With 2011 barreling toward us at top speed I decided it was high time to share my favorite drink creation of 2010 with you. While planning out the menu for my POM Dinner Party last month, one of the first ideas I came up with was a twist on a mojito. After my foray into mojito-making, I’ve had mojitos on the brain, and I just hoped that the drink I had dreamed up in my head would be just as delicious in real life. The idea was a “Shiso Pomojito Mocktail” made with fresh shiso leaves instead of mint, and adding pomegranate concentrate (or pomegranate juice for lighter flavor) to the drink for color and an added fruity tang. If you’re not familiar with shiso, you are missing out! It’s an herb that is common in Japan. It tastes a bit like a cross between basil and mint and is very refreshing.
Making the mocktail is simple. Start out tearing the shiso leaves into smaller pieces.
Then muddle (thoroughly crush with a muddler, pestle, or back or a large spoon) fresh shiso leaves with granulated sugar.
Then add some pomegranate concentrate (or pomegranate juice), soda water, and lemon lime soda, and stir.
The drink was more than I had hoped for, and was a definite hit at the party. I loved it so much that I made a pitcher of it for Thanksgiving dinner as well. However, for Thanksgiving I didn’t have any fresh shiso leaves, so I substituted a mix of fresh basil and fresh mint leaves. This drink would be the perfect addition to any New Years celebration. Here’s to toasting in the New Year in style!
Shiso Pomojito Mocktail
Makes 1 serving
Recipe Notes: This recipe can be made by the glass, or in a large pitcher. If making a large pitcher, just multiply the amounts by the number of servings desired. When muddling the shiso and sugar together, use a mortar and pestle and then add the muddled mixture to the bottom of the pitcher and proceed with the recipe. If you don’t have shiso, substitute a mixture of fresh basil and fresh mint leaves.
1 large shiso leaf
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 ounce pomegranate concentrate (or 2 ounces 100% pomegranate juice)
3 ounces soda water
3 lemon-lime soda
fresh pomegranate arils, to garnish (optional)
1. Put the shiso leaf and sugar in a tall glass and muddle (thoroughly crush with a muddler, pestle, or back or a large spoon).
2. Add the pomegranate concentrate, soda water, and lemon-lime soda and stir. Add fresh pomegranate arils if desired.