There's something about the Kamikaze that just screams amateur hour. 2 for 1 special. Bowling alley bar. It's one of those drinks that shows up in stories of how Friday night turned into a special sort of spiral. This reputation has something to do with the Kamikaze's incarnation as an easy-to-slam shot, and even more to do with it being, well. Delicious. That's right, vodka-phobes. We said it.
Legend has it that the Kamikaze was first poured on an American Naval base in Japan in the late 1940s, and that the name (not unlike the Zombie) is meant to give you an idea of its effect.
Though it's often shaken and strained into a chilled cocktail glass, given its proximity to the margarita -- swap the vodka for tequila -- it makes just as much sense on the rocks. To assist in reclaiming the Kamikaze from the drink-special ghetto, use decent vodka (it doesn't have to be top shelf, but don't rely on the mixers to mask a terrible spirit), quality triple sec (though, seriously, it's best with Cointreau), and fresh lime juice. Add a nice glass and a pretty garnish, and you've got yourself a perfect summer sipper.
If it's the spiral you're after, fair enough. A Kamikaze shot is equal parts lime juice, triple sec, and vodka (about 3/4 an oz of each); a SoCo Kamikaze slips Southern Comfort in for vodka. Cheers.