Jun 11

Kamikaze Cocktail or Shot Recipe


Kamikaze Cocktail or Shot Recipe

“The Kamikaze Queen” is what they used to call me. Not one of my parents’ prouder moments. When I was in my early twenties, I worked as a hostess at a restaurant in the popular Gastown district of Vancouver. This restaurant was the type of place where sweethearts proposed marriage, diners lingered over a fine bottle of wine, and stars came to eat in relative peace. As an aside, I found out that Richard Thomas still answers to, “Hey, John Boy!” During dinner service, we would occasionally experience some lulls as patrons lingered over their cappuccinos. I took it upon myself to disappear behind the bar and mix up a large batch of kamikaze shots. The sound of the cocktail shaker, which contained a mixture of fresh lime juice, vodka, and triple sec, seemed to work like a dog whistle on the serving staff.

Shots lined up on the container, eight or nine of us would duck down behind the counter, toast a quick “Cheers!” and throw back the liquid treat. For those few minutes, there was not a single member of the staff on the restaurant floor. However, we emerged with smiles on our faces, ready to face a few more hours of dinner service. Unbeknownst to the owner, this became a ritual on busy Friday and Saturday evenings.

These tangy, slightly sweet drinks can be made as cocktails, served in high ball or martini glasses, or potent shots. I will warn you – these are not for the faint of heart and it is imperative that you hand your car keys to someone far more responsible before you start to drink them. Over the years, I found that I enjoy these drinks more when I add a splash of simple syrup. One or two of these will do in my progressing years – a mere shadow of the kamikaze queen.

The recipe:

The simple syrup:

Make a simple syrup by combining equal parts granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan. I typically use 1 cup of each so that I have plenty of simple syrup left over for other uses. It can be stored in a glass container, such as a jar, in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

The cocktail:

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add 1 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice, 1 1/2 ounce vodka, 1 1/2 ounce triple sec, and 3/4 ounce simple syrup.

Shake well, about 20 seconds, to chill the mixture. Strain into a highball or martini glass for a single drink or, if you prefer, into 4 separate shot glasses. Garnish with a wedge of lime and serve cold.

Other beverages using vodka and lime:

Yum Sugar’s Pom Lime Vodka Cocktail
Food Gal’s Pineapple Persuasion
The Way the Cookie Crumbles’ Vodka Gimlet
Fork This’ Sub Rosa Vodka
Hedonia’s Hangar One Chipotle Vodka

Kamikaze Cocktail or Shot Recipe
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
Serves: Makes 1 cocktail or 4 shots
The simple syrup:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
The cocktail:
  • 1½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1½ oz. vodka
  • 1½ oz. triple sec
  • ¾ oz. simple syrup
The simple syrup:
  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
The cocktail:
  1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add lime juice, vodka, triple sec, and ¾ oz. simple syrup. Shake well, about 15 seconds, to chill the mixture. Strain into a highball or martini glass for a single drink or, if you prefer, into 4 separate shot glasses. Garnish with a wedge of lime and serve cold.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenn June 11, 2010 at 6:45 am

I could go for a shot or two of this. Good thing happy hour doesn't really have to be between 4-7, right? :)


2 Lori Lynn June 11, 2010 at 10:20 am

Those were the days in the restaurant business! Thanks for bring back some fond memories. I don't know of any restaurant where that would fly now.

In addition to having a shot or two, we would all go into the walk-in freezer to briefly cool off and scream! We called it "freezer-scream." Then, newly refreshed, we would all walk back onto the busy floor and provide excellent service…


3 Jenny June 11, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I don't drink, but this looks beautiful!!


4 Elin June 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm

CC…great cocktail drink. Vodka lime …mmm kamikaze cocktail…great. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)


5 Maria June 11, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Very fun drink!


6 Tracy June 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Fun! :-)


7 Jason Phelps June 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Job well done. I had my share of these in college, but on a nice hot day this will do the trick!



8 Carolyn Jung June 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm

It's been a long time since I had a kamikaze at a bar. I think the first time I nearly keeled over! Hah. Now that I'm OLD or OLDER (ahem), I think I'd keel over for sure. But at least with your recipe, I can do so in the comfort of my own home. 😉


9 Michelle June 11, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Sounds perfect for a summer cocktail!


10 Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker June 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I love this story! And great cocktail recipe, definitely saving it!


