Serious Eats: Recipes

Zero Proof: Shiso Limeade

[Photo: Christianne Winthrop]

If iced tea and lemonade is an Arnold Palmer, then this shiso limeade is a Ryo Ishikawa.

Don't know who Ryo Ishikawa is just yet? Think of him as the Tiger Woods of Japan. Since going pro at 15, he's collected nine wins on the Japan Golf Tour and is donating all of his 2011 earnings to the Japan earthquake relief effort, which year-to-date is just shy of $1 million US. Oh, and Ishikawa's got a thing for bubblegum pink pants—which is why he immediately came to mind for this edgier twist on a classic summer drink.

Shiso is available in the produce section of Asian markets and you'll probably recognize it as the garnish from your sushi platters. It's a member of the mint family, and is similar in flavor and appearance to Thai basil. You'll want to use purple shiso for this tea, and after the herbs steep for a few minutes, you'll see that the water has turned an off-putting murky brown. It's not until you mix the limeade into the tea that it turns bright pink, just like the pH tests you did in elementary school with red cabbage juice and lemon. After your two mixers are sufficiently cold, mix together and enjoy on a hot day—regardless of your summer sport.

About the author: Christianne Winthrop is a freelance food writer, caterer and culinary instructor. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Bob and their beta fish, Hercules.

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