To tell you the truth, it was last summer when I promised mom to post about this drink on my blog. Well, time flies, you know. :P
Home-made Shiso (Perilla) Drink
Last weekend I spent good amount of time with my mom, taking photos of her tea ceremony performance. And when I was about to leave, she gave me this home-made shiso drink in a big PET bottle. So I realized that this was the time to do what I had promised her one year ago.
Don’t you ever think that this bright pink color came from artificial coloring. The color was produced by 100% natural ingredient: purple shiso leaves. Some of you may know that purple shiso is used to color umeboshi (Japanese salty plum pickles).
This shiso drink has gained popularity in my hometown in the past couple of years. Now you can see green and purple shiso being grown here and there in town. About half of my mom’s veggie garden turned into a “shiso jungle” this year. I’m not exaggerating… Shiso usually grows like crazy, and mom gave it some fertilizer before summer! :O
Mom kept making this shiso drink for the whole summer this year. Her way seems to be a little different from a "standard" way. She says that it is important to use both green and purple shiso leaves while most shiso drink recipes on the net call for purple shiso only. According to her, if used green shiso only, the juice will turn brownish and a bit flavorless, and if used purple shiso only, the color will be much deeper reddish pink and the taste will be a bit too strong. I guess mom uses only a small amount of the purple ones – maybe apx. 20% of the green ones. Then WHY did she need to plant two kinds of purple shiso?!
The wrinkled type (right) is said to produce deeper pink color than the flat type (left).
It is not difficult to make this drink, but it is just a lot of work. First, you have to pick crazy amount of shiso leaves and wash them all very carefully. Then you add some water and a little citric acid and soak the leaves in the solution overnight until they turn yucky brownish color. Next morning, drain and squeeze out all the juice from the leaves into the brown-colored solution, add sugar and bring to boil. You’ll end up with bright pink shiso juice. (It looks rather red in this photo, though.) My mom drains the juice again, and keeps it in bunch of PET bottles after cooled. Imagine a fridge full of plastic bottles like these...
* Again, this is mom's way. Looks like many people just boil shiso leaves in a pot instead of soaking them in citric acid solution overnight. Btw, I asked mom not to use an aluminum pot for this.
The drink is quite strong as it is, so we always add some water and ice to thin it down. It makes a refreshing and healthy after-bath drink.
Well, now summer is almost over, and so is mom's summer ritual with this fragrant herb and pet bottles. (It's about time she and her friends should take a break from this drink.)
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Posted by obachan at 9/12/2006 05:42:00 PM