11 Maggy@ThreeManyCooks June 11, 2010 at 6:39 pm

I love a good cocktail, particularly ones with lime. I'll be trying this.


12 Food-G June 11, 2010 at 9:13 pm

What a great Friday post, and I must say I am so jealous of those gorgeous little frosted glasses.

This brought back some fun (and foggy) memories, both of late nights/early mornings in college, and of some of the restaurant jobs I held. I was "back of the house" tho, so we could just go into the walk-in, and not have to duck behind the bar ; ) Good times…


13 Drick June 11, 2010 at 9:19 pm

haven't had one of these in a long time but I sure did use to like them too, along with the gin/lime drinks too, can't remember what they were called, must have ate my brain up..LOL….think I might revisit these now during the summer months…


14 Nithu June 11, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Sounds wonderful. I am up for it…


15 Daydreamer Desserts June 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Loved this post, I could just imagine you guys ducking behind the bar and taking these down. Good times I'm sure!


16 Devaki @ weavethousandflavors June 12, 2010 at 12:33 am

What a great story! I could really use a shot or 2 of this on days lie this :)

Will have to file this under – must make summer drinks!


17 Cookin' Canuck June 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Thanks for all of your comments.

Lori Lynn, your story about the "freezer scream" gave me a good chuckle.

Carolyn, in my younger years, I could shoot these one after another. Now that I'm much older and more refined (ahem), I have taken to sipping them.

Drick, I can relate!


18 bunkycooks June 12, 2010 at 10:18 pm

These are fun and probably a bit dangerous! 😉 What a great story. I bet that was a fun time.


19 Cristina June 13, 2010 at 4:46 am

These sound so good and something that before you know what hit ya, you're out! =)


20 Kerstin June 13, 2010 at 5:08 am

I wish I was enjoying one of these right now – yum!


21 Momgateway June 13, 2010 at 7:22 am

…living dangerously like this sure sounds like kamikaze to me…I'll surely keep this cocktail in mind when I need something to brace me…


22 Miranda June 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm

I am not a drinker, but this looks WONDERFUL!


23 Angie June 14, 2010 at 2:32 am

Hi Kamikazi queen , I was a mind eraser queen. Us girls would get a double tall and all stick a straw in it and down it as fast as possible. We did 1 or 2 an hour. By the end of the night it would just be me and the girl bartender sharing one. I was so bad then (had such a high tolerance), now thankfully one drink and I'm done.


24 Pam June 14, 2010 at 2:54 am

I haven't had a Kamikaze since my 20's… thanks for reminding me how tasty they are.


25 shizuokagourmet June 14, 2010 at 6:20 am

Well done!
The Wind of the Gods do seem very refreshing!
Thanks for sharing!


26 Barbara @ moderncomfortfood June 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I had no idea that you were such a cocktail expert! I can picture enjoying this drink immensely under a shade tree here in the Florida summer swelter. No kamikazi action, though, just a hammock please!


27 Brie: Le Grand Fromage June 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm

haha, that's awesome. looks like a great drink!


28 R4SDHC June 15, 2010 at 11:26 pm

I often find it surprising how what sound like 'typical' drinks actually have very subtle ways of production…and ultimately these differences can make the difference between a drink, and a GREAT drink. If only I can try one of the ones you have prepared!!


29 Fuji Mama June 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I love the story behind this recipe!


30 ivoryhut June 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm

This looks so refreshing, especially with the lime. I love the thought of you ducking behind the bar to throw back a shot of this! Definitely going to try this.


31 alice m. September 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Ahhhhhh…..the Kamikaze :-) Still my favorite drink and shot…loved your story.


32 Kimani April 14, 2013 at 6:16 am

Peace Queen!

I’m getting married in less than 60 and think you’ve introduced me to one of my signature drinks!

Please share the best way to make a batch for larger groups while managing the essence of the cocktail.

Thanks a bunch for sharing!


33 Goodtime April 25, 2013 at 9:53 am

My birthday is on Dec 7 and sometimes the bars would have these on special as a “Pearl Harbor Day” special. Such good memories. Haven’t had one in years. Thanks for the idea!


34 Old Geezer October 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm

“Back in the day”, this was the road beverage of choice. For simplicity, we we strayed from the the traditional 5:3:1 recipe and dumped a half gallon of vodka (cheapest available), a quart of Triple-sec and a pint of lime juice into a gallon milk jug, shake vigorously and serve liberally. Serves four.


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