ingredients and shake with ice and strain into glass. According to the International Bartenders Association, a Kamikazee should be served straight up in a cocktail glass. Garnish with lime.

The verdict:  Tart and tasty. Everyone liked and even expressed a bit of worry that it might be one of those dangerous drinks that disappear too fast. I found the tartness of the lime and the background taste of booziness just enough to remind me to take it slow and easy. A great cocktail.

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