Recently, an aqueous discharge reactor was developed to facilitate reformation of liquid fuels by in-liquid plasma. To gain a microscopic understanding of the physical elements behind this aqueous reactor, we investigate nanosecond discharges in liquid n-heptane with single and double gaseous bubbles in the gap between electrodes. We introduce discharge probability (DP) to characterize the stochastic nature of the discharges, and we investigate the dependence of DP on the gap distance, applied voltage, gaseous bubble composition, and the water content in n-heptane/distilled-water emulsified mixtures. Propagation of a streamer through the bubbles indicates no discharges in the liquids. DP is controlled by the properties of the gaseous bubble rather than by the composition of the liquid mixture in the gap with a single bubble; meanwhile, DP is determined by the dielectric permittivity of the liquid mixture in the gap with double bubbles, results that are supported by static electric field simulations. We found that a physical mechanism of increasing DP is caused by an interaction between bubbles and an importance of the dielectric permittivity of a liquid mixture on the local enhancement of field intensity. We also discuss detailed physical characteristics, such as plasma lifetime and electron density within the discharge channel, by estimating from measured emissions with a gated-intensified charge-coupled device and by using spectroscopic images, respectively. © 1973-2012 IEEE.