• vodka 1 1/2 ounces
  • triple sec 1 ounce
  • Lime juice 1 ounce
  • lime slice, to garnish

The kamikaze is a favorite cocktail recipe among bartenders and drinkers alike. Popular since the 1970s, it dates back to World War II, when it was invented on an American naval base in Japan. This drink stands out for its sweet-sour flavor due to the combination of only three ingredients. The sweetness of triple sec is dampened by the tart flavor of lime juice, while vodka gives the cocktail a bold boost, so it's the perfect aperitif.

The kamikaze is so easy to make, even beginners will have figured out that making it is a breeze. In other words, this drink is basically a Margarita that calls for vodka instead of tequila, and it's so famous that the Cosmopolitan was created to be its cranberry version. Serve it in a cocktail glass or as a shot and garnish with a lime slice. Enjoy the classic sour-tart kamikaze or try out one of its many variations.

Kamikaze Cocktail History

The kamikaze cocktail was first created during World War II in a bar of an American naval base that occupied Japan. It took until the 1970s to hear about this drink recipe, when it became popular during the golden years of vodka. It was first served as a shot and then bartenders turned it into a Martini-like cocktail.

For this sweet-sour drink was chosen the Japanese name of kamikaze which means "divine wind". Although earlier translations seemed to refer to the Mongol invasions of Japan in the 13th century or even Japanese military jargon, it is currently believed that this name was chosen for a simple reference to the cocktail's origins and strong sweet-sour flavors.

Kamikaze Drink Variations

– The kamikaze is a versatile cocktail that you can customize any way you like. If you prefer a weaker drink, you could use more lime juice or triple sec than vodka.

– Use flavored vodka such as kiwi or vanilla one for an even more impressive result.

– Add blue curaçao instead of triple sec to make the blue kamikaze.

– Some alternative recipes also add cane sugar for a sweeter taste.

– You might try the SoCo kamikaze, which calls for Southern Comfort instead of vodka.

– Another variation to try is the recipe using all the ingredients in equal parts.

How to make Kamikaze

  1. In a shaker with ice, combine vodka, triple sec and lime juice. Shake it up.
  2. Strain into a cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a lime slice. Enjoy!


– Use fresh lime juice to enhance kamikaze flavor.

– Make sure the quality of the vodka and triple sec is top-notch, so you can enjoy a great drink.

– Since it's a great aperitif, serve kamikaze drink during a brunch or a party, pairing it with tasty meals like Sicilian pasta, chicken wings or tori no karaage.