Of all the herbs I grow in my garden, shiso (also know as beefsteak or perilla) is perhaps my favorite and most used. Thanks to a gift from a friend last summer, I now have access to basil-y mint-y goodness whenever I want. It is a fresh reminder that summer is here when I add it to salads, egg rolls, sushi and yes, cocktails.
If you love a mojito, try this version made with shiso. It’s a subtle change to the usual; but it’s just enough so to make you go “Mmmmm!” Rather than weighing down the cocktail with overly sugary simple syrup, unrefined turbinado sugar is used to add subtle sweetness. If you don’t have shiso growing in your backyard, look for it in Asian markets. It can be purchased in the green or purple variety. My favorite is the purple.
Makes 1 cocktail
1-2 (or more to taste!) tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 large sprig mint, plus more for garnish
1 large sprig shiso
1 1/2 oz rum (or more to taste)
about 3/4 cup club soda
1. Place sugar in the bottom of a 10 oz capacity glass. Remove the leaves from the mint and shiso sprigs. Roughly tear them and add to the glass. Squeeze the lime half over the leaves.
2. Muddle the sugar, mint, shiso and lime.
3. Add the rum and toss in enough ice to fill the glass.
4. Add the club soda. Stir well. Garnish with a sprig of mint and/or shiso, if desired. Serve immediately.