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Fall Cocktail Bazaar: The Kamikaze

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 14, 2018

My Cocktail Bazaar was made possible by the many recipes and sample products sent to me by Smirnoff Vodka through their USA Media Team. Today I am looking at their flagship product, Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka served in a Kamikaze Cocktail.

The word Kamikaze entered into the popular vernacular of North America near the end of the Second World War. This is because Kamikaze were special aviation attack units within the Japanese Military who carried out suicide missions with their planes attacking US military warcraft near the end of the Pacific Campaign. The Kamikaze units were often featured in American film and television after the war which led to the word kamikaze coming to represent not just Japanese Kamikaze fighters, but also all manner of extreme, dangerous or reckless behavior. It’s not surprising that the word with all of its implication would become (in the mid to late 1970’s) the name of a reckless ‘shooter style’ cocktail.

We can however, look at both the word Kamikaze, and the Kamikaze cocktail, in a different light. You see, the term kamikaze actually came about in 1281 when the Mongols under Kublai Khan tried to invade Japan. The Mongol soldiers were being carried by ships across the Japanese Sea when the Mongol fleet was destroyed by a tsunami off the coast of Japan. The tsunami wind was referred to as a kamikaze or “spirit wind” by the Japanese who were seemingly saved by this divine intervention.

Just as the word Kamikaze seems to have dual implications, I suggest that the named cocktail does as well. Although (according to cocktail historian Dave Wondrich (see here)) the Kamikaze began its life as perhaps the first shooter cocktail (a reckless serving indeed), as time has went by, the bar drink has been re-examined and now is recognized by the IBF (International Bartenders Association) as a classic New Era Drink.

The Kamikaze represents a well-balanced proportion of sweet (Triple Sec) and sour (Lime Juice) constructed in equal proportions with Vodka (in this case, Smirnoff No. 21). The ingredients are shaken (or stirred) over ice and served in a simple cocktail glass. Rather than shooting the contents down the gullet, I recommend sipping slowly so as to savour the lightly sweet and tart flavour combination.

Here is the Kamikaze served with Smirnoff No. 21 (red label) Vodka.

Kamikaze

1 oz  Smirnoff No. 21
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Ice
Lime Wedge

Add the three ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker frosts.
Strain into a nice cocktail glass
Add the ice from the shaker with a slice of lime

Garnish (if desired) with a wedge of lime
And of course…enjoy!

If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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Note: Smirnoff No. 21 is a triple distilled spirit, produced on a large multi-column still from North American prairie grain. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

You may read my recent review of Smirnoff No. 21 here:

Review: Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka 

“… Because Smirnoff is perceived by many to be mass-produced and therefore an economy brand, I received a bit of online criticism for my favourable review of the spirit four years ago. However, so far in the tasting session, the spirit is again showing itself to be a much better vodka than its price would indicate …”

Chimo!

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