Red Shiso Drop

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Red Shiso Drop, with red shiso leaf

The Red Shiso Drop is a refreshing cocktail with mesmerizing color and complex flavor.  The stunning visual qualities and unique scent of this drink are all due to an herb — Red Shiso.

Easy to grow red shiso is a ruffly purple-leaved cultivar of the more familiar green shiso, common in Japanese cuisine.  Red shiso’s flavor is mild, with notes of citrus and cumin.

red shiso leaves

red shiso leaves

Begin by infusing a good quality vodka with lots of red shiso leaves.  The vodka will take on a very pale pink hue, while the red shiso leaves will turn from purple to dull green.  Here’s the vodka/red shiso combo just after combining:

vodka with red shiso leaves

vodka with red shiso leaves

Let the red shiso leaves and vodka rest for an hour or two in the fridge, then strain the leaves from the infused vodka.  The result is palest pink red shiso infused vodka.

vodka infused with red shiso

vodka infused with red shiso

You’ll see the stunning magical color and release the complex aromatics of the herb in your cocktail glass when you create the Red Shiso Drop. Enjoy!

Red Shiso Drop
(serves 2)

3 oz red shiso infused vodka (recipe below)
1 oz simple syrup
ice
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

Pour red shiso infused vodka into a clear glass.  Add the simple syrup and gently stir with a bar spoon.  Add several ice cubes, then the lemon juice.  Stir until the cocktail’s color has bloomed from pale to vivid magenta/red.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glasses and garnish with a fresh red shiso leaf.

Red Shiso Infused Vodka

8  oz good quality vodka
1 cup (packed) fresh red shiso leaves

Combine vodka and red shiso leaves in a glass jar.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours.  Strain out the red shiso leaves.