Shiso (also known as Perilla or Beefsteak) is one of my favorite flavors. I was first introduced to it in the context of sushi/sashimi when I was in my mid-twenties, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of it before. For cooking, it comes in two varieties, red and green. I tend to see the green variet more frequently. The red variety is what gives Japanese pickled plums its color. Its flavor is difficult to describe. Something minty/basily? Herby? I love it.
Weekend before last I couldn’t resist buying a large bunch of red and green shiso from my local farm/farmer’s market here in Red Hook, Brooklyn. When the guy rang up my items he asked me what I was planning on doing with it (his suggestion was scallops and shiso). I replied “experiment making drinks.” And here I am.
This shiso mojito is a refreshing change from the usual mint mojito variety. It’s perfect for summer days sitting in the sun. Or summer evenings with the windows open, listening to records. Or, if your summer is anything like it’s been here, sitting in front of the AC and cursing how hot it is. However your summer is turning out, this drink goes well with it!