The bright pink color of this shiso drink comes from its anthocyanin pigments, which are also found in blueberries, raspberries, eggplant skins, and red cabbage. Acid (like the lemon juice in the recipe below) releases the color from the leaves into the tea. In the following herbal drink recipe, you can substitute half the amount of dried leaves for fresh, but your shiso drink will have a different taste.
• 1 quart water
• 8 to 10 ounces fresh shiso leaves
• 1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice
• Honey, to taste
1. Bring water to a boil in a stainless steel or ceramic pot, then add the shiso leaves.
2. Allow water and leaves to come back just to a boil, then remove from heat and strain through a colander into a large bowl.
3. After the leaves are cool enough to handle, squeeze out any extra liquid and add the lemon juice and honey.
4. Before serving, dilute with water to taste. Shiso tea can be served hot or cold; it makes a refreshing drink either way.
Try cooking with shiso in more recipes: