Shiso Mojito Cocktail

Shiso Mojito

Tafari K. Stevenson-Howard / Moment / Getty Images

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

A fresh twist on the popular rum mojito, the shiso mojito switches out the herb. It also adds an extra splash of tropical, tart fruit flavor along with the sweetness of ginger ale. To say that it's refreshing is an understatement, which is why it's a fabulous cocktail for summer.

The primary difference between the shiso mojito and the classic mojito is that it uses shiso in place of mint. Shiso, or perilla, is a herb in the mint family that is primarily used in Japanese cuisine. There are two types of shiso, red and green. Aojiso (also called Japanese basil) is the green variety and preferred in this recipe.

It is a little difficult to describe, but you will find that shiso does not have the mint or basil flavor that you might expect from the herb. Instead, it has more of an anise, citrus, and cinnamon taste—a sort of blended herbal spice flavor. Some people compare the red variety (akajiso) to a light basil flavor while some recipes suggest parsley as a substitute when shiso cannot be found.

That unique taste definitely makes an interesting cocktail. If you're planning a dinner with any variety of Japanese dishes, this is a great drink to serve your guests. And yet, it's also fabulous on its own when you're just up for an adventure!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice (fresh)
  • 4 to 6 shiso leaves (green)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 dash key lime juice 
  • 2 ounces ginger ale (or enough to fill)
  • Garnish: lime wheel

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a highball glass, place the sugar, lime juice, and mint

  3. Muddle until the sugar is dissolved and the mint leaves are broken, releasing their flavor.

  4. Add rum and key lime, then fill the glass with ice.

  5. Stir well. Top with ginger ale and garnish with a lime wheel.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • Shiso has become more popular in recent years, so it's possible to find it in well-stocked grocers and stores that specialize in international cuisine.
  • For the lime juice, simply squeeze the juice from one lime into the shaker.

Recipe Variations

  • Shiso pairs nicely with cachaça, so that is a great substitute for the light rum.
  • Yuzu juice can be poured instead of key lime juice. Popular in Japanese, Korean (called yuja or yuza), and Chinese foods, the fresh fruit is typically not exported. Bottled juices, however, can be found at Asian and international food markets.

How Strong Is a Shiso Mojito?

All of the other ingredients in this recipe tame down the rum to a pleasantly mild strength. When you pour an 80-proof rum, you can expect this drink's alcohol content to fall in the 18 percent ABV (36 proof) range. It's a little stronger than wine and average for cocktails of this style.

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